Justification by faith is a key doctrine that separates Christianity from others. It is by our faith in Jesus Christ that we are justified in the eyes of God. From the beginning God had a salvific plan for humanity. After Adam and Eve sinned God mentions the plan for the first time. That passages is Genesis 3:15, and is known as the protoevangelium, or first gospel. That passage of scripture states, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” In this passage two aspects of Christianity are thus introduced. One is the sinfulness of man, and the need for a savior.
The sinfulness of man is what makes fulfilling the law of God impossible. We are inclined to sin, and are therefore unworthy of entering into the presence of a Holy God. But as previously stated God had a plan. This is something I call the divine rescue mission. According to Romans 3:23 we have all sinned and fallen short. It is this falling short that makes it impossible for us to work our way into Heaven. Every good work we do is negated by one sin. However Jesus Christ came into the word to die for our sin, and through that sacrifice we are seen as righteous in the eyes of God. We have to accept this gift of God through faith.
Let’s take a look at some of the passages that speak of faith in Christ as a means of justification. The first is John 3:16 which states, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” This passage speaks of belief as being the only requirement to gain eternal life. In other words, Jesus paid it all. He was our substitute, and through faith in him we gain entrance to his eternal kingdom. This concept is echoed again in Romans 3:24, “being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.” Our redemption is a gift from God through Jesus Christ. God set the standard that the way is through his son. No other way is good enough to get to Heaven.
Justification through faith is the only way to gain peace with God. This is stated explicitly in Romans 5:1, “therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” How is this peace with God gained? It is only gained through faith in Jesus Christ. There is nothing wrong with righteous deeds, but those are the fruit of our faith, not the requirement. This is mentioned in Romans 10:4 which states, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”
There are many more examples in scripture that can be cited as to why Faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven. As previously mentioned righteous deeds are great, and are encouraged. However they will not save us because that debt has already been paid for when we put our faith in Christ. In Galatians 2:16 the Apostle Paul writes, “nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified.” If you have not accepted Christ I encourage you to look over the passages that were discussed. Have you put your faith in Christ, or are you trying to prove yourself to God? If we are trying to prove ourselves we will eventually mess up and nullify things. Trust Jesus Christ, put your faith in him, and receive his grace and salvation.