Understanding Justification


READ: 1 Timothy 1:12 - 15

JUSTIFICATION: To be justified means to be legally acquitted. It has been translated into Pigeon English as "He-say-him-all-right". Basically justification is the legal process by which the guilty may be set totally free, as if they never committed the crime. The Bible teaches us that we are justified "by grace through faith" because of Jesus' death on the cross. We are going to pray on five points from the Apostle Paul's personal testimony.

FORMERLY: This is a key word in understanding justification. When someone knows they are justified it means they can talk about their past as if it has no bearing on the present. Paul says "I was formerly a blasphemer ..." (v13). He knows that the labels of the past no longer apply. Let's praise God for the truth of what He has done for each one of us. Let's thank Him that each one of us is a "new creation" in Christ Jesus.

MERCY: God is a merciful God and Paul sets his "justification" in the context of God's mercy (v13). Let's praise God for His mercy and thank Him that He does not treat us in the way we deserve. Let's pray that other people's ideas about God will also change so that they understand His mercy.

IGNORANTLY: To admit ignorance with regard to our past can do serious damage to our pride. Paul links ignorance and unbelief in his own life (v13). Let's take a humble look at our own past and realise that if God can get a breakthrough with us He can certainly get a breakthrough with others. Let's pray that our friends, families, neighbours and colleagues who do not yet know the Lord will have such a breakthrough. Let's pray too for a real release from any judgemental attitude we might have towards others.

GRACE: Paul says that the Lord's grace towards him was "exceedingly abundant, with faith and love..." (v14). God is so willing to pour out all of His goodness upon us. Let's pray for an increasing realisation of the faith and love of Jesus in our own lives.

CAME TO SAVE: Paul makes it plain that the main reason for Jesus coming to this world was to bring salvation (v15). Let's pray for ourselves that, like Paul (v16), we may be a real means of winning others to the Lord Jesus. Let's take time to pray specifically for others in this.