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The Blue Letter Bible

Baptist Confession of 1689: Of Justification

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Paragraph 1. Those whom God effectually calls, he also freely justifies, (Rom 3:24; 8:30); not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; (Rom 4:5-8; Eph 1:7); not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ’s sake alone, (1Co 1:30-31; Rom 5:17-19); 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, (Phl 3:8-9; Eph 2:8-10); which faith they have not of themselves; it is the gift of God, (Jhn 1:12; Rom 5:17).

Paragraph 2. Faith thus receiving and resting on Christ and his righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification, (Rom 3:28); yet is not alone in the person justified, but is ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but works by love, (Gal 5:6; Jam 2:17, 22, 26).

Paragraph 3. Christ, by his obedience and death, did fully discharge the debt of all those who are justified; and did, by the sacrifice of himself in the blood of his cross, undergoing in their stead the penalty due to them, make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to God’s justice in their behalf, (Hbr 10:14; 1Pe 1:18-19; Isa 53:5-6); yet, inasmuch as he was given by the Father for them, and his obedience and satisfaction accepted in their stead, and both freely, not for anything in them, (Rom 8:32; 2Co 5:21); their justification is only of free grace, that both the exact justice and rich grace of God might be glorified in the justification of sinners, (Rom 3:26; Eph 1:6-7; 2:7).

Paragraph 4. God did from all eternity decree to justify all the elect, (Gal 3:8; 1Pe 1:2; 1Ti 2:6); and Christ did in the fullness of time die for their sins, and rise again for their justification, (Rom 4:25); nevertheless, they are not justified personally, until the Holy Spirit in time does actually apply Christ to them, (Col 1:21-22; Tts 3:4-7).

Paragraph 5. God continues to forgive the sins of those that are justified, (Mat 6:12; 1Jo 1:7, 9); and although they can never fall from the state of justification, (Jhn 10:28); yet they may, by their sins, fall under God’s fatherly displeasure, (Psa 89:31-33); and in that condition they usually do not have the light of his countenance restored to them, until they humble themselves, beg pardon, and renew their faith and repentance, (Psa 32:5; Psa 51; Mat 26:75).

Paragraph 6. The justification of believers under the Old Testament was, in all these respects, one and the same with the justification of believers under the New Testament, (Gal 3:9; Rom 4:22-24).

DISCLAIMER: Creeds, catechisms, and confessions do not replace Scripture, nor the authority of Scripture. The creeds, catechisms and confessions are included herein for purposes of reference. Blue Letter Bible aims to provide resources that cover a range of traditional, orthodox, conservative Christianity, for the benefit of all of our users. The inclusion of the creeds, catechisms, and confessions does not necessarily mean that the ministry agrees with each and every point in each, since some are coming from different Christian perspectives of faith, practice and worship. The user may find them useful as tools to assist in understanding or teaching the Scriptures, since they were drafted based upon Scripture. Used in their proper context, they can continue to aid us as much today as they did for our forefathers in centuries past.

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