"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" (Romans 3:24-26).
An outside observer viewing the relationship between God and man before the advent of the Lord Jesus Christ would surely come to the conclusion that "never the twain shall meet."
"Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that he will not hear" (Isaiah 59:2).
The Lord Jesus made possible the justice of God to be served, while concurrently making possible the justification of those who believe. God's wrath upon sin was fully exhausted upon the smitten Lamb of God on the cross of Calvary. "He is the propitiation not for our sins only, but for the sins of the whole world" (I John 2:2). God can therefore offer pardon, redemption and even birth into "the whole family of Heaven and earth" without violating the propriety of His character, nature and way. Indeed, "the wages of sin is death," and a death sentence was served - "Christ died for our sins" (Romans 6:23; I Corinthians 15:3).
Upon this basis, "all that believe are justified from all things" (Acts 15:39). Indeed, to the degree the Lord Jesus was forsaken on the cross of Calvary, we are "accepted in the Beloved" (Ephesians 1:6). To the degree He bore the wrath of God, we receive the loving favor of God - "Brethren, beloved of the Lord" (II Thessalonians 2:13). To the degree darkness descended upon and into the depths of our Savior's spirit, the light of God shines upon and within us - "Now are ye light in the Lord" (Ephesians 5:8). And to the degree He died, we are "alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:11).
Justice and justification are proportional, as it were. Biblical understanding of how perfectly the Lord's suffering and death atoned for our sins results in our apprehending and accessing just how redeemed we are. This produces in the heart and mind of the born again believer genuine love, devotion and desire to trust and obey God. Conversely, failure to realize the effectiveness of Christ's atoning work on the cross results in a creeping spiritual paralysis and discouragement as the bright sunlight of our Father's grace-bestowed favor is hidden by clouds of ignorance and unbelief. Again, to the degree Divine justice was served on the sinless One who was nevertheless "made to be sin for us," Divine justification envelops the trusting heart with acceptance in the Beloved (II Corinthians 5:21). Growing knowledge of such wonder bears a growing harvest of genuine and impassioned love for so great and so glorious a Savior, resulting in growing expression of "the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:11).
"Ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."
(I Corinthians 6:11)