9. We believe in justification, that is, an act in which God, much like a judge, fully pardons us. He pardons us of our guilty status before Him and, in doing so, releases us from the penalty or wage of sin—death. Prior to this we were guilty of sin, that is, treason against God. In pardoning us, we are simultaneously put in right standing with God when we pledge our allegiance to Him and confess Him as both Lord and Savior. (Another word for “justification” is “salvation.”)
9.1 We believe in regeneration, that is, new birth or being born again. Being regenerated or born again is an act of God. In this act, God renews the moral reasoning of one who has repented, that is, sincerely and thoroughly changed their mind about sin and standing against God. God, in regeneration, also gives the repentant person a spiritual life. A spiritual life is one capable of allegiance, love, and obedience.
9.2 We believe in adoption. Adoption is an act of God in which the justified and regenerated believer is declared a child of God and assured of that status.
9.3 We believe that justification, regeneration, and adoption occur simultaneously. Prior to experiencing these three things, one must repent. It is the Holy Spirit that leads sinners to repentance and it is the Holy Spirit who testifies to this threefold work in each person.