24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
Now we come to a few qualifications to justification. Justification is
By God’s grace
In the sphere of who Christ Jesus is
freely [without charge]
God justifies “freely.” He declares us as righteous as He is righteous as a free gift or without charge. Man has no grounds of appeal to God by his own works. He is entirely dependent upon God’s grace. God’s salvation is a gift, not a reward. A gift is something someone gives us; it is something unearned and not merited. Because justification is free, it must be accepted by faith. We do not earn a gift.
The word “freely” occurs nine times in the New Testament: We translate it “without price,” “without return,” and “without cause.” God justifies us without any cause in us.
Jn 15: 25 But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, “They hated Me without a cause.”
Re 21: 6 And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.”
Rev 22: 17 And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.
God’s gift of salvation is unearned, unmerited, and undeserved.
Merit and grace are mutually exclusive. The true cause of our salvation is in something other than ourselves. There is nothing in us that recommends us to God. God gives us salvation when we deserve hell. Even our faith comes from God. That means God justifies us “freely.”
Ep 2: 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Salvation is not a reward for our faith. It is entirely God’s work; we receive it by faith.