The Gospel

Thursday, February 5, 2009


“Justification is a presently experienced reality, assuming union with Christ by faith, which anticipates the final day of judgment.

The verdict of this final-day court has already been announced, although ensuing history continues. Justification is an end-time event in which the believer stands already, as if in an anticipative sense. Those united to Christ are justified from all guilt — past, present, and future. God’s final justifying action awaits the end of history, though the verdict is already known, and celebrated daily in Christian preaching and worship.

Justification on the last day consists of a declaration of righteousness, and an actual admission into glory. There are not two justifications, one by God and another confirmed by our obedience, nor one that occurs with faith, and a final justification that occurs at the end time dependent on our works. There is only one justification, and that is the one that occurs on the cross.”

—Thomas Oden, The Justification Reader (Grand Rapids: Eeerdmans, 2002), 68-69

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