Blog Posts on Justification

Clarifying My Words About Roman Catholic “Heresy”

John Piper
Clarifying My Words About Roman Catholic “Heresy”

A few years ago, I was asked on camera what I would say to the Pope if I had two minutes with him. I said I would ask him what he believed about justification. The video ended with me putting the question to the Pope and then responding as follows:

“Do you teach that we should rely entirely on the righteousness of Christ imputed to us by faith alone as the ground of God being 100% for us, after which necessary sanctification comes? Do you teach that?”

And if he... Continue Reading

What Do We Do With Our Slavery-Affirming Theological Heroes?

Trevin Wax

When I read the works of men like James P. Boyce and Jonathan Edwards, I am amazed at the depth of their biblical knowledge and the keenness of their personal application. At the same time, I am astounded that these theological giants could justify the owning of slaves, support slavery as a system, and conform to the racial prejudice common in their day.

John Piper is right: “One of the central cadences of the gospel walk is the breaking down... Continue Reading

One with Christ and the Fellowship of Righteousness

Jonathan Parnell
One with Christ and the Fellowship of Righteousness

John Calvin:

Therefore, that joining together of Head and members, that indwelling of Christ in our hearts—in short, that mystical union—are accorded by us the highest degree of importance, so that Christ, having been made ours, makes us sharers with him in the gifts with which he has been endowed.

We do not, therefore, contemplate him outside ourselves from afar in order that his righteousness may be imputed to us but because we put on Christ and are... Continue Reading

Cherish Your Union with Christ

Josh Etter
Cherish Your Union with Christ

Pastor John:

Nothing is more precious than hearing God say to us personally: No condemnation. Or hearing him pronounce the words over our guilty heads, Justified! If you cherish this verdict and this standing with God, then cherish your union with Christ. Make it part of what you value most in the world.

See the entire sermon.


Recent posts from "Piper's Pen" —

There Is Only One Liberator

Jonathan Parnell

Our options are endless if we want to evade the reality of our brokenness, but there is only one liberator. John Piper explains in this video excerpt:

. . . All of us are prone to say "I don't need you, Jesus. I've have my ethnicity," or "I don't need you, Jesus, I've got my religion, I've got my God," or "I don't need you, Jesus, I've got my moral superiority, I'm just an average Joe keeping my nose clean, surely not like some of these rascals sleeping around."

None of those... Continue Reading

Not Good, One Good, Our Good in This One

Jonathan Parnell

Psalm 16 is majestic. Peter unleashes its importance during his first ever sermon in Acts 2:29-36, arguing that David was clearly talking about Jesus. I'm convinced.

But there's more treasure to behold in Psalm 16 as we see the words within the lush forest of its context. Playing Hegel, there is thesis, antithesis, and synthesis.


Psalm 14 calls the atheist a fool. The diagnosis is impartial—we're all the fools. The LORD looksto see if there are any who understand... Continue Reading

Clothed in Righteousness

Josh Etter

R. C. Sproul has written a beautiful hymn that you might consider using in your personal, family, or congregational worship:

Fallen race in Eden fair, exposed and full of shame. Fled we naked from Thy sight, far from Thy holy name.

Sent from the garden to the east, outside of Eden's gate, Banished there from Thy pure light were Adam and his mate.

Scarlet souls are now like snow by Thy atoning grace. Crimson hearts become like wool for Adam's fallen race.

No work of ours is good... Continue Reading

No, No, Augustine!

John Piper
No, No, Augustine!

In Augustine’s Enchiridion, chapter 46, which I am listening to in spare moments, he says this:

Here lies the necessity that each man should be born again, that he might be freed from the sin in which he was born. For the sins committed afterwards can be cured by penitence, as we see is the case after baptism.

This is, if I understand him, misleading at best.

Not that I want to minimize the significance of 1 John 1:9 (“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins”).... Continue Reading

Here's What's Often Missing When We Speak of the Final Judgment As Being According to Works

Matt Perman

I agree that the final judgment is according to works. We are justified—made right with God and given a title to heaven—by faith alone apart from works. This faith, though,always and necessarilyleads to good works, such that at the final judgment works can be necessary asevidencethat wehave already beenaccepted by God. So works are necessary as evidence, not basis.

One analogy may be going to a concert. When you are... Continue Reading

Faith Is the Embracing, Not the Embraced

Jonathan Parnell

Many helpful summaries and explanations of the justification debate and N. T. Wright have arisen over the last couple of weeks surrounding the meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in Atlanta. One takeaway from the whole thing is the importance of articulating the relationship between our faith and our union with Christ.

Faith should never be exalted to a place that undermines Jesus and our union with him. No evangelical wants to do that. The “in Christ”... Continue Reading