Thursday, January 6, 2011

Not merely a legal fiction

From The Justification Reader by Thomas C. Oden:

"What is justification? Justification is the declaration of God that one who trust's in Christ's atoning work, however sinful, is treated or accounted as righteous. This credited righteousness is received by faith.

This is not to be viewed as if it were merely a legal fiction, or as a fantasy imagined in God's mind, or as a human hypothetical conjecture. This uprighted relation with the holy God comes about as a decisive, merciful, divine act, an actual event in history that occurs on the cross.

Justification is the reversal of God's judgment against the sinner, in which the sinner is declared to be no longer exposed to the penalty of the law, which is ultimately spiritual death, but restored to divine favor. Justification is that divine act by which one stands now in a right relationship with God. It is an act of God's free grace through which the sinner is absolved from guilt and accepted as righteous on account of the Son's atoning work." (36)

Another important doctrine to keep at the forefront of one's mind throughout 2011 and beyond.

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