The literal meaning of Justification is to be declared righteous in the sight of God. It is an act of God, freely given or accounted to those who believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. By no other means, one could be justified and be righteous before God. So, it is grounded solely on the work of Christ. This righteousness of Christ is imputed in us, as we receive him by faith.
The Protestant understanding of justification is rejected by the Roman Catholics. They believe that believers also need to do good work. Faith in Jesus alone is not enough to be justified. For this reason, man must work for his own salvation. They mixed up Justification with Sanctification. Nevertheless, we do good work not be justified but it is the sole purpose and goal of Justification. Therefore, the righteousness of Christ is not infused in us but imputed in us.
In this passage from Galatians 2:11-21- Paul presents his biblical and theological argument in response of Peter’s unacceptable behavior. Peter, the one who God had chosen to share the gospel to a gentile, Cornelius (cf. Acts 15) was behaving in a way that was against the true gospel. Earlier, Peter was eating with the Gentiles but as soon as the Judaizers or circumcision group arrived; he snuck out from the gentile group and joined the latter group. This behavior also led Barnabas astray.
Paul was astonished at his hypocrisy and opposes him though Peter was a senior apostle. Paul says that Peter was not adhering to the true gospel, and though he was a Jew did not behave like one and so was unqualified to ask Gentiles to live like the Jews. Paul then presents his argument. Certainly Paul and Peter were Jews by nature and not ‘sinners from among the Gentiles’ (v. 15b). Gentiles were called sinners because they were believed to be born outside the Law, yet Paul added that Jews like Gentiles were saved or justified by faith in Jesus Christ and not by works of the Law. By writing this, Paul does not mean to suggest that Jesus was a promoter of sin since Jesus had made possible for Gentiles, the people outside the Law to come to faith without the Law. Paul absolutely does not want people to think this way. Continue reading Galatians 2:11-21-Justified by Grace through Faith