I’m guest posting at Servants of Grace this week. Dave, asked me to choose a topic related to the gospel. I chose justification. It’s a doctrine I love, but one that often gets a bad rap. Some feel like reformed Christians overemphasis it in relation to the gospel. I argue that Paul uses justification as shorthand for the gospel because it connects with the concepts of kingdom, covenant, and peace.
Many evangelical churches truncate the gospel. They focus primarily on the benefits of the gospel for us. They explore the depths of our salvation, but rarely talk about Creation, Fall, or Consummation. Salvation is a crucial act in the gospel story as we explored above but it’s still only one act.
Many theologians have desired to correct this salvation-focused gospel by pointing out the full story of the gospel. But in doing so, many downplay the importance of justification by faith. Some see it as a novel focus of the Church. But justification by faith wasn’t invited during the Reformation. The Reformers were self-conscious about tying the reformed faith to the history of the church, the Church Fathers, and the faith found within the pages of the New Testament.
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Mathew Sims is the author of A Household Gospel Fulfilling the Great Commission in Our Homes and has written for CBMW Men’s blog, Gospel-Centered Discipleship, Borrowed Light, and Servants of Grace. He also works as the managing editor at Gospel-Centered Discipleship. They attend Downtown Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Greenville, SC.