Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Michael Bird on Justification

One thing I love about Michael Bird is his balance of perspectives, old and new. I am currently reading (and loving) his book "A Bird's Eye View of Paul" published by IVP. It is a very concise book; yet I think it is one of my favorite books! Here is a quote on justification:

"First, justification is forensic: it refers to a status one has before God. A person who is justified is declared right or acquitted of wrong…God graciously justifies sinners, the wicked and the ungodly through the provision of setting forth Christ…Second, justification is also covenantal…Justification by faith implies fellowship by faith, as those who believe in Jesus are legitimated in their identity as members of the new-covenant community…Third, justification is eschatological, as the verdict anticipated on the Day of Judgment in Jewish thinking has been declared in the present…Fourth, justification is effective in that God’s transforming power to free believers from the power of sin is the logical result of the declaration of acquittal…In sum, justification is the act whereby God creates a new people, with a new status, in a new covenant, as a foretaste of the new age" (Boldface added).


wrathburn said...

Your comment implies to me that sin is justified by god. So being human means i'm allowed to sin.

Nicholas P. Mitchell said...

Hello wrathburn,

Although sinners are freely justified by God's grace apart from any social standing or anything they do Christians are not free to sin. Paul posed this que,stion in Romans 6. I suggest you read that and 1 John 3. The Bible clearly teaches that sinners are declared to be in the right by grace alone but they are given the Spirit and WILL produce fruit.