Justification by Christ Alone

But, you will say; the apostle Paul saith (Romans 5:1,) “That being justified by faith, we have peace with God;” and since the Holy Ghost saith, “we are justified by faith,” we must not dispute against it. I will answer in brief, and desire one thing of you, and that is to consult Beza upon this place; he renders the words out of the original, “Being justified by faith we have, peace with God,” without any stop from the first to the last. Our translators render the words thus, “Being justified by faith,” and then put a comma; but as Beza renders them (who is accounted a most sincere renderer of the original) he makes no stop: and, if that be true, why may not they be as well rendered thus; “Being justified, by faith we have peace with God?” And so ascribe justification to Christ, as a thing done before, let faith have reference to our peace; being justified by Christ, by faith we come to have peace with God, which stands current with the analogy of faith, and truth of the gospel: “For it is God that justifieth,” Romans 8:34.

Justification is truly and properly the work of God himself, and cannot be the work of faith. But, Secondly, suppose the words to run as they are commonly rendered; I answer, then are we to distinguish in faith two things; there is the act of believing, and the object on which we believe; and so the words may be understood thus, “Being justified” by the righteousness of faith, or by the righteousness of Christ which we believe, “we have peace with God;” and so ascribe our justification to the object of our believing, the righteousness of Christ, and not to the act of believing. The truth is, beloved, the act of believing is a work, and as much ours, as our fear, prayer, and love are; and the apostle should contradict himself when he saith, “We are saved by grace, through faith, not of works,” if he mean the act of faith; he might as well have said, we are not justified by works, but we are justified by them.

An ungodly person, after he is justified, believes; but you must understand it, it is not the faith of the man that simply and properly justifies, but it is that Christ in whom he believes; believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly: it is he that justifieth, that is Christ. It is not believing that justifies. Mark well that phrase; him that justifieth. Justification is an act of Christ, it is not an act of faith. But you will say, It is an act of Christ by faith. I answer, Then Christ justifies not alone. Is faith Christ himself? If not, then Christ must have a partner to justify, or else faith doth not justify, but Christ alone doth it. Nay, I say more, Christ justifies a person before he believes; for, he that believes is justified before he believes; for I ask you, whether in justification a man must believe a truth or a falsehood? You will say, he must believe a truth; then say I, it is a truth that he is justified before he believes it; he cannot believe that which is not, and if he be not justified, that he may believe it, he then believes that which is false. But he is first justified before he believes, then he believes that he is justified. But what then serves faith for? I answer, It serves for the manifestation of that justification which Christ puts upon a person by himself alone: that you by believing on him, may have the declaration, and manifestation of your justification. Faith is the evidence of things, it is not the being of things; and it is the evidence of things not seen. A man is justified, and that by Christ alone. “Faith is an evidence;” faith gives evidence to this thing, faith makes it known; by faith we come to apprehend it; by faith we come to rejoice in it, as we apprehend it to be our own. Tobias Crisp {Christ Alone Exalted}

2 Responses to “Justification by Christ Alone”

  1. Cafazzo Franco Says:

    love , love , love Tobias Crisp.

  2. Cafazzo Franco Says:

    “If we cannot say more than Lord save, or I perish, let us be thankful to be enabled thus to cry.”

    Excerpt From: Samuel Eyles Pierce. “An exposition of the fourteenth chapter of the prophet Hosea, the whole chapter sermonized.” iBooks.

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