AA asks a good question:
My question is, did the Mosaic Law make provisions for justification? For instance, something like a sacrificial offering of some sort that would justify a person.
How would an unjustified person relate to the Law? For that matter, how would a justified person relate to the law? I hope this makes sense. Thank you.
The Mosaic Law had no provision for justification. The sacrificial system was not designed for anyone to be justified. It showed Jews their sin problem and pointed them to the coming Messiah who would die for their sins.
Jews were under the Law of Moses for moral, ceremonial, and civil matters.
A justified Jew related to the Law in the same way an unjustified Jew did. Saul of Tarsus was an unjustified Jew who was blameless in terms of the way other Jews viewed him, as well as the way he viewed himself.
In the OT those called righteous are those living righteously. That term is never used in the OT to refer to those who are justified by faith.
Likewise, in the OT the unrighteous are those living unrighteously. It is never used to refer to those who are not justified.
There are four possible combinations:
Righteous Jews who were justified.
Righteous Jews who were not justified.
Unrighteous Jews who were justified.
Unrighteous Jews who were not justified.
Of course, Gentiles could be born again/justified in the OT. But they were not under the Law of Moses and hence are outside the scope of this question.
It might be helpful to consider the same questions today regarding the commands of the NT (the law of Christ). The same four combinations apply:
Righteous people who are justified.
Righteous people who are not justified.
Unrighteous people who are justified.
Unrighteous people who are not justified.
The point is this: there is no guarantee that the justified will live righteously or that the unjustified will live unrighteously. Cornelius was an unjustified man who was living righteously, for example.
One of the tragic mistakes today is that people evaluate their own salvation based on their flawed works. The result is despair and lack of assurance.
Only by believing in Jesus for the free gift of God can we be sure of our eternal destiny and set free from sin’s bondage.