Justification by Christ 9

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?”

Luther was ready to die on the issue of justification. As quoted (more or less) above, the Church stands of falls on this doctrine. That means each local church stands or falls on this doctrine and each person stands or falls on this doctrine. If Luther was correct and is correct on this matter, then we need to have the same view of faith that he did. Again, it is not because Luther believed this was true, but if he was correct according to Scripture then we must have the same view of faith if we are going to believe the same Gospel. We also need to think about how God sent a great revival during the time of the Reformation and how God used the Gospel preached by Luther and the Reformers in many lands.

Luther was quite clear that a man was not ready to be saved until that man was humbled and broken before God. He even went so far (in The Bondage of the Will) as to say until a man was broken and humbled enough to give up his free-will he was not ready to be saved. For Luther the idea that a person could be saved by an act of his own faith was simply preposterous. Souls are saved by Christ alone, which is to say that souls are saved for the sake of Christ alone and by His works alone. The reason that souls are justified through faith (according to Luther) is so that the sovereign grace of God would be exalted. It is not that our teaching of faith should detract from grace and so detract from the sovereignty of God and His grace, but instead it was intended to protect it.

The teaching of the modern day has detracted from the nature of true faith and as such it no longer stands in the defense of God’s sovereign grace. At any point and at any time when any person teaches a view of faith (regardless of that person’s theological position or claim to that position) that detracts from the sovereign grace of God, that person has a false view of faith. This must be stressed, emphasized, and defended with all of our hearts if we are going to defend and preach the Gospel of grace alone. There is no defending and preaching of the Gospel of grace alone if we are not willing to defend the sovereignty of the grace of God and the fact that faith is by His grace rather than by human choice and free-will.

Romans 3:24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;

As long as Romans 3:24 stands the Gospel is by a grace that is not moved by anything in the human soul and that includes faith. God gives faith as a gift by His grace rather than waiting to give grace to those with faith. “It is by faith in order that it may be by grace” (Rom 4:16). We must (MUST) defend this and preach this fearlessly and with all the intensity that God will give us. The Gospel is all by Christ and is all of grace and we must not denigrate that in the slightest way. In order to preach the freeness of God in the Gospel rather than the freeness of man we must preach that the Gospel of grace alone is quite apart from anything that man can do or anything in man. The freeness of God in the Gospel demands that He is free to give faith to whom He is pleased to give it and He is pleased to harden those whom He pleases in non-faith (unbelief). Oh how the glory of free-grace is set forth when the freedom of God to show grace to whom He pleases and when He pleases is set forth. However, when anything contrary to the freedom of God is preached and that includes His freedom to give faith as He pleases, then the Gospel of grace alone is not preached. Free-grace is necessary to a free justification of sinners!

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