Because of sin, every single one of us needs to be made right with God. We are estranged from God. We are condemned. We are in desperate need of reconciliation with the Living God who is there.
The Bible teaches us that a person can only be made right with God through faith in Jesus Christ (Gal 2:16). To be declared right before God is to be justified.
It is the shocking nature of grace and the gospel that we might become right with God not by any of our works, but by faith in Jesus Christ (Eph 2:8-10). We need to remember this when we consider our strengths and weakness, maturity and immaturity, and that of other Christians around us, otherwise we may become proud, disheartened, or fall into forms of a works-based righteousness.
A Christian who struggles to give generously is just as justified as a Christian whose life is marked by generous giving.
A Christian who rarely shares the gospel with others is just as justified as a Christian whose excels in evangelism.
A Christian who is infrequent in prayer is just as justified as a Christian who prays for hours a day.
A Christian who does not read the Bible daily is just as justified as a Christian who reads multiple times a day.
A Christian who is unfamiliar with systematic theology is just a justified as a Christian who has read volumes of theology.
A Christian who rarely engages in ministry to the poor or widows is just as justified as a Christian who is daily meeting their needs.
A Christian who is not involved in discipling others (helping them follow Jesus) is just as justified as a Christian who is active in discipleship.
Of course, as Christians we should strive to grow holiness and obedience to Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit, and if someone claims to be a Christian and has no good works their faith may be dead (Jas 2:17), but we must not forget that what justifies any Christian is solely faith in Jesus—not faith plus our works. It is faith alone in Christ alone by God’s grace alone.