Becoming Just


From Michael Gorman’s Becoming the Gospel: Paul, Participation and Mission:Although I will draw on large portions of Paul’s letters in the following pages, one might say that the book’s “theme text” is 2 Corinthians 5:21: “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness [or justice] of God.” In fact, this book could be titled Becoming the Justice of God, for Paul’s gospel is the announcement of the arrival and power of God’s right-­wising, transformative justice in Jesus Christ. … At the same time, however, this book understands the “justice” of Paul’s justification (more precisely, of God’s justification) to be inextricably connected to such divine traits and practical human virtues (enabled by God’s Spirit) as faithfulness, love, peace and reconciliation, and righteousness. These divine traits become the human, missional characteristics of those individuals and communities who inhabit the missional, cruciform God. To put it simply: the cross of Christ reveals a missional, justifying, justice-­making God and creates a missional, justified, justice-­making people. Because the cross reveals a missional God, the church saved and shaped by the cross will be a missional people. As the twentieth-­century theologian Emil Brunner put it, “The Church exists by mission, just as a fire exists by burning. Where there is no mission there is no Church. . . .”



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