The Evangelical Universalist Forum

What is justification and why is it necessary?


Never really looked into the term, the differences, or know what I would be considered.

I just know Christ died as a propitiation for sin.


Declared righteous in the eyes of God” whether the person is actually righteous or not! This is a common view, but seems deceptive. Why should Christ’s faith and works cause God to be blinded to the reality of anyone’s evil behaviour? How is the person’s wicked behaviour ever going to be corrected, if he is acceptable to God just as he is? He will see no need to change his behaviour.


Paidion I certainly agree. It took me years of clinging to ‘righteous by faith’ even though it was obvious that not much had changed - to finally get a little sick of it and start crying out for change in my life - and realizing I had been graced by the Father with the freedom to make some of those changes.
Let me be clear that I am completely thankful for what the Father has done through Christ.


Thank you for sharing that, Dave. I, also, am completely thankful for what the Father has done through Christ.

At a teenager, I was exposed only to the easy believism which both you and I adopted. When we understand salvation to be deliverance from SIN, we then understand the purpose of the death of Christ.

As the angel announced to Joseph:

She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21)

I now see this deliverance from sin as a life-long process, which will some day be brought to completion. That was the teaching of the apostle Paul:

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)

This is the way the Orthodox Church views salvation, also. You may appreciate this video in which Metropolitan Kallistos Ware tells how he responded to a man sitting opposite to him in an railway train, fixed him with a piercing gaze and asked, “Are you saved?”


I’ve seen that before and it’s GREAT!
BTW I tend to understand ‘righteousness’ in this way:

and on ‘becoming the righteousness of God’ in this way:

YAY - I got a click!!! Wait - that was me :frowning:


Already been there.

By works no man is justified…


For the rest of us, the pdf mentioned above is an actual exegesis of 2 Cor 5.21.


I was delivered from sin. Both relatively and absolutely. But I dont believe it was of my own free will. But I digress on that subject as we beat that horse deader than dead last time :stuck_out_tongue:

Me an paidon are having a interesting conversation about this in the works/faith topic and I think I’ve done quite well explaining my position on it if you’re curious how i view things.


I read you with interest.
I thought instead of ‘how we see it’ that a bit of rigorous exegesis might be in order; thus the pdf above.


I’ll check it out when i get a second but I’m not too big on what theologians say much. I’ve prayed on this a lot. And I’m adamant about not mixing my faith and works with Christ’s faith and works which is what saves me for eonian salvation.

Even my measure of faith has been given to me. Not earned or accepted by my will.


That’s fine.
It will take much longer than a second though :slight_smile:
It’s a very thorough explanation of what Paul was saying. I myself think that is important.


The question might be a bit dark or triggering so if those things offend or cause you mental stress please don’t read this.

If eonian salvation and justification is conditional upon works would it have been better to have after,relatively speaking,I whole heartedly crying on the floor begged God to save me and had been given faith in Christ and assured salvation that I should have also begged pardon for my next action and killed myself? After all dying right then and there when I was assured salvation and given faith would have been better than to continue living and potentially lose it.

This question has always perplexed me? Why not commit suicide after an alter call if salvation, grace, and justification is conditional?

Also how is justification any different than pardon under the covenant law at that point?


Maybe the question could be cast thusly: why not commit suicide and go straight to heaven at the moment of justification, especially if salvation cannot be lost?

Anyway - I want to hear about that pdf if anyone gets a chance to read it. There are a few things worth spending time on - that is one of them imo. $.02


I’ve considered that as well. And I think it’s because, for whatever reason, God has still purposed me to be here. But if it COULD be lost well that’s a bit different and would urge someone to do it before it’s to late and they lose it.


I think making justification another word for pardon or forgiveness is a grave error. Pardon presupposes guilt and probationary forgiveness. However justification is the declaration that one is acquitted of any guilt. One who shoots someone without legal cause could be forgiven and pardoned unto probabtion. Someone who lawfully protects his home would be justified in his actions and all guilt would be acquitted.

Pardon, forgiveness and probation have to do with law.

Justification has to do with Grace.

But that just my opinion.


Here is an excellent essay that defines some of the terms we are wrestling with. Lots of scripture, lots of learning.


The concept of “justification” as “being counted righteous whether you are or not” is nonsense and characteristic of the false gospel. Some who hold to this make a play on the word “justification” saying that it means “just as if I’d never sinned.”

The Greek word “δικαιωσις” which is usually translated as “justification” comes from “δικαιοω” which comes from “δικαιος.” The word “δικαιος” means “righteous.” Therefore the word “δικαιοω” means "to render righteous. Therefore the word “δικαιωσις” means “righteousification.” But there is no such English word. So it is usually translated as “justification.”

God doesn’t count practising sinners as righteous. When He looks at practising sinners, He is not blinded to their sin, seeing only Christ’s righteousness if they have “accepted Christ as their personal Saviour.” God is not interested in counting evil doers righteous. He is interested in seeing them depart from wrongdoing and become workers of righteousness. That is why He provided the death of His Son for them—to make available His enabling grace so that they may begin to walk in the paths of righteousness.

For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all people, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and to live sensible, righteous, and devout lives in the present age, expecting the blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of the great God and of our Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good works. Declare these things; encourage and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you. (Titus 2:11-15)

How do we appropriate this enabling grace? We appropriate it through faith. Salvation is a life-long process which will some day be completed.

I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)


Surprisingly, I need to retract the judgment of ‘excellence’ as to Tom Wright’s article on justification that I linked to above. This is not the one I meant to cite.
And, reading it more closely, I was troubled by it. It did not have the TW ‘feel’ about it - but it is by him BUT back in 1980, I found out. Almost 40 years ago. He has obviously deepened his understanding since then as well as becoming a better writer.


Here is a DIRECT answer to the heading of this topic. From TW at a later date:

“Thus, for instance, for Paul it is not the doctrine of justification that is ‘the power of God for salvation’ (Rom. 1:16), but the gospel of Jesus Christ. As Hooker noted, it is perfectly possible to be saved by believing in Jesus Christ without ever having heard of justification by faith. What that doctrine provides is the assurance that, though Christian obedience is still imperfect, the believer is already a full member of God’s people. It establishes, in consequence, the basis and motive for love (and true obedience) towards God. The teaching of present justification is thus a central means whereby the fruits of the Spirit — love, joy, peace and the rest — may be produced.”

That will be my go-to answer whenever this question arises.