Pristine Grace

The Four Aspects of Justification
by Brandan Kraft

The Four Aspects of Justification

Justification from Eternity / Eternal Justification

     God's will to justify His people is the justification of His people. God has always viewed His people as justified as God sees all things at once, the beginning of time until the end, He has absolutely predestinated all things and views all things as if they have already occurred. God never hated His people, but has always loved them. How in the world can God love something that is not PERFECTLY RIGHTEOUS in His sight? The answer is He cannot, and thus must have always seen His people as perfectly righteous. John Gill in my opinion is the champion of this doctrine, but unfortunately he was inconsistent and did not take other doctrines such as sanctification to this logical conclusion as well. I think of Eternal Justification as Justification in the MIND of God before the foundation of the world.

Justification in Time - This took place at the cross. This moment in time was the climax in the justification of God's people. Justification was constituted at this event, and it is this event which all true believers look to for their justification. All Christians, when asked when they were justified will always point to the work of Christ on the cross (SOLO CHRISTO). Yes there is an aspect to justification that in my opinion takes place in eternity, BUT the Scripture almost universally speaks of Justification in time and this should be our emphasis as well. Further, without the cross there is no Justification. This aspect of Justification must be our focus. We would be biblical to refer to justification in the SIGHT of God as Christ's work on the cross. This is the Gospel.

Justification at Conversion

     This "justification by faith" is merely the experience of being justified in the conscience of the believer. All of the elect are brought to faith in time and experience the peace and assurance of justification at their conversion. When I say this, I mean that when men are brought to faith in Christ, the OBJECT of their justification is Christ on the cross. They do not look to their faith as the basis of their justification but simply recognize it as the means by which God reveals their justification to them. When I speak of Justification by faith alone (Sola Fide), I only mean experiential justification and am in no way implying this is the actual justification of God's people forensically speaking. To do so would mean to say that justification is based on the faith of the individual, and that is in my mind no different than the doctrine of "infused righteousness" taught by the RCC - a heresy that cuts at the core of the Gospel.

Justification at Judgement

    This justification of God's people on Judgment day is the actual declaration before all men that His people are perfectly righteous in the sight of God. This will be a glorious day and all of God's people who have experienced their justification by faith look forward to this event with anticipation.