"Justification is a legal or forensic term belonging to the law courts. It's opposite is condemnation. Both are the pronouncements of a judge. In a Christian context they are the alternative eschatological verdicts which God the Judge may pass on Judgement Day. So when God justifies sinners today, He anticipates His own final judgement by bringing into the present what properly belongs to the last day".
John R W Stott - "BST Series - The Message of Romans" - IVP, Leicester (1994) - (p110).