Living by Grace

Dedicated to providing guidance in daily living through the power of God's grace as experienced in our union with Christ.

That Other Justification

Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies.     Romans 8:33

When we received Jesus as Lord and Savior, God justified us. That is, as our Judge, God declared us to be righteous. The word “justifies” in Romans 8:33, however, is used in a different sense.

A prophetic statement of Jesus found in Isaiah 50:6-8 gives insight into the different sense of the word “justifies.” Jesus says:

I gave My back to those who struck Me, And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting. "For the Lord God will help Me; Therefore I will not be disgraced; Therefore I have set My face like a flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed. He is near who justifies Me; Who will contend with Me?   

Jesus did not need to be “justified” in the eyes of God. The words “I will not be disgraced,” “I will not be ashamed,” and “Who will contend with me” indicate that even though Jesus will die as a criminal, God will justify Him in the eyes of man. And the Father did so when He raised Jesus from the dead.

Romans 8:33 is part of a lengthy statement on suffering. Paul’s “Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God Who justifies” is almost a direct quote of the prophetic words of Jesus. Just as the Father justified Jesus in the eyes of man, He also, by divine intervention, justifies suffering believers in the eyes of man.

One of the chief accusations “the accuser of the brethren” brings against a person of God in suffering is that the professed believer has sin in his life or he would not be experiencing the suffering. Satan, however, does not limit himself to spreading lies about those who are suffering. He moves in all directions.

Satan’s targets, with his false accusations, are those who live out their union with Christ. His purpose is to destroy their Christian reputations because he knows that they are the ones who can do the greatest damage to his kingdom.

When Satan falsely accuses a child of God, God will justify his child in the eyes of others by His divine intervention.