Other Articles in
Vol. 3 No. 1 / Apr 2017

Sacred Violence and Justification by PAUL WELLS
The Five Solas of the Reformation: Then and Now by GARRY J. WILLIAMS
What Has Mussolini to Do with Hus? by CARL R. TRUEMAN
Bound, Freed, Freed to Be Bound: The Wittenberg Understanding of Justi cation by ROBERT KOLB
Luther and Erasmus: The Central Confrontation of the Reformation by JEAN-MARC BERTHOUD
An Introduction to Luther, Calvin, and Their Protestant Reformations by PETER A. LILLBACK
Luther and the Spanish Reformers by FRANCES LUTTIKHUIZEN
“The Glorious Work of the Reformation”: Andrew Fuller and the Imitation of Martin Luther by MICHAEL A. G. HAYKIN
Luther and the Turks by HANS SCHWARZ
Luther and the Reform of Marriage and Family Life by YOUNGCHUN CHO
The Priesthood of All Believers in Africa by CONRAD MBEWE
Do Judaism, Islam, and Christianity Worship the Same God? A Reformed Theological Perspective by PHILIP TACHIN
Transhumanism: Anthropological Challenge of the Twenty-First Century by YANNICK IMBERT
The Black Church’s Response to the Racialization of Abortion in America by EMMITT CORNELIUS JR.
A Review and Evaluation of J. Richard Middleton, A New Heaven and a New Earth by G. K. BEALE
Interview with Dr. William Edgar by PETER A. LILLBACK
Thomas Schreiner. Faith Alone—The Doctrine of Justification: What the Reformers Taught … and Why It Still Matters. by BRANDON D. CROWE
Scott H. Hendrix. Martin Luther: Visionary Reformer. by MARTIN LOHRMANN
Larry Siedentop. Inventing the Individual: The Origins of Western Liberalism by PAUL WELLS
Brad S. Gregory. The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society by PAUL WELLS
Andrew T. B. McGowan. Adam, Christ and Covenant: Exploring Headship Theology by HARRISON PERKINS
Sinclair B. Ferguson. The Whole Christ: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Gospel Assurance—Why the Marrow Controversy Still Matters by ANDREW T. B. MCGOWAN

BOUND, FREED, FREED TO BE BOUND: THE WITTENBERG UNDERSTANDING OF JUSTI CATION

by ROBERT KOLB in Vol. 3 No. 1 / Apr 2017

DOI: https://doi.org/10.35285/ucc3.1.2017.art3



Abstract
This essay focuses on the Wittenberg teaching on justification directly following the presentation of the Augsburg Confession in 1530. Martin Luther’s understanding of justification was based on Christ’s atoning work in dying to eradicate sin and guilt and in rising to restore righteousness to his people. The benefits of Christ are given through the pronouncement of forgiveness by the effective word of absolution in all forms, and appropriated through trust in the promise of Christ. Despite scholarly attempts to drive a wedge between him and his Wittenberg colleague, Philip Melanchthon shared Luther’s view, though they expressed some elements differently. Both agreed that those who receive righteousness, a new identity as God’s child passively, will actively practice God-designed righteousness toward others.

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