I found this distinction to be helpful in understanding Piper and others who are defending him: I have added in italics the emphasis on the fact that these goods works are a part of our sanctification. Correct me if I am wrong but, as I understand it, each step in the "ordo salutis" both necessitates the next "step". Thus, those whom he predestines will be effectually called, and those whom he justifies will be sanctified, etc. One cannot be justified without first being effectually called. In a similar manner, one cannot be glorified without first being predestined, called, justified, and sanctified - and sanctification includes Spirit wrought good works that flow from the justified person who has already been united to Christ and stand's before God as judicially righteous. This is what I understand Piper's point to be. In one sense, the elect were guaranteed eternal life before the foundations of the world - they were predestined to it. In another sense, the elect were guaranteed eternal life at the moment when, in history, they were justified by faith before God and were counted as righteous. God uses "means" to carry out our Christian life that leads to eternal life with him in the New Heavens and New Earth. One of those means is justification. Another is sanctified, which includes good works. Theoretically, if the fall would not have occurred than technically none of the elect would need to be justified in the sense that we understand it - forgiveness of sins, imputed righteousness of Christ, etc.. However, the fall did occur according to God's plan and his plan also includes that the way we get "back to the Eden" is by means of justification. It is also, however, by means of sanctification, and sanctification includes the good works that he has prepared for us before the creation of the world. Thus, yes, in order to experience "final salvation," meaning glorification, we have to have Spirit wrought good works produced within us. This is, again, the simple assertion that those who have been justified must be sanctified in order to be one day glorified. Even the thief dying on the cross next to Jesus produced some sort of good works between his justification and glorification. These good works, however, are not the grounds for our salvation, eternal life, glorification, etc. The grounds is the predestinating grace of God, the work of Christ, and the application of the Holy Spirit in imputing to us the righteousness of Christ by faith. But if we are to one day experience eternal life, both in the temporal heavenly state and in the future new heavens and new earth, we must be sanctified in this life. Someone please correct me if I am saying anything stupid. Another point of confusion: it seems to me that some are missing the point of glorification. Correct me if I am wrong but, Scripturally and confessionally, when we die our souls are made entirely perfect, and in the resurrection we receive entirely new and spotless bodies - both body and soul without blemish. Thus, when we stand before Christ on judgment day we do so as predestinated, called, justified, sanctified, and already glorified men and women. The good works that were produced in our sanctification are vindication for God that the work that God started in our predestination all the way through our glorification actually occurred. There is a check mark next to sanctification, if you will. But, back to my point about glorification, it is not as if we will be spiritually "standing" before Christ after death with sinful souls needing to have enough good works to tip the scales. God completes the work he started, thus we "stand" before Christ justified, sanctified, and having souls that have already been glorified (made perfect). Likewise, in our resurrected bodies we will stand before Christ with our perfect souls joined together with our new and perfect bodies. We stand before Christ in judgment as glorified men and women who have also been justified and sanctified. The moral of the story is that God completes what he starts in eternity past and in history. Those who are going to be glorified must be sanctified. Am I understanding correctly? Edit: I haven't read the most recent Piper article that was just posted above.