Justification is About Justice

1. In Hebrew, righteousness and justice share the same word and are connected linguistically. Likewise in the New Testament, righteousness and justification share the same Greek word; thus, these words must be understood in the context of their Hebrew background. Carefully observe these passages and discuss what you see in their relationship. Can you think of another word that describes "justify?" What is the opposite of condemn?

"If there is a dispute between men and they go to court for judgment, and the judges judge their case, and they justify the righteous and condemn the wicked, (Deut 25:1, LSB)

But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." (Matt 12:36-37, LSB)

2. Throughout the Bible, salvation is often viewed in legal terms. Do you understand all these key terms? Who does God consider righteous? Who is seeking justice? How do you become righteous?

So you will return and see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him. (Mal 3:18, LSB)

But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith, for a demonstration of His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (Rom 3:21-26, LSB)

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