Doctrine of Justification: Definition and Meaning

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Justification may be defined as ‘being declared just by court order’. When God is said to justify a man, it means that he has brought the case of trail before his divine judgment seat and after examining the case, he has pronounced the accused as free of all fault and blame altogether, righteous and pleasing in the sight of his holy law. In modern English, the word acceptance would also convey the meaning of justification.

Etymology

 Justification in Greek is Dikaiosis. The verb dikaioun means to justify.

  • It is drawn from Paul’s Jewish background and Old Testament image, denotes of relationship between God and human beings themselves. It denotes a societal or juridical relationship. Dikaiosis, e. a righteous person or upright person came to denote normally, one who stood acquitted or indicated before judge’s tribunal (Exodus 23: 7, 1kings 8: 32). The state of righteousness is to be achieved in the sight of Yahweh, the judge by observing the statutes of Mosaic Law.
  • Paul clearly affirms that the gratuitous and unmerited character of this justification of all humanity (Rom 3: 22-26). The process of justification begins in God who is upright and justifies the sinner as a result of what he has done for humanity. The sinner becomes dikaios, stands before God as upright and acquitted.

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