John Henry Newman: Justifying Righteousness Consists in the Coming and Presence of the Holy Spirit in Our Hearts Tuesday, Jun 18 2013 

John_Henry_Newman_by_Sir_John_Everett_MillaisThe presence of the Holy Ghost shed abroad in our hearts, the Author both of faith and of renewal, this is really that which makes us righteous, and…our righteousness is the possession of that presence.

Justification actually is ascribed in Scripture to the presence of the Holy Spirit, and that immediately, neither faith nor renewal intervening.

For instance, St. Peter speaks of our being “elect through sanctification,” or consecration “of the Spirit, unto,” that is, in order to, “obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ,” that is, the Holy Ghost is given us unto, or in order to, renovation and justification.

Again: we are said by St. Paul to be “washed, sanctified, and justified, in the Name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

The same Apostle says, “Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.”

Again: “The law of the Spirit of life hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” Again: Christ says, “It is the Spirit that giveth life,” life being the peculiar attribute or state of “the just,” as St. Paul, and the prophet Habakkuk before him, declare.

These passages taken together…show that justification is wrought by the power of the Spirit, or rather by His presence within us.

And this being the real state of a justified man, faith and renewal are both present also, but as fruits of it;—faith, because it is said, “We through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith;” and renewal, because in another passage, “renewing of the Holy Ghost” is made equivalent to “being justified by His grace.”

[…] Justification may fitly be called an “inspiration of the Spirit of Christ,” or a spiritual presence. Again in the Baptismal Service, in which we pray God that the child to be baptized may “receive remission of his sins,” which surely implies justification, “by spiritual regeneration,” which is as surely the gift of the Spirit.

[…] We are told, by way of comment upon St. Paul’s words, “Who rose again for our justification,” that Christ “rose again to send down His Holy Spirit to rule in our hearts, to endow us with perfect righteousness.

[…] In this way David’s words in the 85th Psalm are fulfilled, “Truth hath sprung out of the earth, and righteousness hath looked down from heaven,” in that “from the earth is the Everlasting Verity, God’s Son, risen to life, and the true righteousness of the Holy Ghost, looking out of heaven, and in most liberal largess dealt upon all the world?”

Justifying righteousness, then, consists in the coming and presence of the Holy Ghost within us.

John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890): Lectures on the Doctrine of Justification: Lecture 6, The Gift of Righteousness.

Gregory of Nyssa: Baptism in the Jordan (2) – Regeneration, Transformation and Adoption according to Grace Sunday, Jan 13 2013 

Gregory_of_NyssaBut do ye all, as many as are made glad, by the gift of regeneration, and make your boast of that saving renewal, show me, after the sacramental grace, the change in your ways that should follow it, and make known by the purity of your conversation the difference effected by your transformation for the better.

[…] But there is certainly need of some manifest proof, by which we may recognize the new-born man, discerning by clear tokens the new from the old.

And these I think are to be found in the intentional motions of the soul, whereby it separates itself from its old customary life, and enters on a newer way of conversation, and will clearly teach those acquainted with it that it has become something different from its former self, bearing in it no token by which the old self was recognized.

[…] The man that was before Baptism was wanton, covetous, grasping at the goods of others, a reviler, a liar, a slanderer, and all that is kindred with these things, and consequent from them…:

Let him now become orderly, sober, content with his own possessions, and imparting from them to those in poverty, truthful, courteous, affable—in a word, following every laudable course of conduct.

For as darkness is dispelled by light…, so the old man also disappears when adorned with the works of righteousness.

You see how Zacchæus also by the change of his life slew the publican, making fourfold restitution to those whom he had unjustly damaged, and the rest he divided with the poor—the treasure which he had before got by ill means from the poor whom he oppressed.

[…] Such ought you to be in your regeneration: so ought you to blot out your habits that tend to sin; so ought the sons of God to have their conversation: for after the grace bestowed we are called His children.

And therefore we ought narrowly to scrutinize our Father’s characteristics, that by fashioning and framing ourselves to the likeness of our Father, we may appear true children of Him Who calls us to the adoption according to grace.

[…] The Lord, laying down for us in the Gospels the rules of our life, uses these words to His disciples, “Do good to them that hate you, pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven….”

For then He says they are sons when in their own modes of thought they are fashioned in loving kindness towards their kindred, after the likeness of the Father’s goodness.

Gregory of Nyssa (c 335 – after 394): A Sermon for the Day of Lights.