"By Grace you are saved, through faith, and that is not of yourselves, but the gift of God".
Sorry if it's been a little quiet around here of late, but it has been a busy spell for all manner of reasons, and hopefully, some good will come of it...
I recently was involved in a discussion on another blog regarding what really saves us, and during the postings that occurred, I was reminded just how much confusion there can be regarding the nature and the scope of God's work of Justification by Faith. I know, from experience, just how confusing the whole matter can be - I spent a good two decades of my Christian life not even really understanding how to unpack it - so I thought it would be good to provide a little clarity on the matter.
First, a statement that helps put the whole thing in perspective:
(This is a very finicky link, so if it doesn't work, go to You Tube and type in 'Doug Wilson on Justification by Faith Alone and Future Justification'. I've sent a note to the person who manages the link to ask them to look at it and hopefully fix it).
Wilson provides a nice distinction here between the two ways in which the term Justification is used in the New Testament - to speak of God's declaration to the sinner of being declared 'not guilty' because of Christ's imputed righteousness and, secondly, in terms of a vindication of these same people with regards to their trust in that work on the last day.
Secondly, those of you who have a little more time may like to watch this message, given by Mike Horton, on the subject of What is the Gospel:
This really zones in on what is important in the Christian message and why Justification is by Faith alone (but, as the Reformers put it, not a faith that is alone).
I hope these materials prove helpful and I hope to unpack some of the issues related to this a little more in the New Year.