Justification is God removing the guilt and penalty of our sin while at the same time declaring us, as sinners, righteous through Christ’s atoning sacrifice. Christ’s righteousness is credited to our account through faith alone.
I live between Washington, DC and Baltimore. Justice, in a legal sense, is elusive. Wrongs committed often go unpunished, leading to frustration, to say the least.
In God’s economy, forgiveness is wrapped up in justification, but so is justice. Yet we are not the ones paying for our own crimes. Jesus has already done that. Then our Father declares us clean and right with Him. God cannot abide with sin, but He longs to abide with us eternally. The only way to do that is to pay for the sin Himself, leaving us able to live forever with Him.
J is also for joy. I found out this week that my brother is cancer-free. After surgery, twelve weeks of chemo, and a short battle with sepsis, he will have no more drugs, no radiation—nothing.
I had a wonderful time visiting with him and my sister before Christmas. We ate too many Jack-in-the-Box Monster Tacos (which for some unearthly reason are not available this side of the Mississippi), and laughed too loud. He was still pretty weak so we watched a lot of TV movies. And when I left I wasn’t sure what would happen next. Now I’m looking forward to going back to see him again and going to the Imperial Beach pier (where even though we are still a mile north of the border my phone says “Welcome to Mexico”) for some extremely fresh and yummy fish and chips.
I thank God for giving my more years with my younger—but much bigger—brother.
Even if he is, as all younger brothers are, sometimes annoying.