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Westminster Confession of 1646: Of Justification

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Chapter XI. Of Justification

I. Those whom God effectually calleth, He also freely justifieth, (Rom 8:30; Rom 3:24): 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; nor by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness; but by imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ unto them, (Rom 4:5-8; 2Co 5:19, 21; Rom 3:22, 24-25, 27-28; Tts 3:5, 7; Eph 1:7; Jer 23:6, 1Co 1:30, 31; Rom 5:17-19); they receiving and resting on Him and His righteousness, by faith; which faith they have not of themselves, it is the gift of God, (Act 10:44; Gal 2:16; Phl 3:9; Act 13:38-39; Eph 2:7-8).

II. Faith, thus receiving and resting on Christ and His righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification, (Jhn 1:12; Rom 3:28; Rom 5:1): yet is it not alone in the person justified, but is ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but worketh by love, (Jam 2:17, 22, 26; Gal 5:6).

III. Christ, by His obedience and death, did fully discharge the debt of all those that are thus justified, and did make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to His Father’s justice in their behalf, (Rom 5:8-10, 19; 1Ti 2:5-6; Hbr 10:10, 14; Dan 9:24, 26; Isa 53:4-6; 10-12). Yet, inasmuch as He was given by the Father for them, (Rom 8:32); and His obedience and satisfaction accepted in their stead, (2Co 5:21; Mat 3:17; Eph 5:2); and both, freely, not for anything in them; their justification is only of free grace, (Rom 3:24; Eph 1:7); that both the exact justice, and rich grace of God might be glorified in the justification of sinners, (Rom 3:26; Eph 2:7).

IV. God did, from all eternity, decree to justify all the elect, (Gal 3:8; 1Pe 1:2, 19-20; Rom 8:30); and Christ did, in the fulness of time, die for their sins, and rise again for their justification, (Gal 4:4; 1Ti 2:6; Rom 4:25): nevertheless, they are not justified, until the Holy Spirit doth, in due time, actually apply Christ unto them, (Col 1:21-22; Gal 2:16; Tts 3:4-7).

V. God doth continue to forgive the sins of those that are justified, (Mat 6:12; 1Jo 1:7, 9; 1Jo 2:1-2); and, although they can never fall from the state of justification, (Luk 22:32; Jhn 10:28; Hbr 10:14); yet they may, by their sins, fall under God’s fatherly displeasure, and not have the light of His countenance restored unto them, until they humble themselves, confess their sins, beg pardon, and renew their faith and repentance, (Psa 89:31-33; Psa 51:7-12; Psa 32:5; Mat 26:75; 1Co 11:30, 32; Luk 1:20).

VI. 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, 13-14; Rom 4:22-24; Heb 13:8).



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.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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