A-Z of Paul: Justification
So ‘justification’ is another in that list of terms needed to bring out the implications of what God has done in and through Jesus. Paul speaks of it as grace, salvation, redemption, reconciliation, life, freedom, sanctification, new creation, and also as justification. In Romans 5, he contrasts the consequences of Adam’s trespass (death, condemnation, judgement) with the consequences of Christ’s obedience (grace, justification, acquittal and life). In Romans 8 when speaking of the life in the Spirit made possible for those who believe in Christ he speaks of predestination, vocation, justification and glorification: ‘We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren. And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified’ (Romans 8:28-30).
Justification is by faith, our participation in the faithfulness of Jesus. This is made possible by the gift of the Spirit, the love of God poured into our hearts who assures us that we are children of God, heirs with Christ, destined to be glorified with him if we share his sufferings (Romans 8:17). ‘For in Christ Jesus we are all children of God, through faith’ (Galatians 3:26).
Click here for the 1999 Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification of the Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church