The “Already And Not Yet”

Scholars who are overly saturated with the eschatological Kingdom of God as ‘already and not yet’—that is, already inaugurated, but not yet consummated—as well as with the Pauline soteriological concept of union with Christ, falsely put the doctrine of justification into the category of already and not yet. This is a grave misinterpretation and misrepresentation of the Pauline soteriology. A sinner’s justification before a holy and righteous God is only by faith alone and grace alone and in Christ alone. There is no other way. A sinner’s justification by faith alone is God’s once-for-all declaration in the heavenly court. Nevertheless, growing numbers of scholars interpret and promote the biblical doctrine of justification as a category of already and not yet, which is not only anti-Reformational but also anti-Pauline. For example, Beale falsely interprets the doctrine of justification as already and not yet: ‘To understand better the believer’s inaugurated vindication, we must also look at how it is related to the very end of the age and their own resurrection. The following represents the not yet aspect of justification of the Christian, which remains to be consummated in the future.
Jeong Koo Jeon | Biblical Theology: Covenants and the Kingdom of God in Redemptive History (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock., 2017), 198.


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  1. Very helpful. I have been reading and listening to a lot of Beale recently and his application of the already and not yet to justification felt a little FV/Piper to me.

  2. The glorious declarations of Ephesians 1 and 2, that our justification IS an accomplished fact, that we can know for certain, when we believe, because it is God’s purpose in election, should put an end to such silly speculations about future justification!

  3. Dr. Clark, I am really interested in your take on Beale here. I believe I have heard him say something like “non-causal necessity for salvation” referring to good works. It seems like if this was meant to mean good works are necessary as “fruit and evidence”, he would have said so. Beale is a huge influence in Reformed (scholarly) circles. Are we really batting our eyes at this? What is your take?

  4. Angela,

    Does he mean vindicate before men and Satan or vindicate before God? Does he actually believe that our works are proof to clear, as from an accusation of guilt at the Holy tribunal? If so is there a reference of him saying so.

    • Ya I’m not bringing up any of my “good” works at the Holy tribunal. I hope I don’t even try to remember any of them in THIS life. Sola gratia til the end.

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