Whether you are a born-again Christian or not the doctrine of Justification has supreme importance. This doctrine is concerned with Job's question: "How should man be just [righteous] with God?" (9:2)
After Adam fell into sin, God speaks of mankind in this way:
"There is none righteous, no, not one" (Romans 3:10)
Only those with clean hands and a pure heart, i.e. nothing that offends God's holiness shall enter heaven (Psalm 15 & Revelation 21:27).
So how can we as unrighteous people be righteous with or before God?
Simply by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ! He is the end [fulfillment] of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth (Romans 10:4). By believing in Jesus you become justified-considered/declared righteous because of the obedience of Jesus Christ is imputed [reckoned or accounted legally] to you and your sins are forgiven! (See also Romans 3:21-26)
Our Shorter Catechism states the Bible's doctrine thus:
Justification is an act of God's free grace, wherein he pardoneth all our sins, and accepteth us as righteous in his sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and recieved by faith alone.
Hear the Blessed Book again:
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and notby theworks of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. Galatians 2:16
I trust you have believed and if you have not I beseech you by the mercies of God: Be reconciled to God by Jesus Christ!
For the believer this is true spiritual meat and drink. This satisfies your longing for full conformity to God's law. This is your healing medicine when you are convicted by the Holy Spirit through the Word of your heart and life sins: For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him! 2 Corinthians 5:21
Paul wanted to "be found in him [Christ], not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness of God by faith" (Philippians 3:9).
Dear believer, let us guard against any other gospel, any other righteousness, any other work to rest our souls upon than that one Man the Lord Jesus Christ.
Robert Traill (1642-1716) of London, England in the Postscript to his famous letter to a minister in the country "A Vindication of the Protestant Doctrine Concerning Justification and of Its Preachers and Professors From the Unjust Charge of Antinomianism" makes this statement:
All the great fundamentals of Christian truth center in this of justification. The Trinity of persons in the God-head; the incarnation of the only begotten of the Father; the satisfaction paid to the law and justice of God, for the sins of the world, by his obedience, and sacrifice of himself in the flesh he assumed; and the divine authority of the scriptures, which reveal all this; are all straight lines of truth, that center in this doctrine of the justification of a sinner by the imputation and application of that satisfaction. No justification without a righteousness; no righteousness can be, but what answers fully and perfectly the holy law of God; no such righteousness can be performed, but by a divne person; no benefit can accrue to a sinner by it, unless it be some way his, and applied to him; no application can be made of this, but by faith in Jesus Christ. And as the connection with, and dependence of this truth, upon the other great mysteries of divine truth, is evident in the plain proposal of it; so the same hath been sadly manifest in this, that the forsaking of the doctrine of justification by faith in Christ's righteousness, hath been the first step in the apostasy in many, who have not stopped till they revolted from Christianity itself. (The Works of Robert Traill Volumes 1 & 2, The Banner of Truth Trust, reprint, 1975; Vol. 1 page 289)
John Brown (1722-1787) of Haddington, Scotland said this about this great doctrine:
But men's legal dispositions and their inveterate enmity against the glory of God's redeeming grace, and the sole mediation of Jesus Christ, hath made them to stretch every nerve to corrupt this doctrine of a sinner's justification before God: and as if the ONE STONE, which God hath laid for its foundation, were too narrow, or too weak to bear it, they have collected much dung, dross, sand, hay, and stubble, to support it... (The Systematic Theology of John Brown of Haddington,Christian Focus Publications and Reformation Heritage Books, 2002; page 374)
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