To be justified is to declared legally righteous. It is a divine act where God declares the sinner to be innocent of his sins. It is not that the sinner is now sinless but that he is "declared" sinless. The sinner is not made righteous in that his soul is changed or that his soul is infused with God's grace. Instead, justification is a legal act of imputing the righteousness of Christ to the believer (Rom. 4:11; Phil. 3:9). This justification is based on the shed blood of Jesus, " . . . having now been justified by His blood . . . " (Rom. 5:9). When God sees the Christian, He sees him through the sacrifice of Jesus and "sees" him without sin. This declaration of innocence is not without cost, for it required the satisfaction of God's Law, " . . . without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness," (Heb. 9:22). By the sacrifice of Jesus and in the "one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men," (Rom. 5:18, NASB). In justification, the justice of God fell upon Himself--Jesus. We receive mercy; we are not judged according to our sins. And grace is shed upon us; we receive eternal life. This justification is a gift of grace (Rom. 3:24) and by faith (Rom. 3:28) because Jesus bore our guilt (Isaiah 53:12).