Thou Mayest Be Justified Is. 43:25-26 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In Is 43:25-26 we see a very insightful passage dealing with justification. As we preach this text, keep in mind that there is a vast difference between your true justification before the Lord and your perceived justification before men. You are often much more concerned about how you are perceived before men than you are about how you really stand before God. As this text says, thou mayest be justified when:
You put the Lord in remembrance – “put me in remembrance” – justification is something between you and the Lord – if you are justified before the Lord then it doesn’t make any difference whether men are persuaded that you are justified – because once you are justified with the Lord you are reconciled to him – the trouble is that most people are only concerned about their justification before men – they spend their time keeping their reputation up before men and they are not aware that, while men may judge them, these same men cannot justify them – only the Lord can do that – so anytime that you are facing a question about your character or your adherence to the law or any such matter, always remember the Lord first and make sure how you stand before him – the Pharisees who justified themselves before men were abomination in the sight of God [Lk 16:15] – Jesus, on the other hand, who was despised and rejected of men was justified before God [Is 53:3; 1 Tim 3:16].
You plead together with the Lord – “let us plead together” – when you stand to plead your case you want to make sure that the Lord is standing there with you – I’m thinking about court, for instance, when a man pleads before the judge – he often pleads his innocence when, in truth, he is guilty – it is his constitutional right to place the burden of proof on the prosecutor – but, as God is his witness, if he wants to be justified before the Lord, he must plead together with the Lord – that is, he must plead truthfully – in truth the Lord can extend him mercy [Prov 16:6] – I have seen many times before when a person is honest with the judge the judge is lenient with the defendant and the defendant is instructed in a way that keeps him out of trouble in the future – when it comes to justification you need to plead together with the Lord and admit your true state before him [Lk 18:10-14].
You have your sins blotted out by the Lord – “I am he that blotteth out thy transgressions” – and notice that he blots these sins out for his sake [“mine own sake”] – ultimately, when it comes to justification, you need to be clear with the Lord – you need to reconcile truthfully with the Lord before you ever consider your justification before men – when you come to church, for instance, and pretend to be all pious before men, you will never reconcile with God until you “declare” your wickedness truthfully to him and turn from your sin [Prov 28:13] – this is what happens when you confess to the Lord [1 Jn 1:9] – if you think you are justified before God just because you have men believing that you are living in a right relationship with God you are dead wrong – religions all over the world have devised rituals to give men the impression that by keeping these rituals men are justified with God and have hope of an after-life with him – nothing could be further from the truth – on the other hand, when your sins are blotted out by the Lord, then you are truly justified with God – and that, my friend, is what really counts.
Conclusion: If you believe that you are justified with God because you have fulfilled some religious requirements of men, you are not justified – if you believe you are justified because you have convinced men that you are just, you are not justified with God – you are only justified in Christ – be justified with God first and then live your life in accordance with your justification.