2nd December 2020
“That he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” Romans 3:26
Every created thing, every finite intelligence, must sooner be annihilated, than Jehovah can sacrifice, or suffer the slightest tarnish to come over any one of his eternal attributes. Yet God can be just, infinitely just, scrupulously just, unchangeably just,—and yet, preserving his attribute of justice unchanging and unchangeable, he can still be “the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” The way by which this was effected will take a countless eternity to understand, and a boundless eternity to admire and adore.
But what is meant by the expression, “the justifier?” “The justifier” means, that God can count man as righteous, can freely pardon his sins, can graciously accept his person, can impute to him righteousness without works, and can bring him to the eternal enjoyment of himself. And who is the character that he thus brings to himself by justifying him? “He which believeth in Jesus.” What simplicity, and yet what sweetness and suitability is there in the gospel plan! Say it ran thus, “That he might be just, and yet the justifier of him that worketh, that pleaseth God by his own performances, that produceth a righteousness satisfactory to the eyes of infinite purity.” Who then could be saved? Would there be a single soul in heaven? No; such a word as that would trample down the whole human race into hell. But when it runs thus, “That this is the mind and purpose of God, that this is his eternal counsel, which cannot pass away; that he is ‘the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus,’—the poor, the needy, the exercised, the tempted, the distressed, and the perplexed, that believe in Jesus, that look to Jesus, that lean upon Jesus, and rest in his Person, blood, righteousness, and love for all things; that these are justified, that these are pardoned, that these are accepted, that these are graciously received, and saved with an everlasting salvation,”—how sweet, how suitable, does the gospel that declares this become to the living, believing soul!
J. C. Philpot 1802-1869