"Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." Romans 5:9
There is only one justification of sinners before God, and that accomplished by Christ in His cross death. There is but one, whether viewed from eternity, by faith, or through works. It was all accomplished at the cross. Consider the following summary:
Justification viewed from eternity.
It is not the Lamb slain, before He was slain, but the Lamb whom God appointed to be slain, and therefore who did come as predetermined from eternity and laid down His life in sacrifice, Ps 40:7; Heb 10:7.
Justification viewed by faith.
Faith is not the instrument of justification, Christ’s death is! Faith is the God-given persuasion to believe God’s Word and see that righteousness already accomplished and fulfilled in the death of the Savior and Substitute, Romans 5:1.
Justification viewed through works.
Our works do not justify us before God. They are rather the evidence of God having justified us exclusively upon completion of the death of His Son, our Substitute. The subsequent works (regeneration, conversion, faith or repentance) are the fruits of Christ’s righteousness imputed to His people at the cross, James 2:21, 25.
Justification accomplished at the cross.
What could be simpler? Justified by His blood, Romans 3:24. At the cross is where sin was put away. Sin being put away, there remained there nothing but righteousness to impute, 2 Corinthians 5:21. There is one place, at one time, and one sacrifice that redemption and justification were accomplished, Hebrews 10:10, 14. Ken Wimer