Justification is a key doctrine in Christianity. The basic problem is: (1) all human beings are sinners and (2) God is holy and must judge sin. Justification has to do with how God justifies sinners (declares them to be righteous) so that they can be accepted by Him. The following is one of many verses that address this doctrine.
Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Let’s break it down. First, humans cannot be declared righteous on the basis of obeying the law (meaning the Law of Moses). The Law has no power to justify anyone before God. Rather, it points out the sin in our lives and makes us recognize our need for a savior.
Romans 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
Galatians 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Second, justification only comes through faith in Jesus Christ. God in His grace, sent His Son as a perfect sacrifice to die for our sins. If we accept Jesus’ payment for our sends, God in His mercy declares us righteous on the basis of His Son. In other words, God no longer sees the unholy sinner, but sees His perfect Son standing in the sinner’s place. Since His Son is acceptable to Him, he accepts the sinner.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Titus 3:5-7 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
There are many other passages in the Bible that speak of this great truth. How does God justify sinners? Through His Son Jesus Christ. There is no other way.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.