Acts 13:39 – and by him everyone who believes is justified from all things, from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.
There’s a few words that the Bible uses that aren’t usually a part of our everyday language – words like sanctified, justified, redeemed etc. But when we understand what these words mean it can really help us grasp what God has done for us.
In this verse we read that by Christ, everyone who believes is JUSTIFIED from all things, and that we could not be JUSTIFIED by the law of Moses. What does it mean to be justified?
Most word processing programs like Microsoft Word have a series of buttons that let you align the text. You can centre it, or push it left or right. But there’s one button which is called ‘justified’. When you click, it pushes out the edges of your text to the margins, giving a nice even flow down the page.
It’s not a bad illustration of what it’s like when God justifies us. The page margins are like perfection, and the words we type are like our thoughts and deeds. They don’t measure up to perfection, often falling short. But when God justifies us, it’s like He makes up the missing difference to make us perfect.
The law of Moses can only point out our sin, showing us where we fall short. It has no power to make us righteous or to clean us up. But through His sacrifice on the cross, Christ now JUSTIFIES us – and even if we fall short – by His grace and mercy HE makes up for it and presents us before God the Father as perfect.