Justification

Reading: Romans 4

13 It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.

22 This is why ‘it was credited to him as righteousness.’ 23 The words ‘it was credited to him’ were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness – for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

Death is, to be sure, the irrevocable bitter end for body and soul. It is the wages of sin, and the remembrance of it is necessary (Psalms 39 and 90). On the other side of death, however, is the eternal God (Psalms 90 and 102). Therefore not death but life will triumph in the power of God. . . . We find this life in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and we ask for it in this life and in that to come.

Psalms

Thought

Christ died for our sins; he was raised for our justification (Rom 4:25). Christ’s death was the judgment of death on us and our sins. Had Christ remained in death, this judgment of death would still be in force and we would still be in our sins (1 Cor. 15:17). But because Christ was raised from death, the judgment on us has been lifted, and we are resurrected with Christ (1 Cor 15:20-23). This is so because we are in Jesus Christ by virtue of the adoption of our human nature in the incarnation. What happens to him happens to us, for we are adopted by him. That is not a judgment of experience but a judgment of God that must be acknowledged through faith in God’s word.