What Must I Do to Be Saved?

The doctrine of justification is intended to formulate an answer to the question: “What must I do to be saved?” Justification’s answer, “nothing”, is startling, and it reframes the question itself by asserting that God is not in the salvaging business. Instead, what God does in saving us is to recreate us, that is, to make us to be creatures who have faith at the core of their being, and humble and contrite hearts (Psalm 51:10-12). God’s salvation is a recommitment to his original and continuing work of creating out of nothing (creation ex nihilo) (1 Cor. 1:27-30; 2 Cor. 5:17-18). God not only re-creates us out of the nothingness of sin and death, but also providentially sustains our lives, together with those of all creatures (samt allen kreaturen), from moment to moment, out of nothingness.

Rev. Dr. Mark Mattes, “The History, Shape, and Significance of Justification for Preaching”


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