I hope I have said enough in this short section to convince you of two things. First, my understanding of how Paul supposed someone became a Christian is, I think, basically orthodox and indeed reformed. God takes the initiative, based on his foreknowledge; the preached word, through which the Spirit is at work, is the effective agent; belief in the gospel, that is, believing submission to Jesus as the risen Lord, is the direct result. My central point is that this isn’t what Paul is referring to when he speaks of ‘justification’. But the substance of what reformed theology, unlike Paul, has referred to by means of that word remains. Faith is not something someone does as a result of which God decides to grant them a new status or privilege. Becoming a Christian, in its initial moment, is not based on anything that a person has acquired by birth or achieved by merit. Faith is itself the first fruit of the Spirit’s call. And those thus called, to return to Philippians 1.6, can be sure that the one who began a good work in them will complete it at the day of Christ.
From “New Perspectives on Paul,” found on the Wright page (www.ntwrightpage.com).