“Justification is a doctrine to live by each and every moment. It is a doctrine for the damned. There comes a day when every man, woman, and child must admit to being a hardened sinner, rotten to the very core, and deserving of God’s just wrath. When that day comes, the only hope is to come to Christ by faith alone.
Justification is also a doctrine for the doubtful. There are days in the life of every Christian when the whole thing seems rather implausible. Is it true that God loves me and has a wonderful plan for my life? Does he really care about me? When the doubts come, the believer goes back to the cross where Christ died to justify sinners and holds on to it by faith alone.
Justification is a doctrine for the discouraged, too. At times, things seem rather gloomy and hopeless. In fact, sometimes they seem altogether impossible, so that we wonder how we can make it through another day. But this is exactly why we need to preach the gospel to ourselves every day. As we get out of bed we say, “I know what my real problem is: I am a sinner living in a sinful world.” Then as we step into the shower we say, “Although I am a great sinner, I have an even greater Savior, who loved me and gave himself for me.” By breakfast time we are able to make it through the day, trusting in God’s grace alone.
The good news of the gospel is that even though we are lost and needy sinners, if we know Christ, then we are and always will be justified. Justification is much more than a great doctrine to die with, although it certainly is that. Justification by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone is also a wonderful doctrine to live by.”
-Philip Graham Ryken