Dr. E. G. Robinson taught that justification consists of three elements, which are acquittal, restoration to favor and infusion of righteousness. In this he accepted a fundamental error of Romanism. He says: ?Justification and sanctification are not to be distinguished as chronologically and statically different. Justification and righteousness are the same thing from different points of view. Pardon is not a mere declaration of forgiveness ? a merely arbitrary thing. Salvation introduces a new law into our sinful nature, which annuls the law of sin and destroys its penal and destructive consequences. Forgiveness of sins must be in itself a gradual process. The final consequences of a man?s sins are written indelibly upon his nature and remain forever. When Christ said: ?Thy sins are forgiven thee?, it was an objective statement of a subjective fact. The person was already in a state of living relation to Christ. The gospel is damnation to the damnable and invitation, love and mercy to those who feel their need of it. We are saved through the enforcement of law on every one of us. Forgiveness consists in the removal from consciousness of a sense of ill-desert. Justification, aside from its forensic use, is a transformation and a promotion. Sense of forgiveness is a sense of relief from a hated habit of mind.? This seems to us dangerously near to a denial that justification is an act of God and to an affirmation that it is simply a subjective change in man?s condition.
E. H. Johnson: ?If Dr. Robinson had been content to say that the divine fiat of justification had the man-ward effect of regeneration, he would have been correct for the verdict would be empty without this man-ward efficacy. But unfortunately, he made the effect a part of the cause, identifying the divine justification with its human fruition, the clearance of the past with the provision for the future.? We must grant that the words, inward and outward are misleading, for God is not under the law of space and the soul itself is not in space. Justification takes place just as much in man as outside of him. Justification and regeneration take place at the same moment but logically God?s act of renewing is the cause and God?s act of approving is the effect. Or we may say that regeneration and justification are both of them effects of our union with Christ. <420137>Luke 1:37 ? ?For no word from God shall be void of power.? Regeneration and justification may be different aspects of God?s turning ? of his turning us and his turning himself. But it still is true that justification is a change in God and not in the creature.
3. Elements of Justification.
These are two:
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