Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. (Romans 5:9)
The word translated “justified” has a whole slew of related meanings.
First, it has a legal meaning. Legally speaking, it means that we are acquitted, absolved of all wrongdoing. We were on trial, but we were acquitted. That is very good news. Think of what a person being tried for murder might feel to find that he has been acquitted. Just try to imagine it. We also should feel that happy.
Second, we are not guilty.
Third, we are reckoned righteous.
Many people stop there. But I assure you that the full meaning of the word is more than that. We are also made righteous. The blood of Jesus not only causes us to be reckoned righteous, it actually makes us righteous.
Then, we are justified. This means it is “just-as-if-I’d” never sinned. We have been made righteous with the righteousness of Christ, which has no evil past and no shadow of guilt, and against which Satan cannot accuse us. We are made righteous with the right-eousness of Jesus. It is by Christ’s righteousness that we are justified. There is no guilt, no problem with the past. It has all been erased.