Summary: Justified. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:

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Reading: Romans chapter 3 verses 21-31.


There was a man, approaching middle age:

• Whose life was comfortable, but he felt an emptiness inside, a longing.

• So he decide to join a monastery.

The head monk told him that the road ahead would be difficult,

• He would have to give up all earthly possessions, pray constantly,

• And he would have to be totally silent.

• In fact, he could not speak at all, to anyone.

• He would only be allowed only to say two words every five years.

So the man joins and becomes “brother John” a silent monk,

• Five long years goes by,

• And he is sent for, and is interviewed by the senior brother,

• The senior brother looked at brother John and asked; "So, how is everything?"

• Brother John replied; "Bed hard".

• The senior brother responds, "Oh, I’m so sorry, we didn’t know”

• “We’ll take care of that right away”. And the bed is fixed.

Another five years goes by:

• Brother John is remains true to his vow and silent all this time:

• Then the senior brother sends for Brother John for his five year interview:

• He again asks "How are you, my son, is all OK?"

• Brother John replies, "Food cold",

The senior brother responds:

• "Oh, that is no good, we will take care of that problem right away”.

• And true to his word there is no more cold food."

Again, five more years goes by:

• Brother John is the ideal monk, he prays, he is silent.

• Again its time for Brother John’s five yearly interview.

• The senior brother asks him "How are you, are you OK?”

• To which Brother John replies "No, I quit".

The senior brother, shook his head and says:

• “This comes as no surprise,

• You’ve been here for fifteen years and all you’ve ever done is complain!"

Now I have been given license tonight:

• I can speak on the whole passage.

• Or I can choose one phrase or word and speak on that.

• So I am goining to be sparing with my language,

• And just choose one word

• The word I have chosen is “Justified”.

• You find it in verse 24, 26, 28, 30 of chapter 3.

• It also both starts off chapter 4 (verse 2).

• And finishes the chapeter (verse 25).

• The word also plays a key part in understanding chapter 5,

• Verse 1, 9.


Justified or justification is a thread woven through the next three chapters.

Question: What does it mean to be justified ?

Answer: By way of an illustration:

In a court of law there will come a time in the proceedings:

• Especially if it is a serious case and there is a jury involved,

• There comes a point towards the end of the trial,

• When the foreman of the jury is asked a question,

• He or she is asked, "Is the prisoner guilty or not guilty"

• If the foreman of the jury says not guilty:

• What that man or woman is doing is, justifying the person in the dock.

That’s precisely what the word ’justify’ or ’justified’ means:

• It is to tell out, to declare that;

• A person is not guilty, that the person who has been on trial is innocent.

• The foreman of the jury declares we have previously judged them to be wrong, guilty.

• But now we have discovered that they are right, they are innocent.

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