Is Christs righteousness imputed on YOU?


Or are we progressively sanctified and infused with the Grace of God?

this is somthing I have been reading alot from another thred and I would like to start a thred just on this. Im trying to grasp this concept from a Catholic and Protestant view but it is difficult for me.

any help from either sides?


The Protestant view should be understood in view of the fact that we use the termination differently than Catholics do. Catholics, in my understanding, view justification and sanctification as the same thing.
To a Protestant justification is part of salvation not equivalent to it.

Salvation has four parts. Regeneration, justification, sanctification and glorification.

Regeneration is the first part. It where we are “born again” in the sense that we are given a new nature. This involves an actual infusion of grace and we become capable of wanting to seek God and please Him. We are given the ability to do things pleasing to Him. We are not made actually righteous but are infused with a nature that allows us to act righteously. However our old nature still remains and we can sin.

Justification is where our sins are forgiven and we are viewed or declared to be righteous. We are do not actually become righteous because righteousness by God’s standards is perfection and we are not perfect since we are still conscious of sin and can still sin.

Sanctification is the process where we try to live more and more righteously as we try to become more and more like Jesus. God gives us grace to do this but it is never complete in this life time. So yes God does continue to give us grace.

Glorification comes after death when we actually are righteous and no longer sin.


Hi Sycarl,

I have always defended the view that it is Protestants who don’t distinguish between justification and salvation, inasmuch as they believe in “once saved always saved”.

The Catholics position is that we are justified by faith and baptism. Baptism makes us adopted children of God and heirs to heaven.

We can, however, be prodigal sons, and like the prodigal son, be taken back by the Father through repentance and confession.

Salvation is persevering in the grace of baptism until the moment of our passage into the other world.

A graphic way of describng all this is that in baptism, we are given the ticket to heaven. But we must, with the help of God, hold on to this ticket and present it when we appear before God.



To a Protestant justification is part of salvation not equivalent to it.

In my experience as a Protestant, you got the whole package at justification.


That is somewhat the position of the strict Calvinists who accept once saved always saved. However even Calvinists accept that sanctification is a process that goes on for the whole life. The Arminean side of Protestantism would accept that you can lose your salvation and so justification would not be the whole package. It would be true though that as long as you are justified you will have salvation at your death but it does not negate the necessity of working to become like Jesus through sanctification.

We have been sanctified by Christ’s completed work, we are being sanctified as we try to be like Christ and we will be sanctified when we obtain eternal life.


where did my response go to?


I dont know but I would like to hear it


That explains things with admirable clarity :smiley:

It seems I’m a Protestant - almost :o

What I don’t understand is - two things:
*]1. Why justification must be purely forensic
*]2. Why the forensic model of justification is still valid.[/LIST]It comes from the OT - but this is not of itself certain proof that it retains the OT meaning. Jesus Christ “make[s] all things new”, & “He is the End of the Law”. So, why is it out of the question that the OT notion should have been transformed, renewed, transfigured; so as to be a specifically Christian & Christ-centered & Christ-filled righteousness, that is as totally gratuitous as before (& is more so, indeed) - & also, a righteousness that, however imperfect in the Christian, is a true righteousness in his or her person ?

As we are members of a sinless Redeemer, for us His members to be indwelt by the same Spirit of Holiness as He was, & to work works of the same value as His, would seem to be in accord with St. Paul; the works of the Head are no different from those of His Body, for the members are His members. And His works are of infinite value. Certainly we can’t be like God in the infinite perfection of His Holiness - but why does that make what is bestowed, any less real ? AFAICS, we have no works to walk in, but those He graciously deigns to do through us for His Father’s Glory.

Regeneration is not a problem - only the imputing of righteousness, partly because of the OT basis in a legal fiction; it does not seem (in the account Protestantism gives of it) to be adapted to its NT setting. Unlike so much else in the Protestant account.

Am I missing something :slight_smile: ?


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