Justification by Christ 4

1689 Baptist Confession of Faith, Chapter 11

1._____ Those whom God effectually calleth, he also freely justifieth, not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ’s sake alone; not by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness; but by imputing Christ’s active obedience unto the whole law, and passive obedience in his death for their whole and sole righteousness by faith, which faith they have not of themselves; it is the gift of God.

Justification by faith alone is the article upon which the Church stands or falls. Martin Luther

Romans 9:13 Just as it is written, “JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED.” 14 What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be!15 For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.” 16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH.” 18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. 19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?”

The topic of a free justification that flows from the free-grace of God coming to sinners quite apart from their striving and their so-called good works simply sets out the beauty and self-sufficiency of God and His glory in way that those with new hearts simply cannot resist. The wickedness of men who think that all people only serve God and pretend to like Him in order to escape hell is simply wicked and detestable. The living God is beautiful in all He is and in all His ways. The living God has put Himself on display in Christ and has shone forth in Christ more of His beauties and glories than we can contain. Oh the glory of the Gospel of the glory of God in the face of Christ if we would take the time to study it and pray over it.

The Westminster and the 1689 Baptist Confession set out the teaching of Scripture on justification quite succinctly, but beautifully. The words “Those whom God effectually calleth, he also freely justifieth” is beautiful music to the ears when there is some understanding. Here is hope for poor sinners. It is not how much they will and how hard or how far they run, it is all of the grace of God. Here is hope for the unregenerate and the regenerate who are under attack. God is able to effectually draw sinners to Himself without their help and aide. God is able to justify sinners apart from anything the sinner can do. He does it all by Himself and for His own glory. There are perhaps many poor sinners who struggle with their hearts and lives not knowing the wonders of free-grace.

Struggling sinners need to hear of this free-justification. Yes it sounds too good to be true, and from a human perspective it is too good to be true. However, this is a Divine work and it is not too good to be true for Him. How does God declare sinners just who are not just in and of themselves? Note what the 1689 says in how He does not do it. He does not declare them just by infusing righteousness in them. This is simply great news. In other words, we do not have a level of righteousness we must obtain before we are declared just. God does not help us some here and there and then declare us just, but He has accomplished a perfect righteousness in Christ and it is given by a free gift by free-grace. The glories of this free-grace should deliver our hearts from self-righteousness. God declares sinners just and it is not based on what they have done, are doing, or will do. God declares sinners just and it is not based on what He will do in them, but instead of what Christ has done.

This is great news for sinners that God has opened their eyes to their hearts and they now see their sin. This is news beyond what our hearts can contain. God takes vile and wretched sinners and quite apart from any righteousness in them and yet while they are still in their sins, God takes those sinners and draws them to Himself and without anything in them to attract Him He declares them just. This is the great hope of sinners who have yet to find Christ. They should seek Him praying and reading the Scriptures that they may know more of this great and free-grace. This is the great hope of those who already have Christ as they continually fall short of His glory. If they had to wait until He infused enough righteousness in them, they would have to wait thousands and millions of lifetimes, though even then it would still be impossible. Yes we struggle with sinful hearts and yes we have doubts and at times are overwhelmed. But Christ is sufficient and Christ alone. He does not need out help and does not want our help in the slightest. Blessed are the impoverished of spirit.

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