01 July 2009

Justification? Santification?

Here is discussion from N.T. Wright, from his book, Justification: God's Plan & Paul's Vision

"God justifies (declares righteous) all those who are "in Christ," so that the vindication of Jesus upon his resurrection becomes the vindication of all those who trust in him... Present justification is the announcement issued on the basis of faith and faith alone of who is part of the covenant family of God. The present verdict gives the assurance that the verdict announced on the Last Day will match it; the Holy Spirit gives the power through which that future verdict, when given, will be seen to be in accordance with the life that the believer has then lived."

Here is a response from the respected John Piper, from his book, The Future of Justification: A Response to NT Wright

"Christ alone is the basis of our justification, and the faith that unites us to him is the means or instrument of our justification. Trusting in Christ as Savior, Lord and Supreme Treasure of our lives produces the fruit of love, or it is dead. Present justification is based on the substitutionary work of Christ alone... future justification is the open confirmation and declaration that in Christ Jesus we are perfectly blameless before God. This final judgment accords with our works. That is, the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives will be brought forward as the evidence and confirmation of true faith and union with Christ."

I got these quotes from my new magazine subscription, Christianity Today, the June issue. The article, "The Justification Debate: A Primer" begins with what looks like my post from after the funeral, "Who is Saved?":

"Which is more scandalous? The multitudes of Christians who think they need to earn their salvation by being good? Or the throng of Christians who think that holy living doesn't matter so long as they have prayed the sinner's prayer?"

There are some differences to the quotes above by Piper and Wright, but they are subtle. I hadn't heard of "future justification" before, I think it is referring to when we stand before the Lord and his book? I just don't know; I would love some discussion on this one!