Galatians 2:16…we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.
AA Job asking“How should [a] man be just with God?” A was a vital question because the answer determined eternal consequences. God answered “Believe in the Lord” & “The just shall live by his faith”B; it was this truth that liberated Martin Luther from religious bondage and fear. Three New Testament books quote Habakkuk. C
But what is “justification”? Wiersbe said; “Justification is the act of God whereby He declares the believing sinner righteous in Jesus.”
 Justification is an act and not a process. “Having therefore been once-and-for-all justified by faith, we have peace with God” D. Since we are justified by faith, it is an instant and immediate transaction between the believing sinner and God. If we were justified by works, then it would have to be a gradual process.
 Justification is an act of God; not the result of man’s character or works. “God is the one who justifies” E. It is not by doing the “works of the Law” that the sinner gets a right standing before God, but by putting his faith in Jesus. The Law was given to reveal sin and not to redeem from sin F. God in His grace exchanged the believer’s sin for the righteousness of Jesus G.
 In justification, God declares the believing sinner righteous; the new Disciple has Jesus; If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.G1 The new Disciple becomes a child of God and co-heir with Jesus G2. Before the sinner trusts Christ, he stands GUILTY before God; but the moment he trusts Christ, he is declared NOT GUILTY and he can never be called GUILTY again! H
 God justifies sinners, not “good people.” Paul declares that God justifies “the ungodly” I. The reason most sinners are not justified is because they will not admit they are sinners! And sinners are the only kind of people Jesus Christ can save J.
 Justification leads to a changed life because the new Disciple loves Jesus and is not obeying out of duty. When the new Disciple sins, their fellowship with Jesus is broken but not their relationship as a family member and when they claim the promise of forgiveness in 1 John 1:9 fellowship is restored.
Am I trying to mix Law and grace?
Notes: AA- Much of this post is from Warren Wiersbe’s Bible Exposition Commentary Volume 1, pp. 694-695; A- Job 9:2 KJV; B- Genesis 15:6 NKJV, Habakkuk 2:4 NKJV); C- Romans 1:17 NKJV , Galatians 3:11 NKJV and Hebrews 10:38 NKJV; D- Romans 5:1, literal translation by Wiersbe; E- Romans 8:33; F- Romans 3:20; G- 2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 8:10; G2- Romans 8:16-17;
H- Justification is not simply “forgiveness,” because a person could be forgiven and then go out and sin and become guilty. Once you have been “justified by faith” you can never be held guilty before God.
Justification is also different from “pardon,” because a pardoned criminal still has a record. When the sinner is justified by faith, his past sins are remembered against him no more, and God no longer puts his sins on record (Psalms 32:1-2; Romans 4:1-8). I- Romans 4:5; J- Matthew 9:9-13; Luke 18:9-14;