Monday, March 26, 2007

Theology 101 - Justification

Today we'll look at another facet of soteriology, justification. It is a once and for all act/event initiated and accomplished by God for His elect.

"Justification may be defined as that legal act of God by which He declares the sinner righteous on the basis of the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ. It is not an act or process of renewal, such as regeneration, conversion, and sanctification, and does not affect the condition but the state of the sinner. The following points of difference between justification and sanctification should be noted particularly:

1. Justification removes the guilt of sin and restores the sinner to all the rights of a child of God, including an eternal inheritance. Sanctification removes the pollution of sin and renews the sinner in conformity with the image of God.

2. Justification takes place outside of the sinner in the tribunal of God, though it is appropriated by faith. Sanctification takes place in the inner life of man and gradually affects his whole being.

3. Justification takes place once for all: it is not repeated, nor is it a process; it is complete at once and for all time. Sanctification, on the other hand, is a continuous process which is not completed in the present life.

4. While both are fruits of the merits of Christ, the work of justification is ascribed more particularly to the Father, and that of sanctification to the Holy Spirit."

(My thanks, once again, to Louis Berkhof)


Kim from Hiraeth said...

Oh, how I appreciate Berkhof! His is my primary Systematic. I also use Reymond's. Do you ever use Reymond's Systematic?

Connie said...

Kim: Thanks for pointing out Reymond. I'm not familiar with him or his sys. theo. However, I did check Monergism and Theopedia and he/it sounds good!

We have/keep a theologically broad range of books in our study/library, but I just seem to always find my way back to Berkhof. :-)

For instance, I posted last week that I purchased a CHEAP copy of Grudem's sys. theo. JUST because of his position on prophesy/gifts--I/we do that from time to time if the "price is right" so that we can have ready access to opposing positions/views.