|“…for by works of the law shall no flesh be justified” (Galatians 2:16c).
“…for in thy sight shall no man living be justified” (Psalm 143:2).
Our Lord suffered in His death for our disobedience. In His life His obedience to the law was perfect. Since the Law was perfect (revealing the heart and mind of God), it says that any who break it is condemned to death. Jesus Christ is and was the only One who ever obeyed all points of the law perfectly and obediently. All that is required of us to be justified, therefore, is to acknowledge our sin and helplessness. We are to repent of our life of self-assertion and self-righteousness, and to put our whole trust and confidence in the finished work of Christ to save us.
Faith in Jesus Christ is more than intellectual consent only, but personal commitment. We believe “into” Christ Jesus. It is through faith we are justified. The law kills but faith in Christ makes alive. “For it is through the law I die to the law, so that I might live to God” (Gal. 2:19). The law slays but Christ saves. So we have no good works we can do to earn justification. Because the works we do, under the law, only condemn us to death; while faith in Christ bypasses the law of condemnation for us but trusts in Christ who died according to the law for us, who did not bypass the law but died our death’s penalty.
Salvation is an act of committal, not just assenting to the fact that Jesus Christ lived and died, but running to Him for refuge and calling unto Him for His mercy. Justification is not only a legal fact when we are saved in Christ, whereby we are declared righteous by a holy God; it is also a transforming experience through a living identification with Christ. By union with Christ we are radically transformed; we can no longer go back to our old life, for in Christ we are “a new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17). We are saved by the faith of Christ: past, present, and future.