WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE JUSTIFIED?

“WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE JUSTIFIED?”

 

It is an interesting fact that under Scottish Law, when a man was put to death he was spoken of as being “justified”.

 

When they executed a man in Edinburgh, Scotland, they would put up a notice that read

 

“So and So was justified

at Market Square

this morning at 8 o’clock”.

 

“Justified”? Yes, paid the penalty, executed for his sin. In the Oxford Dictionary we read this: “In Scotland, in the Middle Ages, the murderer taken red-handed … was justified without any unnecessary or inconvenient delays of process.”

 

He was hanged. He was justified. He was put to death.

 

So the sinner who has died is regarded as being justified. The account is settled, there is no charge against him, it has been paid and discharged.

 

So when I see Christ dying for me, and know my old man has been crucified with him (Rom 6:6), I know my claim is settled, that I have died and that God justifies me gratuitously in the riches of his grace. I have been justified. I have been put into the death of Christ.

 

A few years ago, a certain young man went up to a preacher after he had spoken and took exception at what had been said.

The preacher said “But you are a sinner are you not?”

The man replied “Oh yes” and went on “we are all sinners’.

The preacher said “As a sinner you are condemned, are you not?”

The man said “I do not see that.”

“What!” said the preacher “do you not see that the just Judge of all the earth must condemn a sinner? What sort of a God do you believe in, an unjust God?”

“Well” he replied “if it comes to that you are condemned too!”

The preacher said “Of course I am, but it may surprise you to hear that I have been executed.”

The young fellow looked at the preacher in perfect amazement and said “What do you mean?”

The preacher answered “I mean what I say, I was executed in a most horrible manner. I was crucified. But thank God, I have had a resurrection, and that is why I am alive now. That is the truth. In Christ I have been executed. I have been brought to judgment. I deserved it, and the just and holy God was right in condemning me. But thank God, in the holy substitute, the Lord Jesus Christ, I died. Therefore having died, I am justified from sin.

 

The law has been satisfied.

The penalty that the law demanded, that is, the death of a man, has been satisfied.

Christ died in my place. I have been put to death in Christ.

Standing before God, I can now justify myself for having broken his laws.

 

Can you stand before God right now and say

“My penalty for breaking your laws has been paid.  I am innocent of all charges. I can stand before you God ‘Just-as-if-I’d” never sinned. Christ has paid my debt in full!”

 

Dear Reader, read Romans 6:1-11 for a full understanding.

 

**** ****

Harley Hitchcock

19th July 2021


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