Chapter 11, Paragraph 4.
“God did from all eternity decree to justify all the Elect, and Christ did in the fullness of time die for their sins, and rise again for their Justification; Nevertheless they are not justified personally, until the Holy Spirit, doth in due time actually apply Christ unto them.”
1 Peter 1:2
1 Timothy 2:6
God works in a time entirely of His own choosing. In eternity past, God decreed that the elect would be justified. At the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. In due time, the Holy Spirit applies Christ to the elect, justifying them. This personal justification did not occur when redemption was decreed, nor does it occur at the moment when Christ died, but at a particular point in the elect’s life. At that time they are drawn to God and justified by Him. As a Christian, you do not say that you were justified in eternity past. Nor do you say that you were justified around the year 33. When you talk about your salvation, you remember a time in your own history when the Holy Spirit regenerated you, you believed in Christ, and as a result were justified. The benefits of Christ’s obedience and sacrifice are not obtained by the elect until the time of God’s appointing.
Notice how all three persons of the Trinity are involved in salvation: the Father decrees the redemption of the elect and ordains Jesus as the mediator. The Son willingly takes on human nature, fulfills the law and endures the punishment due us. After His ascension, the Son sends the Holy Spirit to apply this work to us. Justification is not a distant, far-off, long-ago historical event for the redeemed sinner; it is personally wrought in us through the gift of faith. God is intimately involved in securing and redeeming His people. If you are in Christ, He has personally justified you!
Questions to Consider
- If you are in Christ, when were you justified?