Does Our Present Life Impact Our Final Justification?
Last week, we delved into the courtroom language that the Bible uses to describe how God declares us not guilty for our sins and mistakes. We discussed how, through the sacrifice of Jesus, our sins are washed away, and we are credited with His righteous life. This week, we’re going to explore another critical aspect of justification: the timing of this transformative act.
The question that arises is when exactly does this justification occur? Is it when we were born, when we pray and accept Jesus as our Savior, or when we stand before God in heaven? This is an essential question because it prompts us to reflect on our lives and consider the way we should live in light of our understanding of justification.
To shed light on this matter, let’s turn to a passage from Matthew chapter 12 in the Bible, where Jesus addresses the importance of leading a good, pure, and holy life that honors God. Two verses, Matthew 12:36-37, provide valuable insight:
The term “judgment” immediately evokes the imagery of a courtroom, with God as the ultimate Judge. In this passage, Jesus speaks to Christians, reminding them that their actions and words are not hidden from God. Every careless word, every hurtful statement, every unkind remark will be accounted for in the presence of God. Jesus makes it clear that we will be held responsible for the things we say and do.
Notably, Jesus emphasizes that it’s not just the words themselves that matter but the heart behind them. God knows the intentions and motivations that drive our actions and speech. Thus, when we stand before God, it’s not only our deeds and words that will be evaluated but also the condition of our hearts at the time.
This leads us to the question: “Does the way we live today impact our final justification when we stand before God in heaven?” This question prompts us to ponder the relationship between our present actions and their consequences in eternity.
To address this question, it’s crucial to recall what we learned in the previous week’s study. The blood of Jesus covers our sins, making us morally neutral before God. Furthermore, we receive the credit for the righteous life Jesus lived. However, does this mean that our actions and choices in the present have no bearing on our final justification?
The answer requires careful consideration and reflection. While we are justified through faith in Jesus, our actions and words play a significant role in our Christian journey. As followers of Christ, we are called to live in a way that honors God and aligns with His teachings. Our transformed lives should reflect the love and grace we have received through Jesus.
In Revelation chapter 20, we learn about the Great White Throne Judgment, where the books will be opened, and everything will be laid bare before God. Our words, actions, and the state of our hearts will be fully known. Thus, while our justification is not dependent on our ability to be perfect, our conduct does matter. Our lives should be characterized by love, kindness, and a pursuit of righteousness.
Ultimately, justification is both an event and a process. It begins with our acceptance of Jesus as Savior and continues as we strive to live a life that honors Him. Our faith in Jesus justifies us before God, but our actions demonstrate the authenticity of that faith.
So, to answer the question posed, the way we live today does indeed impact our final justification. Our choices and behaviors reveal the transformation taking place within us, and they have eternal significance.
As you ponder this question, I encourage you to discuss it openly with your family, friends, or small group. Delve into the Bible, seeking a deeper understanding of God’s Word and His plan for your life.
Let us remember that while we may stumble and make mistakes, God’s grace and love are ever-present, guiding us on our journey toward a life that reflects His righteousness. May we embrace this truth and strive to live a life that honors Him in all that we do.