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God Justifies the Ungodly

The infinitely holy righteous Jehovah God justifies ungodly sinners.

That is the best news I have ever received.

Does that mean that God pronounces the sinner righteous, or makes a sinner righteous?

Justification is a forensic term meaning that God declares a sinner to be righteous. It is sanctification by which God makes the sinner righteous.

Let us be careful not to put the cart before the horse. Justification comes first. God justifies the sinner who acknowledges to himself and God that he is ungodly and cannot make himself right with God.

God justifies not the righteous, not good people, not holy people, but the ungodly.

All men by nature are ungodly. The very thought strikes against our sinful heart. It smites our conscience. To be ungodly is to be unlike God. This is the kind of person God justifies. It is a fact that no individual can do anything to deserve a right relationship with a perfectly holy God.

It is perfectly clear in God’s Word that every person is a sinner. No one lives up to the “light” that he has been given, even about God from nature (Rom. 1:18-23). We all stand guilty in His eyes.

“There is none that seeks after God.” The truth is we seek after our own selfish ways. We follow the desires of our selfish hearts (1:24-32). We always follow our sinful will until God in His sovereign grace intervenes.

This knowledge of God makes the sinner uncomfortable. The ungodly always think they can sin with immunity. “God will judge the other person, but not me.” In our magical thinking, we say surely He will not judge me.

God lets the sinful, rebellious heart seeks its fulfillment. Three times in Romans chapter one the apostle Paul says, “God gave them up” (1:24, 26, 28). The opening chapters of Romans describe the ungodly heart seeking its own free will. Paul demonstrates clearly just how far the ungodly will go in their pursuit of a sinful life style.

Men and women are lost without Christ. No one can save himself. Everyone needs the Savior because “the wages of sin is death” (6:23).

Philosophers and religious leaders cannot save themselves. Even if you have not been as bad as someone else has you still do not merit a right relationship with a holy and righteous God. The book of Romans hammers away at our self-deceit saying in effect, “You who judge others, you are doing exactly the same thing only you cover up and try to hide your sins from yourself and others. However, the fact is you are guilty before a holy God. You may not be as brazen as a Mafia leader or a gang leader, but you are still committing sins and trying to justify yourself.” 

The Bible declares, “There is none righteous, no, not one” (3:10). There are no exceptions. “No, not one.” All are under sin. Everyone is guilty. How many are righteous? “No, not one.” “There is none righteous, no, not one.” We have all sinned. “There is none that does good, no, not one.”

The truth is no one can help himself to be saved. We cannot cleanse our own hearts. We cannot make ourselves better, no matter how hard we may try. You cannot purify a cesspool of iniquity because “out of the heart proceeds evil thoughts, fornications, adultery,” etc. (Mk. 7:20-23).

The first thing we have to learn as ungodly sinners is there is nothing we can do to change ourselves. It is not our religious zeal, not our tears, not our pleading, or doing good religious deeds that can save us, or even help us to be saved. Nothing in ourselves can atone for our sins. Only God can save, and He alone. Thank God.

Selah!

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

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(c) 2006  Message by Wil Pounds. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.

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