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The concept of building immunity has been a fascinating science ever since Edward Jenner heard of a dairymaid speak of her confidence against contracting smallpox, because she’d already had cowpox. Jenner called his process vaccination, from the Latin words for cow vacca and cowpox vaccinia, and an immunity for life against smallpox was secured. As for covid, I’m booked in to get my booster in a few weeks, and whether in the coming year, a fourth update will be necessary is yet to be seen.

But what a more fascinating study is that theological procedure called justification, where once admitted and received, requires no further booster, nor supplement, nor addition. It secures right standing with God for eternity. And what an extraordinary procedure, where by a double action at the same time and in the same moment, my sins are transferred to Christ for resolution by atonement, and Christ’s obedience is transferred to me to be my coat of righteousness. Perhaps that’s why it’s sometimes called ‘the double cure’.

Jenner in his day endured great opposition to his research, and those who were sceptical were legion. So too in the area of theology, there are many contrarians who think that life-immunity is just not possible. But this sentence stands as evidence: ‘Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ The immunity is not from ever sinning again in this life, but from the wrath of heaven. It’s what ‘peace with God’ means.

DM 14th January 2022


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