We were glad to have the opportunity to preview Greg Meyer’s wonderful new book, A Student’s Guide to Justification, part of a series called Track by Rooted Conference sponsor and friend Reformed Youth Ministry. Here are five quotes about justification we hope you’ll share with the teenagers in your life—right along with this book.
“First of all, justification is an ‘act of God.’ It is something God does without our help. Further, it is a ‘judicial’ act. God, as the Righteous Judge, is declaring something about us as if in a courtroom setting. In justification, instead of receiving the ‘guilty’ verdict we justly deserve, God declares us to be innocent in His sight on account of Christ’s righteousness being applied to us. When God looks at us now, He sees Jesus” (p. 24).
“The grounds (or basis) of our justification is not our own goodness. It’s not because of our good deeds. It’s not even because of our faith in Jesus. Jesus’ work on our behalf is the only grounds for our justification. In fact, this is the very point that the Apostle Paul works hard to make in Romans 1:18–3:20. Though no one is righteous and can approach God, Christ the Righteous One sacrifices Himself as a payment for our sin and gives us His perfect righteousness as a free gift of grace received by faith alone (2 Cor. 5:21)” (p. 47).
“As Derek Thomas is fond of saying: ‘Christ received the covenant curse so that we might receive the covenant blessing.’ In the Cross, He gets what we have earned (death) and gives us what He earned (eternal life). Incredibly, in this God remains just by punishing sin, while at the same time being ‘the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus’ (Rom. 3:26)” (p. 48).
“Faith is not a work, it’s not something we can take pride in. It is simply the receiving of what Christ has accomplished. Instead of trying to prove ourselves or make ourselves acceptable to God, we receive what Christ has already done. We trust that He has provided and that it is enough – for our forgiveness and for our righteousness. This requires us to be humble and accept that we can’t earn our own salvation” (p. 55).
“Out of this sure and settled place of love and justification, we are empowered to live holy lives where we can rejoice even in the midst of sorrow and suffering. Even in our greatest losses, most colossal failures, and deepest griefs we can be assured that we belong to God in love” (p. 73).