JUSTIFICATION is an act of God’s free grace. God pardons all our sins and accepts us as righteous in His sight. Only by the righteousness of Jesus Christ imputed (accredited to our account) to us, and received by faith alone (The faith imparted by the Holy Spirit) without the deeds of the law are we saved.
What then must a sinner do to be saved? He must believe in and rest upon Jesus Christ the Savior who was, by imputation, made sin for us, that we by a similar exchange, might be made the righteousness of God in Him. This saving faith will produce a life of submission to the Holy Spirit bringing forth fruit unto God.
The Pharisee, (law keeper) however, goes about to establish his own righteousness, rather than embrace the biblical way of salvation by submitting to the righteousness of God the Son. The Pharisee adds his work to the cross. He thinks he has to work to be saved and work to keep his salvation too! This is a false teaching.
We can do nothing to earn salvation and we can do nothing to keep it. Those in Christ HAVE BEEN MADE FREE from the law of sin and death for what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God sent his Son who was made in the likeness of flesh to die on the cross and condemn sin in his body of flesh so that we might be MADE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD THROUGH CHRIST JESUS. (paraphrase)
Those in Christ are new creatures. Born from above and created to perform good works for God according to his will for each of us.
“‘It is God that justifieth; who is he that condemneth?’ Rom 8:33-34.
‘And it is Jesus that justifieth all His redeemed, by His blood and righteousness; for He was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification; Rom 4:25.
“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputed not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.” Psalm 32:1-2
“To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:19
“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21
“But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification and redemption:” 1 Corinthians 1:30
“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” Galatians 2:16
“Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” Romans 3:24-28
Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” Romans 4:6-8
“And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification.” Romans 4:22-25
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:” Romans 5:1
“For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness of everyone that believeth.” Romans 10:3-4
“Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” Romans 5:9
“Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” Romans 5:18-19
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” Ephesians 2:10
In conclusion, Justification (to be made right with God) is by faith alone without the deeds of the law. Without any good works at all! To add works or behavior to the cross is to fall from grace. In other words those who are relying on their own righteousness are not in grace and have no salvation. You cannot work to keep your salvation either! IT IS FINNISHED!