Regarding justification, it was recently brought up to me that Protestants only consider the courtroom legal aspect of salvation when it comes to justification. It was suggested that they make it a legal thing only and leave out real cleansing and adoption etc. I found myself writing out what is below as a reply. "The court room aspect has to be considered and is actually part of the salvation experience but not the final point. We're all guilty of a lot of things before we know Christ. We have many charges pending against us when we appear before God as sinners. Legal matters have to be taken care of before God proceeds further. Christ pleads His sacrifice and merits to the Judge on our behalf. He's the only one the Judge will consider listening to as far as possessing perfect merits or righteousness is concerned. So because of Christ's sacrifice and the merits therein we are acquitted and cleared. His merits are imputed to us and we are declared free and acquited. Justification carries with it the strong idea of acquittal. You're declared not guilty but only because of the merits of another that have been imputed to you because of your faith. Then simultaneously we are washed and actually cleansed from our sins by His blood and are immediately adopted in an actual and real manner as sons and daughters of God. And simultaneously again, the Spirit is placed within us because of our sonship and to aid us in having a source of power for holy living and sanctification. Then we leave the courtroom overwhelmed by the sheer volume of mercy and grace that has been abundantly poured out upon us. The Judge we so feared has now become our loving Father. Because another's perfect merits have been imputed to us we have been acquitted and actually cleansed and actually adopted. Underline the actually cleansed and actually adopted. It's a reality. And as we leave the court the Spirit is within us to aid us as we embark on a new life of sanctification and good works." "To say the Reformers only concentrated on the courtroom aspect of things is wrong. Justification is the starting point in the process and the cleansing and adoption happens at the same time we are justified. It's no wonder that justification came to the forefront and was emphasized as it was because for so long they had been told that they could bring somethng of their own to the courtroom to help them and later could actually increase what they brought with them. They only were trying to put things in their proper sequence, justification first, while not ignoring at all the other aspects of redemption which occur simultaneously at justification. Their writings prove that they did not neglect the other aspects of salvation. It's grace which gets us to the courtroom in the first place yet after justification we leave as a born again new creation and adopted sons."How am I doing? I suppose it's at least a fairly close representation of what Protestants believe. What perhaps would you add or change?If I'm a little off here in the example I tried to portray still even talking about it a little gets me stirred!
Amen brother. A very refreshing reminder of the awesome grace of God in Christ Jesus our Lord! I was truly blessed by your post. I would say that it would make a great sermon for both the saved and the unsaved. Justification, Cleansing, and Adoption. Love it. That message needs to be proclaimed on the housetops because it never gets old. Keep preaching!