6. How can God remain just and justify the ungodly?
Why did Jesus have to die?

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How can God remain just and yet forgive a sinful individual?

How can God remain just and justify the ungodly?

The answer to that is why Jesus had to die. Join Josh McDowell as he explains this using Romans 3.


Why did Jesus have to die?

We are reading through Romans 3 verses 21 through 26.

It says now, “For all have sinned,” everyone has sinned, “and we fall short of the glory of God.”  And then it says, “…being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.”

The word “justified.”  What does that mean?

The word justified is a legal term.  It relates to the law, and it means this: to be justified means to be declared in the light of the law in this situation.

To be declared righteous!  So when somebody is justified, they are declared as righteous as Christ Himself.  Not made righteous.

Now what is a Biblical terminology for being made righteous?  You are right – “sanctification.”

Justification means declared righteous; sanctification means to be made righteous.

In other words, when He declares us as righteous as Christ Himself in the light of the law, He wants to make us live that righteousness out in our lives on a relationship with Him.

Then the Word of God says, “…through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.”  Highlight that word.  I am going to come back and deal with it. “…who God displayed publicly as a propitiation…” That is the second word.

Redemption and Propitiation, I am going to explain those two concepts and how it explains why Jesus had to die.

 “…as a propitiation in His blood through faith.  This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God, He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say of His righteousness at the present time.”

Now here is the predicament that God had “so that He would be just and justified of the one who has faith in Jesus.”

Here is the predicament.

How can God remain just and yet forgive a sinful individual who is far less righteousness than God Himself?

That is the question:  How can God remain just and justify the ungodly?

The answer to that is why Jesus had to die.


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1. What does Romans 3:21-26 say?
2. What does “justified” mean?
3. What does “justification” and “sanctification” mean?
4. What has God done to justify you so that you can be declared righteous, be sanctified and spend eternity with Him?
5. Why did Jesus have to die?


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