Chapter XI - Of Justification

I. 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;(1 Cor. 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,(Phil. 3:8,9; Eph. 2:8-10) which faith they have not of themselves; it is the gift of God.(John 1:12, Rom. 5:17)

II. 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, James 2:17,22,26)

III. 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;(Heb. 10:14; 1 Pet. 1:18,19; Isa. 53:5,6) yet, in as much 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; 2 Cor. 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)

IV. God did from all eternity decree to justify all the elect,(Gal. 3:8, 1 Pet. 1:2, 1 Tim. 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, Titus 3:4-7)

V. God continues to forgive the sins of those that are justified,(Matt. 6:12, 1 John 1:7,9) and although they can never fall from the state of justification,(John 10:28) yet they may, by their sins, fall under God’s fatherly displeasure;(Ps. 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.(Ps. 32:5, Ps. 51, Matt. 26:75)

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; Rom. 4:22-24)