"Night and day I pondered until I saw the connection between the justice of God and the statement that 'the just shall live by his faith.' Then I grasped that the justice of God is that righteousness by which through grace and sheer mercy God justifies us through faith. Thereupon I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise. " -Martin LutherConsiderable sectarian controversy exists as to its nature and definition. These controversies include:
- Whether justification is an ongoing process in addition to an immediate change in the person or if it is a change in a person's state before God followed by Sanctification;
- The relationship between justification and religious law; whether justification is merely "forensic", a legal declaration that a sinner is now righteous before God for Christ's sake, or more;
- The relationship of justification to sanctification, the process whereby sinners become more righteous and are enabled by the Holy Spirit to live lives more pleasing to God; and
- The relationship of justification to atonement, the expiation of sins.