Sproul: A Justified Person Is Always A Changed Person But That Change Is No Part Of The Ground Of Justification

A justified person is always a changed person. A justified person differs from an unjustified person in critical ways. A justified person is a believing person; an unjustified person is an unbelieving person. A justified person is a regenerated person; an unjustified person is an unregenerate person. A justified person is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. In the justified person the work of sanctification has begun; in the unjustified person the work of sanctification has not begun.

It is critical to note that, although these changes are present in the justified person, they are not part of the ground of that person’s justification. The sole ground of justification remains always and ever the righteousness of Christ.

R. C. Sproul, Getting the Gospel Right (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1999; repr. 2017), 178 (HT: Inwoo Lee).

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    Post authored by:

  • Inwoo Lee
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    Inwoo Lee (BA, UCSD) earned his MA (Historical Theology) in 2020 from Westminster Seminary California and is author of “Righteous Before God: William Perkins’ Doctrine of Justification in Elizabethan England” (MA Thesis, Westminster Seminary California, 2020). He lives in the Great Seoul area, in South Korea with his wife Holly.

    More by Inwoo Lee ›

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3 comments

  1. I often point out to people that there is a world of difference between a necessary condition and a necessary consequence. One typically only says necessary and so we have to figure out if they are speaking about conditions or consequences from the context.

    Many apparently orthodox errors arise from confusing the two

  2. The Lord does not put necessary consequences all together: some necessary consequences are processes that take time, and are not always immediate consequences (Lk 13:21), however necessary.

    And ften, besides the property of being a necessary consequence, people add “immediate” and “visible to me” properties to it. (In fact, as long as they are “visible to me,” the impatience doesn’t even care how necessary or at what time the consequences get there!

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