Justification

JUSTIFICATION

“Justification in its essence is a legal or forensic term, a term that belongs to the realm of the Law Court. It means ‘to declare just,’ and ‘to declare righteous.’ It is the opposite of condemnation. The Christian has moved from a state of ‘condemnation’ to one of ‘justification’… we do not justify ourselves before God. God justifies us… entirely apart from us and our works. It is not the result of any merit that is in us.” (D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones)

For more on this subject, please visit the Systematic Theology page.

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Covenant of Grace

COVENANT OF GRACE

“The origin of the covenant of grace was the unparalleled, incomprehensible love of God to sinners of the human race. The obstacles in the way of accomplishing the salvation of those, whose death was demanded by law and justice, were apparently insuperable. It may be presumed, that if the problem, how God could be just and yet justify the ungodly, had been proposed to a conclave of the brightest angels in heaven, they could not have worked out a satisfactory answer: it would have baffled their utmost intellectual efforts. That God cannot cease to treat his creatures according to the principles of eternal justice is most evident; and that justice required that the sinner should suffer, according to his demerit, is equally evident. Where, then, is there any foundation for hope in regard to those who have once transgressed? And not only the justice, but the truth of God stood in the way of the sinner’s salvation. God had threatened the penalty of death, interminable death; and the Ruler of the universe must maintain the truth of his word, as it respects his threatenings as well as his promises… But that which could not be discovered by the wisdom of creatures, was devised by the infinite wisdom of God. In the counsels of the adorable Trinity the plan was agreed upon. Between the Father and the Son, a transaction took place, which may strictly be termed a covenant, for, speaking after the manner of men, there were mutual stipulations entered into between the high contracting parties.” (Archibald Alexander)

For more on this subject, please visit the Biblical Theology page.

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The Attestation of Scripture

THE ATTESTATION OF SCRIPTURE

“The internal testimony of the Spirit is the necessary complement to the witness Scripture inherently bears to its plenary inspiration. The two pillars of true faith in Scripture as God’s Word are the objective witness and the internal testimony. The objective witness furnishes us with a conception of Scripture that provides the proper basis for the ever-active sealing operation of the Spirit of truth. The internal testimony insures that this objective witness elicits the proper response in the human consciousness. The sealing function of the Spirit finds its complete explanation and validation in the pervasive witness that Scripture bears to its own divine origin and authority. And the witness to plenary inspiration receives its constant confirmation in the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in the hearts of believers.” (John Murray)

For more on this subject, please visit the Systematic Theology page.

 

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Faith Alone

FAITH ALONE

“To have the status of ‘righteous’ conferred upon oneself is quite amazing. When a judge declares a person innocent, it simply means he is not guilty of breaking the law. But if a judge declares a person righteous, it means that not only is he innocent of breaking the law but that he has also fulfilled the requirement of the law… By justification, a sinner is accepted as righteous, not just for one part of the law, but for the whole law—every single commandment, every single jot and tittle. He is counted as one who has kept every dimension of every law… The only means by which Christ’s perfect work is received is by faith alone—sola fide. We have no other embassy of peace to find shelter from the just wrath of God save for the perfect righteousness and suffering of Christ; and there is no other bridge between man and Christ but faith alone.” (J.V. Fesko)

For more on this subject, visit Ligonier Ministries.

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Of Election to Everlasting Life

OF ELECTION TO EVERLASTING LIFE

“Election is altogether free, without any moving cause, but God’s mere good pleasure. No reason can be found for this but only in the bosom of God. There is nothing before, or above, or without his purpose, that can be pitched upon as the cause of all that grace and goodness that he bestows upon his chosen ones. There was no merit or motive in them… His choice is antecedent to ours. The persons who are singled out to be the objects of his special grace, were a part of lost mankind, the same by nature with others who were passed by, and left to perish in their sin. When God had all Adam’s numerous progeny under the view of his all-seeing eye, he chose some, and passed by others. He found nothing in the creature to cast the balance of his choice, or to determine it to one more than another. Those that were rejected were as eligible as those that were chosen. They were all his creatures, and all alike obnoxious to his wrath by sin. It was grace alone that made the difference.” (Thomas Boston)

For more on this subject, please visit the Systematic Theology page.

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The Foolishness of the Gospel

THE FOOLISHNESS OF THE GOSPEL

“Man’s part is only as the recipient of a gift, planned, purchased and provided by Divine initiative and action alone. When a sinner stands in the judgment, his only hope of salvation is found in the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ, imputed to him apart from any human effort or work. Justification is not the result of man’s co-operation with the grace of God; it is rather a result of divine initiative. It is reliance on Jesus Christ alone for salvation, by faith alone obtaining salvation. We receive the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, his holy obedience to the Law of God, in utter dependence upon his sacrifice for our sins made at Calvary.” (Jim Renihan)

For more on this subject, visit The Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies.

 

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Reformation Essentials

REFORMATION ESSENTIALS

“According to Scripture, God declares a person righteous before that person actually begins to become righteous. Therefore, the declaration is not in response to any spiritual or moral advances within the individual, but is an imputation of the perfect righteousness that God immediately requires of everyone who is united to Christ by faith alone. When a person trusts Christ, that very moment he or she is clothed in his perfect holiness, so that even though the believer is still sinful, he or she is judged by God as blameless.” (Michael Horton)

For more on this subject, visit Modern Reformation.

 

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Scripture Alone

SCRIPTURE ALONE

“In order to lead the church back to sola Scriptura, we must realize that we cannot do so only by teaching about the doctrine itself (although we must do this). Instead, the primary way we lead the church back is by actually preaching the Scriptures. Only the Word of God has the power to transform and reform our churches. So, we should not only talk about sola Scriptura, but we should demonstrate it. And when we do, we must preach all of God’s Word—not picking and choosing the parts we prefer or think our congregations want to hear. We must preach only the Word (sola Scriptura), and we must preach all the Word (tota Scriptura). The two go hand in hand. When they are joined together in the power of the Holy Spirit, we can have hope for a new reformation.” (Michael Kruger)

For more on this subject, please visit the Exegetical Theology page.

 

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God’s Zeal for His Own Glory

GOD’S ZEAL FOR HIS OWN GLORY

God chose his people for His glory (Eph. 1:4–6, 12, 14)

God created us for His glory (Isa. 43:6–7)

God called Israel for His glory (Isa. 49:3; Jer. 13:11)

God rescued Israel from Egypt for His glory (Ps. 106:7–8)

God raised Pharaoh up to show His power and glorify His name (Rom. 9:17)

God defeated Pharaoh at the Red Sea to show His glory (Ex. 14:4, 17, 18)

God spared Israel in the wilderness for the glory of His name (Ezek. 20:14)

God gave Israel victory in Canaan for the glory of His name (2 Sam. 7:23)

God did not cast away His people for the glory of His name (1 Sam. 12:20, 22)

God saved Jerusalem from attack for the glory of His name (2 Kings 19:34; 20:6)

God restored Israel from exile for the glory of His name (Ezek. 36:22–23, 32)

Jesus sought the glory of His Father in all He did (John 7:18)

Jesus told us to do good works so that God gets glory (Matt. 5:16; 1 Pet. 2:12)

Jesus warned that not seeking God’s glory makes faith impossible (John 5:44)

Jesus said that He answers prayer that God would be glorified (John 14:13)

Jesus endured His final hours of suffering for God’s glory (John 12:27–28; 13:31–32; 17:1)

God gave his Son to vindicate the glory of His righteousness (Rom. 3:25–26)

God forgives our sins for His own sake (Isa. 43:25; Ps. 25:11)

Jesus receives us into His fellowship for the glory of God (Rom. 15:7)

The ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Son of God (John 16:14)

God instructs us to do everything for His glory (1 Cor. 6:20; 10:31)

God tells us to serve in a way that will glorify Him (1 Pet. 4:11)

Jesus will fill us with fruits of righteousness for God’s glory (Phil. 1:9, 11)

All are under judgment for dishonoring God’s glory (Rom. 1:22, 23; 3:23)

Herod is struck dead because he did not give glory to God (Acts 12:23)

Jesus is coming again for the glory of God (2 Thess. 1:9–10)

Jesus’ ultimate aim for us is that we see and enjoy His glory (John 17:24)

Even in wrath God’s aim is to make known the wealth of His glory (Rom. 9:22–23)

God’s plan is to fill the earth with the knowledge of His glory (Hab. 2:14)

Everything that happens will redound to God’s glory (Rom. 11:36)

In the New Jerusalem the glory of God replaces the sun (Rom. 21:23)

For more on this subject, visit Desiring God.

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Of Faith in God and in Christ

OF FAITH IN GOD AND IN CHRIST

“Faith is a motion of the soul unto Christ; having looked and gazed at him with wonder and pleasure, it moves towards him. This is expressed by coming unto him. ‘He that cometh to me,’ says Christ, ‘shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me,’ which explains what is meant by coming, ‘shall never thirst,’ (John 6:35)… Coming to Christ is upon an invitation given, encouraging to it; not only by others, by the Spirit and the bride, who say ‘come,’  (Rev. 22:17) and by the ministers of the word; ‘Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money, come!’ and who, through the gospel trumpet being blown with power, and the sound of it attended with efficacious grace, they that are ‘ready to perish’ come, (Isa. 27:13; 55:1) but also by Christ himself, who says, ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest!’ (Matt. 11:28). Such souls come, being influenced and powerfully wrought upon by the grace of God; ‘All that the Father giveth me,’ says Christ, ‘shall come to me;’ efficacious grace will cause them to come, will bring them to him, through all discouragements, difficulties, and objections, and which are all removed by what follows; ‘and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out,’ (John 6:37). This coming to Christ as a Saviour, or believing in him, is owing to the Father’s teachings, instructions, and drawing; ‘No man can come to me,’ says Christ, that is, believe in him, ‘except the Father, which hath sent me, draw him,’ draw him with his lovingkindness, and through the power of his grace, and of his divine teachings; ‘every man therefore that hath heard and learned of the Father cometh unto me.’ Yea, this is a pure gift of his grace, ‘therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me except it were given unto him of my Father,’ (John 6:44, 45, 65) and such souls come to Christ in a view of the blessings of grace, of righteousness, and strength, peace and pardon, salvation and eternal life; these are the goodness of the Lord, they flow unto him for with great eagerness, swiftness, and cheerfulness.” (John Gill)

For more on the subject, please visit the Systematic Theology page.

 

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