“Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses.” (Acts 13:39, NIV84)
Volumes have been written on the doctrine of justification. Theologians make the distinction between “objective” and “subjective” justification. We speak of justification in the “broad” sense and in the “narrow” sense. With all of that, you can sometimes get cross-eyed and confused. But in our text for today Paul put it clearly and simply that in Jesus Christ we find ourselves justified (made right) with God in a way that the Old Testament moral and ceremonial law could never accomplish. The blood of a sacrificed animal was just not enough to atone for the sins of humanity. Attendance at enough worship services was never going to meet God’s requirement to love Him with our whole heart, mind, soul and strength.
Jesus’ life and death so fully atoned for our sins that we are viewed as justified (righteous) in God’s sight. But we are not just viewed as justified. We are truly justified because in God’s eyes our sins no longer exist. They were placed on Jesus and He paid the full price. This is why Jesus says, “If the Son sets you free you are free indeed.” There are no laws we have to fulfill. There are no hoops we have to jump through. Faith in Jesus is the only requirement to receiving the blessings offered through His life, death, and resurrection.
So, today, let’s not heap on any extra baggage. Let’s live in the peace and freedom found nowhere else but in Jesus.