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When is a person justified actively? Logically before regeneration? At the cross? At birth? Eternally?


Whenever it happens, the person has to exist because regeneration immediately follows imputation in the order of nature. That rules out "from eternity" and leaves "at birth" or "at conversion." Between those two, we don't need to decide. Both are possible and are up to God in his providential ordering. In the case of elect covenant children, I would argue that imputation and regeneration often occur very early in life, in the womb or in infancy, with the fruits of regeneration (faith and repentance) coming later as they grow in maturity.

Alex Krause

Headship, in my view, isn't the same across the two Adams. Romans 5 notes differences and similarities. Adoption is certainly different than than natural parents. So Federalism, it seems, is not correct. Just because everyone seems to hold to it, doesn't necessarily make the doctrine valid. Again, we sinned naturally in Adam, but were adopted in Christ. Two different realities, which is not appreciated it seems by most. Not enough work has been done to note the differences of what Romans 5 says.


Of course there isn't perfect symmetry between the first and second Adams in every respect. For example, the first Adam was a mere man whereas the second Adam is the divine Son of God incarnate. But after all the asymmetries have been noted, Paul is pointing out symmetry in at least some respects. They both were under a covenant based on the works principle. They are both federal or represenative heads. And their obedience or disobedience was imputed to those whom they represent. The disobedience of the first Adam is imputed, resulting in condemnation. The obedience of the second Adam is imputed, resulting in justification that brings life (Rom 5:18).

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