For clarification purposes I would like to define the words justification and faith.
- Justification, is a judicial term that simply means to declare righteous. It means to be acquitted from all charges brought against a person because of his or her sins.
According to Romans 3:23 all of humanity is guilty of sin in the eyes of God (Genesis 3:16) thus humanity is condemned. But in verse 24 Paul writes that because of God’s grace we are redeemed by Jesus Christ through faith. Jesus took our place and received the punishment and condemnation that we all deserved by his death on the cross. Thus our justification is by grace (unmerited favor) through faith because it is not based on anything we did.
- Faith, is the strong conviction or belief in something. In this instance it is a strong conviction or belief in Jesus.
Justification is not universal in the sense that everyone is justified; however according to verse 25 justification is only imparted on those who put their faith in Jesus Christ. Faith has become the key to being made right with God. Faith is of such great importance that Paul refers to faith eight times in ten verses.
Paul sets the record straight here for both Jews and Gentiles. He is clearly states that we are now in a new era in regards to salvation. Salvation is not on works nor by keeping the law; instead it’s through faith in Jesus Christ and completely by God’s grace. Paul informs the Jew that keeping the law means nothing when it comes to redemption. Paul is releasing the Jew from the law and freeing the Gentile from the idea of works based salvation and introduces both to the truth of justification by grace through faith. Since justification and faith are key to salvation neither Jew nor Gentile has room to boast. They, and we for that matter, have done nothing to merit salvation.