I suspect that most people have limited their understanding of justification based upon how it relates to Biblical or religious doctrines. But it’s really not a church thing, even though most doctrinal statements include something about it. If you really want an accurate picture of justification, all you need to do is remember how often you have explained your actions away in order to avoid the consequences. Yeah, you want others to think you are right, don’t you? And you’ll keep trying, even if you have to lie about it. You’ve heard others do the same thing, haven’t you?
The truth is that if you were to listen with unbiased ears, you would hear people justifying and/or validating themselves, just like you have, in most every conversation or argument at any given time of the day. In fact, humanity is obsessed with the need to prove itself right. Legal arguments might fill the courtrooms of the world, but the obsession also reveals itself every time an umpire makes what might be considered a questionable call. What makes us all so crazy? Wouldn’t you love to silence that constant urge to justify or validate yourself and your opinions? This is the meaning behind the justification provided by Jesus Christ on the cross.