A Story of Guilt


The fact that Jesus died in your place isn’t enough. You must acknowledge the transaction of justification for it to be complete.

Romans 3:21-28

Justification is a legal transaction in which a defendant is declared guilty but someone else steps in to pay the penalty, thus causing the judge to declare him or her innocent.

The Bible teaches we’ve all sinned (Romans 3.23) and are guilty of breaking away from God’s character for which the penalty is death (Romans 6.23). But God presented his own Son to fulfill our sentence. Our guilt is punished on the cross in the body of Christ—the Righteous for the unrighteous.

Justification is a legal transaction which requires an action from both parties. Jesus’ part was going to the cross in my place. My sin and punishment transfers to him and, astonishingly, his righteousness transfers to me (2 Corinthians 5.21). God gives Jesus to be my substitute, and nothing goes down on my record.

My part in the legal transaction is to say, “I accept his generous offer.” Just the fact that Jesus died in my place isn’t enough. I must acknowledge I personally accept it to complete the transaction.

Today, consider this overwhelmingly generous offer. If you haven’t completed the transaction by telling God you accept what Jesus did for you, then simply tell him. If you’ve accepted the offer, thank God you only need to receive it once to cover all of your sins—past, present, and future (1 Peter 3.18).

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