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482

Part Three

1989

The first work of the grace of the Holy Spirit is

conversion,

effecting justification in accordance with Jesus’ proclamation at the

beginning of the Gospel: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at

hand.”

38

Moved by grace, man turns toward God and away from

sin, thus accepting forgiveness and righteousness from on high.

“Justification is not only the remission of sins, but also the sancti­

fication and renewal of the interior man.”

39

1990

Justification

detaches man from sin

which contradicts the

love of God, and purifies his heart of sin. Justification follows upon

God’s merciful initiative of offering forgiveness. It reconciles man

with God. It frees from the enslavement to sin, and it heals.

1991

Justification is at the same time

the acceptance of God’s

righteousness

through faith in Jesus Christ. Righteousness (or “jus­

tice”) here means the rectitude of divine love. With justification,

faith, hope, and charity are poured into our hearts, and obedience

to the divine will is granted us.

1992

Justification has been

merited for us by the Passion of Christ

who offered himself on the cross as a living victim, holy and

pleasing to God, and whose blood has become the instrument of

atonement for the sins of all men. Justification is conferred in

Baptism, the sacrament of faith. It conforms us to the righteousness

of God, who makes us inwardly just by the power of his mercy. Its

purpose is the glory of God and of Christ, and the gift of eternal

life:

40

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart

from law, although the law and the prophets bear witness to

it, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for

all who believe. For there is no distinction: since all have

sinned and fall short of the glory of God, they are justified

by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in

Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as an expiation by his

blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s

righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had

passed over former sins; it was to prove at the present time

that he himself is righteous and that he justifies himwho has

faith in Jesus.

41

38

Mt

4:17.

39 Council of Trent (1547): DS 1528.

40 Cf. Council of Trent (1547): DS 1529.

41

Rom

3:21-26.

1427

1446

1733

1812

617

1266

294