4/11/2014 7:56:17 AM
Justification - The Heart of the Gospel
The doctrine of justification is the hinge upon which the gates of heaven open and close. It is a doctrine that separates biblical Christianity from Roman Catholicism. Those who have a wrong view of justification, have a wrong view of the Gospel of salvation.
The source of justification is God the Father (Romans 8:33). Since it is impossible for man to meet the righteous standard God's righteousness demands, God offers Christ's righteousness as a gift (Romans 5:17).
The ground of justification is the righteousness of Christ. His perfect life and sacrificial death satisfied divine justice. Christ's finished work of redemption is the sole ground on which God pardons repenting sinners (Romans 3:24-26).
The instrument of justification is faith (Galatians 3:24). A repentant sinner is imputed with the righteousness of Christ at the moment of faith in Jesus.
The principle of justification is grace (Romans 3:24). Christ's righteousness is given as a precious gift from God (Rom. 5:17). No one can be justified by obeying the law or by their own righteousness (Galatians 3:11).
The basis of justification is the blood of Christ (Romans 5:9).
The recipients of justification are the wicked, ungodly and unjust (Romans 4:5).
The duration of justification is forever (Romans 8:30, Hebrews 10:14).
The evidence of justification is good works. Since faith is visible only to God, the evidence of justifying faith before men is good works and obedience (James 2:21).
The position of justification is a right standing before God. "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Cor. 5:21). The righteousness of Christ is imputed to believers.
The result of justification is peace with God (Romans 5:1,2).
The proof of a believer's justification is the resurrection of Jesus (Romans 4:25).
Roman Catholicism not only rejects biblical justification but condemns those who believe it. From the Council of Trent, Canon 9: "If any one says, that by Faith Alone the sinner is Justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema (damned forever). By condemning those who God has declared righteous, Catholicism has become an abomination to the Lord (Prov. 17:15).