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JBGTFJustification by Grace Through Faith
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"Justification by grace through faith" is the heart of this global communion.
(1) The suggestion arose in light of his account of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification and of the agreement that was evident in the subsection on "Justification by Grace through Faith in the Common Confession of Faith," which had formed part of Towards a Common Understanding of the Church (1990), the dialogue report of the Roman Catholic Church and the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC).(2) It seemed to him that there could be a basic consensus achieved arising out of these two reports.
Thus, when Cassidy invited the Reformed churches to join the Joint Declaration process and drew attention to the agreement in the common confession of faith between the Reformed churches and the Roman Catholic Church on "justification by grace, through faith," he did not note that this subsection followed the common confession on "Our Lord Jesus Christ: The Only Mediator between God and Humankind," on "Christ, Mediator and Reconciler," and on "The Work of Christ Reveals that He Is the Son within the Trinity." These sections in the Reformed-Roman Catholic report govern the understanding of the common confession on Justification by Grace through Faith. The doctrine of justification by faith plays a different role in difference confessional families.
It was Luther's apprehension of Pauline theology that led to his critical "discovery" of the hallmark Lutheran doctrine of "justification by grace through faith." According to Luther's own reflection on his understanding of divine "justice" in Paul (cf.
Only by entering deeply into the meaning of justification can one come out the other side by insisting that the entire point of justification by grace through faith is to attain to a fully restored partnership of human beings with God.
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