A Sermon on Romans 3:20
For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. (ESV)
Imagine that you were on trial for a crime that you committed. The odds are all stacked against you and they have pronounced you guilty. The law rightly condemns us as guilty. However, when the judge is set to announce the punishment, he says that you are free! This is exactly what Paul explains justification is like. It is a legal term, a declaration that Christ no longer condemns us and regards us as righteous. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains that it is not that we are righteous; it is a removal of sin and a pronouncement from the Lord that he considers us righteous. Paul understands that the Jews had fallen into a trap, thinking that they were able to be justified by the law that they were given. However, God gave the law to show how truly sinful we are and how we are in need of a Savior. Dr. Lloyd-Jones further illustrates how the word justification is used throughout Scripture and how the Roman Catholics defined the word. He makes interesting points of how the modern day Christian generally does not understand the definition of many key words used throughout scripture. Dr. Lloyd-Jones also cross-examines how justification and sanctification are different.