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In Romans 5:18 we read, "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 to justification of life".What does "justification of life" mean?

In this part of this chapter we have the two federal heads in Adam and Christ. Adam, the head of the old creation and Christ, the head of the new creation, 2 Corinthians 5:17. In 2 Corinthians 5:18, we have Adams ONE ACT of disobedience bringing all his race, then and future, into condemnation. In the latter part of the verse we have the contrast; by the "righteousness of one" (Christ) (the word for righteousness here does not refer to His person, but is a verb and means, (a righteous ACT) So then, by ONE RIGHT ACT (Calvary and the cross) He made a provision to rectify Adam's sin and condemnation. Adam's sin brought condemnation to death, Christ's provision brings justification to life. The word "justification" means to "declare righteous", or right. This takes more than forgiveness for what we have done.

Forgiveness is the removal of the guilt and the penalty of sin, but by this alone God could not justify the sinner. The crime or sin itself has to be dealt with. Let me illustrate, you may owe a bill that you cannot pay, the penalty may be that you spend some time in jail. The creditor may forgive you this bill so you no longer owe him and the penalty is cancelled; but the bill, though forgiven is still there. You could never be justified, declared to be right, though forgiven. Should another come along, when you were being forgiven, and pay your bill in full, then you could be declared justified. Freed, not only from the guilt and penalty, but from the very debt itself. It has been fully paid. Now the Lord Jesus Christ by a single act of dying for us has not only provided forgiveness, but has paid the debt in full, so now all who trust in him can be "justified unto eternal life". The guilt and its penalty is gone and the very sin itself has been "put away" Hebrews 9:26. The word "put away" in Hebrews 9:26 means "abolished."

Where are your sins?

All comments and questions to: Harold Smith

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Updated March 13th, 2014 by Sandra Felix