Justification

“A man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ.”

Gal. 2:16

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Subsections 

The Active Obedience of Christ

The Error of Eternal Justification

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Order of Contents

Articles
Books
How Justification is Distinguished from Sanctification
Justification without any Works
Paul & James on Justification
Justification & Baptism
The Continuation of Justification
Justification & the Final Judgment
Roman Catholicism & Justification
Arminianism & Justification
The History of the Doctrine

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Articles

1600’s

Rijssenius, Leonardus – ‘On Justification’  1692  12 pp.  from his A Complete Sum of Elenctic and Instructive Theology

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1700’s

Halyburton, Thomas

‘A Modest Inquiry whether Regeneration or Justification has the Precedency in order of Nature’  †1712  11 pp.  in Works, pp. 547-558

“…the vindication of the commonly received opinion, viz. That though they are agreed on all hands, to be at one and the same time; yet regeneration in order of nature precedes justification.” – p. 548

‘An Inquiry into the Nature of God’s Act of Justification’  †1712  9 pp.  in Works, pp. 559-568

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1800’s

Buchanan, James – The Immediate and Only Ground of Justification: The Imputed Righteousness of Christ  16 paragraphs, no source info, probably from his The Doctrine of Justification

Cunningham, William – Justification, 1863  120 pp.  from his Historical Theology, vol. 2, p. 1 ff.

Girardeau, John – The Doctrine of Justification: its Ground, Nature and Condition, 1890, p. 417, 148 pp.  being Part II of his Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism

Hodge, Charles

Commentary on Rom. 5:12-21on Adam, Original Sin, Imputation, Christ, Justification, etc.

Delivered from the Law as a Rule of Justification – Now Joined to Christ, from his Way of Life

Justification, from his Systematic Theology, vol. 3,  Buy  21 pp.

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1900’s

Berkhof, Louis – Justification  1950  38 paragraphs, from his Systematic Theology

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Contemporary Article

McMahon, C. Mattew – A Review of The Doctrine of Justification, by James Buchanan, at A Puritan’s Mind.  See the classic book below.

 

 

Historical Theology Article

Fesko, J.V. – William Perkins on Union with Christ and Justification  2010  14 pp.

 

 

Historic Books

Alexander, Archibald – A Treatise on Justification by Faith  1837  50 pp.

A largely unknown and scarce work of Alexander’s on an important topic from an important figure: the first professor of Old Princeton Seminary.

Buchanan, James – The Doctrine of Justification  Buy  1867  510 pp.

Buchanan was a professor in the Free Church of Scotland.

This is the standard classic on the doctrine of justification.  Read it first.  Being a “justified sinner” is a contradiction to a Roman Catholic, it is the highest glory of the gospel to the believer.  For many more reasons why you should read this work, read this review at A Purtian’s Mind.

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How Justification is Distinguished from Sanctification

Phillips, Rick – Seven Assertions Regarding Justification and Sanctification  2015, 9 paragraphs

An excellent, clear and brief Biblical delineation of how Justification is distinguished from Sanctification, and how both flow out of Union to Christ.  Phillips is dead-on. 

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Justification without Any of our Works Whatsoever

Owen demonstrates that when Paul excluded works from justification, he meant all works whatsoever without qualification, contrary to the Federal Vision, Norman Shepherdism, the New Perspective on Paul, Roman Catholics and other groups who unduly qualify Paul’s statements.

Paul’s pronouncements, as is clearly seen by their unqualified, all-encompassing nature and various contexts, did not mean only to exclude the works of the Jewish law, works of the ceremonial law, perfect works only, works done with a conceit of merit, only works before we believed or only outward works done without faith, but all of our works altogether.

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Owen, John – Ch. 14, ‘The Exclusion of All Sorts of Works from an Interest in Justification, what is intended by ‘the law’ and the ‘works’ of it in the Epistles of Paul’  †1683  13 pp.  in The Doctrine of Justification by Faith in Works, 5.278-290

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Paul & James on Justification

The traditional Protestant interpretation of Paul and James is that, as their contexts show, when Paul speaks of Justification without works, he is arguing for the *legal*, forensic grounds by which we are justified before God, whereas James, when speaking of Justification by works, is in context showing how a professor is *demonstrated* to be justified, contrary to false professors whose nominal faith is not saving.

See below for why the Protestant interpretation is right and is the natural and necessary reading of the passages.

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Owen, John – Ch. 20, ‘The Doctrine of the Apostle James concerning Faith and Works, its Agreement with that of St. Paul’  †1683  7 pp.  in The Doctrine of Justification by Faith in Works, 5.384-400

Dixon, Anthony – ‘III. Thing Proposed, viz., to Show in What Sense a Believer is Justified by Works’  1790   pp.  being point 3 of 3 of his sermon on James 2:21, ‘Eternal Justification Unmasked, being the substance of a sermon’  Printed in England.

This sermon is excellent.

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Justification & Baptism

Edwards, John – ‘The Distinction used by some Late Divines of Justification at Baptism and Justification at the Day of Judgment, is Groundless’  1708  8 pp.  in The Doctrine of Faith and Justification set in a True Light, Part 3, ch. 4, pp. 433-441

Edwards was an important, early 1700’s, reformed, Anglican.

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The Continuation of Justification

Owen, John – Part of Ch. 5, ‘The Continuation of Justification, whereon it does Depend’, pp. 143-152  †1683  9 pp.  in The Doctrine of Justification by Faith.  See especially p. 147 ff.

“Some say that on our part the continuation of this state of our Justification depends on the condition of good works…  with this only proviso, that they be done in faith…

[Rather…] the continuation of our Justification is the continuation of the imputation of righteousness and the pardon of sins.” – p. 147

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Justification and the Final Judgment

Owen, John – ‘Sentential Justification at the Day of Judgment’  †1683  3 pp.  in The Doctrine of Justification by Faith, ch. 6, in Works, 5:160-162

‘Sentential’ = relating to a sentence.

Girardeau, John – ‘The Office of Works of Charity in the Last Judgment’  1907  22 pp.  a sermon on Mt. 25:40, in Sermons, pp. 68-89

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Roman Catholicism & Justification

Owen, John – Ch. 5, ‘The Distinction of a First and Second Justification Examined’  †1683  22 pp.  in The Doctrine of Justification by Faith, pp. 189-211

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Arminianism & Justification

Girardeau, John – Part 2, Section 1  1890  160 pp.  in Calvinism & Evangelical Arminianism: Compared as to Election, Reprobation, Justification and Related Doctrines, pp. 417-566

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The History of the Doctrine of Justification

Buchanan, James – Part 1, ‘The History of the Doctrine of Justification’  1867  101 pp. in The Doctrine of Justification  Buy 

Buchanan was a professor in the Free Church of Scotland.

McGrath, Alister – Iustitia Dei: A History of the Christian Doctrine of Justification  Buy  1986  464 pp.

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In reply to the question: ‘Is there any news today?’:  “Oh, yes, this is always news:  ‘The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin.'”

John ‘Rabbi’ Duncan

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