DE MARIA September 29, 2013 at 7:51 am
There are two valid definitions for “Justification”.
1. The forgiveness of sins
2. A declaration of righteousness
The first is accomplished in the Sacraments, when our sins are washed away as we call upon His name (Acts 22:16).
The second is accomplished at the Judgment Seat of Christ where we will pay for all that we have done in the Body, whether good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10).
The first is also what Scripture calls justification by grace (Romans 3:24). And justification by faith apart from works (Gal 2:16). It is the reason why we walk on Mt. Sion with the Saints (Heb 12:22-24). It is the advantage which Christians who are baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit have over all other nations and creeds. The Sacraements are pre-Judgment events.
But the second is the basis of all justification.
a. Because only those who believe God’s promises will be justified by God in the Sacraments (Mark 16:16; 1 Cor 11:28-29).
b. And only those who prove their faith by works of love will be justified by God (Romans 2:13; Gal 5:6).
c. And of course, it is the basis of our justification before the Just Judge on the Last Day, when God will bring to light what all men have done:
1 Corinthians 4:5
Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.