Pristine Grace

The Four Aspects of Justification
by Brandan Kraft
The Four Aspects of Justification

1) 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.

2) The work of justification in time - This took place in Christ's earthly ministry, death, and resurrection. This work in time was the climax in the justification of God's people. Justification was constituted here, and it is these events in time performed by Christ which all true believers look to for their justification. All believers, when asked WHEN they were justified will always point to the work of Christ on the cross (SOLO CHRISTO). 

3) Justification at Conversion

This "justification by faith" is mainly 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.

4) 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.