The justification of the believer is absolute, complete, final. “It is God that justifieth” (Rom. 8:33), and “I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it” (Eccl. 3:14). So absolute and inexorable is this blessed fact that, in Romans 8:30 we are told, “Whom He justified, them He also glorified”: notice it is not simply a promise that God “will glorify,” but so sure and certain is that blissful event, the past tense is used. “Them He also glorified” is speaking from the standpoint of the eternal and unalterable purpose of God, concerning which there is no conditionality or contingency whatsoever. To be “glorified” is to be perfectly conformed to the lovely image of Christ, when we shall see Him as He is and be made like Him (1 John 3:2). Because God has determined this, He speaks of it as already accomplished, for He “calleth those things which be not as though they were” (Rom. 4:17).
So far as the believer is concerned, the penal side of the sin question has been settled once and for all. His case has been tried in the supreme court, and God has justified him: in consequence thereof the Divine decision is “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). Once those very persons were under condemnation—“condemned already” (John 3:18); but now that their faith has united them to Christ there is no condemnation. The debt of their sin has been paid by their great Surety; the record thereof has been “blotted out” by His cleansing blood. “It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth” (Rom. 8:33, 34). Who will reverse His decision! Where is that superior tribunal to which this cause can be carried? Eternal justice has pronounced her fiat; immutable judgment has recorded her sentence.
It is therefore the bounden duty of those who profess to have been justified by God to diligently and impartially examine themselves, to ascertain whether or not they have in them those spiritual graces which always accompany justification. It is by our sanctification, and that alone, that we may discover our justification. Would you know whether Christ fulfilled the law for you, that His obedience has been imputed to your account? Then search your heart and life and see whether a spirit of obedience to Him is daily working in you. The righteousness of the law is fulfilled only in those who “walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom. 8:4). God never designed that the obedience of His Son should be imputed to those who live a life of worldliness, self-pleasing, and gratifying the lusts of the flesh. Far from it: “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17). -A.W. Pink