QUESTION: In your Statement of Belief under the
subject of Salvation, it speaks of something called
ďjustificationĒ, as in we are justified. What does this
term mean? How are we justified?
The answer for your question is found in our booklet, "Saved
By Grace, OR is there something we must DO to enter the
Kingdom of God?"
This booklet is located at our web site at:
Here is an excerpt from that booklet:
What is "Justification"?
Your dictionary says the word "justify" means: "To
show to be just or right...to clear of blame or guilt; to
My dictionary even has a biblical meaning: "Justification by
faith: freedom from the penalty of sin through faith in
(The World Book Encyclopedia
Dictionary). As I write, I have a feature on my
word processor which justifies the
margins on the page. That is, it forces all the letters at
the beginning or the end (or both, if I desire) of a line to
square; perpendicular. The word "rectified," or the
expression "made right" means the same thing as "justified."
When we are wrong, we need to be "made right." When
we are sinners, we need to be "justified." Justification
means the forgiveness of sins that are past. It has to do
with the removal, through Godís grace, of our past sins!
When we repent of sin, which is the breaking of Godís
laws, God says He will forgive us. When He has forgiven us,
we are then justified: made right, straightened out,
Then what? Does this mean we are then free to go out
and do the very same things we just repented of? Of course
not! However, when we have been forgiven, God expects us to
live a life of overcoming!
Here is a most vital point concerning the "grace
versus works" arguments of so many nominal Christians.
have become convinced that there is nothing they must do in
order to be saved. Instead of understanding that salvation
as the result of Godís loving grace, and that His grace
forgives us from our past sins, they believe there is no
toward God required! Some have gone so far as to say once
they have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, they cannot sin!
How utterly ridiculous! Because one has believed
Jesus Christ died for our sins; believed he or she should
Him as Savior, does this mean that lying, cheating,
stealing, or even murder are completely overlooked?
Never forget that repentance and the forgiveness of
sins is but the first step in becoming a child of God! Why
Jesus Christ urge us to overcome if there is nothing further
we must do once we have accepted Him as Savior?
He said, "And he that overcometh, and keepeth my
works unto the end, to him will I give power over the
"And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the
vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as
received of my Father" (Revelation 2:26, 27). Keeping
Christís works unto the end means holding fast to His
and His example. It means not only believing in the mighty
works He accomplished here on earth, but continuing in His
work during our entire Christian lifetime.
Over and over again, your Bible says we must live a
life of struggling against sin; a life of striving to
Some of Christís most important parables dealt with
how we are to overcome. Christ showed that God judges each
of us according to our own individual talents and abilities;
that each of us is to be rewarded in His Kingdom according
what we do with what we have.
Notice, "He said therefore, A certain nobleman went
into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to
"And he called his ten servants, and delivered them
ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
"But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after
him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.
[Note this carefully! They
would not obey. They detested government!].
"And it came to pass, that when he was returned,
having received the kingdom, then he commanded these
be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he
might know how much every man had gained by trading.
"Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath
gained ten pounds.
"And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant:
because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou
over ten cities.
"And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath
gained five pounds.
"And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five
"And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy
pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin:
"For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man:
thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that
didst not sow.
"And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I
judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an
austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping
that I did not sow:
"Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the
bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with
"And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him
the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.
"(And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.)
"For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath
shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he
be taken away from him.
"But those mine enemies, which would not that I
should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before
This is a profound parable. Clearly, Christ showed
that the man who doubled his money with only five pounds (the
English Bible uses the English "pound sterling" instead of
dollars, or Hebrew coin)
accomplished just as much
as the man who doubled his money with ten pounds. The only
difference was in their natural gifts; their natural several
The attitude of the enemies was one of rebellion
against laws. They resented any rulership over them. Christ
shows those who rebel against God as the RULER are to be
Notice that each one of the servants was GIVEN a
certain amount. Salvation is GIVEN of God through Christís
sacrifice. But once God has freely GIVEN us forgiveness and
salvation because of His loving grace and mercy, He
expects us to live a life of overcoming. The servants were
each given a gift of money. They didnít earn it. But after
receiving the free gift, they were expected to produce; to
use the gift they had received.
The parable clearly shows that we are to "Grow in
grace and knowledge"; that we are to overcome when we have
The parable of the "talents" is a similar example
In the famous "Sermon on the mount," Jesus Christ
showed there is struggle and difficulty involved in
He clearly showed some would seek to enter in to His
kingdom, and would not be able. His words are completely
incompatible with the concept of "no works" following our
repentance and baptism.
Christ said, "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for
wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to
many there be which go in thereat:
"Because strait [meaning
difficult, tortuous] is the gate, and narrow is
the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there
be that find it" (Matthew 7:13, 14). A little later in this
passage, He said, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord,
shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth
the will of my Father which is in heaven.
"Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we
not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out
devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
"And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you:
depart from me, ye that work iniquity [lawlessness]"
These rebellious, lawless ones have works, whether
they know it or not, but their works are "works of
or rebellion toward Godís laws, not the good works God wants
to see in our lives.
Millions call Jesus Christ "Lord." They continually
speak of how they "love the Lord," and become emotional
"praising the Lord." Jesus Christ asks of all these: "And
why call ye me ĎLord, Lordí and DO NOT THE THINGS
WHICH I SAY?" (Luke 6:46).
See our other letter on the subject