Given the universal, pervasive sinfulness of human beings, how can anyone ever be in a right relationship with God? More particularly, how can a human being ever be in a right relationship with a holy God? More particularly still, how is it possible for a just God to justify a sinner? That is one of the greatest questions we can ever ask.
To those with light views of sin, the justification of human beings may seem relatively simple to achieve. God is all-powerful, they conclude, and, after all, it is God’s business to forgive.
Such trivializing of the issue signals the paucity of our understanding of who God is and what sin has done to our relationship with Him. God, Scripture declares, “will by no means clear the guilty” (Ex. 34:7; Nah. 1:3). The holiness of God requires that justice be done in clearing the guilty, something that cannot be accomplished merely by an act of God’s will.
Thus, the greatest issue of all time is the answer to the question that is before us: how is it possible for those who are guilty to be declared “not guilty”?
We come to Jesus Christ by faith, renouncing any confidence in our own ability to do anything worthy of God’s salvation. Rather, we trust only in Jesus’ sinless life, substitutionary death, and resurrection on our behalf. Every day, we must preach the gospel to ourselves and remind ourselves:
Nothing in my hands I bring
Simply to thy cross I cling.