21 October 2010

Packer on Justification

As understood by the Reformers and their followers, and by Paul as I read him, [justification] is theological, declaring a work of amazing grace; anthropological, demonstrating that we cannot save ourselves; Christological, resting on incarnation and atonement; pneumatological, rooted in Spirit-wrought faith-union with Jesus; ecclesiological, determining both the definition and the health of the church; eschatological, proclaiming God's truly final verdict on believers here and now; evangelistic, inviting troubled souls into everlasting peace; pastoral, making our identity as forgiven sinners basic to our fellowship; and liturgical, being decisive for interpreting the sacraments and shaping sacramental services.

No other biblical doctrine holds together so much that is precious and enlivening.
--J. I. Packer et al, Here We Stand: Justification by Faith Today (Hodder and Stoughton 1986), 5; quoted in Anthony Hoekema, Saved by Grace (Eerdmans 1994), 153

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