All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
In order that lost sinners could be made fit for God’s presence and His glory, a fundamental change had to take place. They could not be justified without it. And yet justification is free. It is a free gift of God’s grace. How does it happen?
The pre-requisite for the justification of sinners is redemption on the ground of Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice. That is the righteous basis on which God forgives guilty sinners. In addition, they are pronounced free from all guilt. God declares them righteous. This is the meaning of justification. A sinner has not the slightest right to it; he deserves the very opposite: condemnation. Only those people obtain justification who place their trust on Christ. This was stated in verse 22. All have sinned, but not all are justified. Yet the offer applies to all.
Jesus Christ’s work of redemption is the basis for every blessing that God offers and grants mankind. Through Him alone they have “redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7). This makes clear that although justification and redemption for every sinner are free of charge, for Christ Himself our redemption was not without its price. He had to pay the highest price: it cost Him his life and His blood!