Friday, August 18, 2006

Will the "Doers of the Law" Please Stand Up?

We have seen that the term “righteous,” in its ordinary sense, describes the person who has performed the righteousness that the law prescribes, and that the result of this righteous conduct is justification and acquittal by the Judge on the last day. “The doers of the law,” Paul says, “will be justified” (Rom. 2:6-13).

But herein lies the problem....

Many NPP proponents claim that Rom. 2:6-13 describes normative Christian experience—the believer, through the power of the indwelling Spirit of the risen Christ, lives out his faith in active obedience to God, thus securing his final justification (which, according to N.T. Wright, is “on the basis of the entirety of the saint’s lived life”).

While confessional Presbyterian and Reformed theology certainly agrees with the New Perspective that Rom. 2:6-13 describes how justification would ordinarily occur, there is division over whether or not such an arrangement is possible given man’s sinfulness and inability to keep the law.

What do you think? Given the fact that “righteousness” and “justification” are said to be the possessions of the ones who are “doers of the law,” how ought we to understand the relationship of (Spirit-wrought) sanctification to justification at the last day?