What Does “Justification” Mean in Romans?

Dr. Andrew Jackson

One of the great theological decisions one must make when reading the letter of Romans is how to understand the word “justification.” Below are some of the options that I have accumulated:

  • declared right (external legal transaction, judicial process, court of law) – part but not full
  • dynamic concrete actualization of reality of being made right in Christ
  • declared to be in the right with God, members of the covenant (NT Wright’s New Perspective)
  • God’s righteousness is translated “covenant justice” (NT Wright)
  • put right with God through a free gift of grace in Jesus
  • freely given right relationship with God (the one I like at the moment)

  • freely reconciled with God