I would like to spend the rest of this week looking at the Bible doctrine “JUSTIFICATION”. Justification is a legal term and according to Strongs Concordance it means “acquittal”. I have always heard that Justification for a Christian means “to make someone just as if they had never sinned”. I think both of these define what “Justification” means as it is used in scripture.
The Apostle Paul helps us understand this doctrine in Romans 5.
(Romans 5:17) For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
(Romans 5:18) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
(Romans 5:19) For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
Paul states that because of one man’s (Adam) disobedience, death and judgment came upon all men and we were all under the condemnation of God. If that was the end of the story, we would all be doomed, but aren’t you glad this morning that this is not the end of the story. Paul goes on to say that by the obedience of one (Jesus) shall many be made righteous. He also states in v. 18 that by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto “justification” of life. This means that our case was settled out of court and we were “acquitted” from the penalty of sin (death) and given the “free gift” of life.
We see this same principle apply in I Corinthians 15.
(1Co 15:21) For since by man (Adam) came death, by man (Jesus) came also the resurrection of the dead.
(1Co 15:22) For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
The first man (Adam) is a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ. After Eve disobeyed by taking of the forbidden fruit, Adam willingly ate of the fruit because he loved Eve so much that it broke his heart to know that she was going to die. So, he chose to die along with her.
The Bible says that Jesus tasted death for every man. (Hebrews 2:9) But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
So, just as Adam proved his love for Eve when he ate the fruit choosing to die with her, the Lord Jesus Christ out of a heart of love tasted death for every man when he left Heaven and went to the cross. I think this is why Paul referred to Jesus as the last Adam. (1 Corinthians15:45) And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
“JUSTIFICATION” is then personified in the last Adam. The Lord Jesus Christ became our justification and now we are justified in the eyes of God (made just as if we had never sinned). In the first Adam all that we had to look forward to was death, but in the last Adam we can now look forward to everlasting life. AMEN!!