Revere Franklin Weidner on Justification

Revere Franklin Weidner on Justification September 20, 2014

First: Justification does not signify to make righteous, but to declare, to reckon righteous. Gal. 3:6; Rom. 4:3; James 2:23; Gen. 15:5, 6.

Second: It is a judicial process.

  • (1) A judgment is spoken of. Ps. 143:2.
  • (2) A criminal. Rom. 3:19, 20.
  • (3) The law is the accuser and plaintiff. Rom. 3:19; Acts 13:39; Gal. 2:16; 3:11; John 5:45.
  • (4) Conscience concurs with the accusation of the law, and is the witness. Rom. 2:15.
  • (5) The indictment is read. Col. 2: 14; Rom. 2:13; 3:20, 23; Gal. 2:16.
  • (6) There is an advocate. I. John 2:1.
  • (7) Justification is opposed to condemnation. Matt. 12:37; Rom. 5:16; Acts 13:38, 39; Rom. 8:33, 34.
  • (8) There is an acquittal. Rom. 4:6-8; Ps. 32:1.

Third: Justification differs from regeneration and conversion.

  • (1) Regeneration is the new birth, a real and internal change which takes place within man. See Study VI, Part II.
  • (2) Conversion is that work of grace by which the sinner turns away from sin unto God, and begins with repentance and is finished in faith. See Study VII, Part II.
  • (3) Justification is an act of God, taking place apart from man, by which God, for the sake of the merits of Christ, acquits and pronounces righteous the sinner who truly believes in Christ.

Fourth: Before justification the sinner is under the wrath of God. Eph. 2:3.

  • (1) He is under sin. Rom. 3:9, 23; Gal. 3:22.
  • (2) His iniquities and trespasses are unforgiven. Rom. 4:7, 8; Eph. 1:7; II. Cor. 5:19.
  • (3) Spiritual death has overtaken him, which unchecked will lead to eternal death. I. John 3:14; John 5:24.
  • (4) The wrath of God abideth on such a one. John 3:36.

Fifth: After justification the sinner’s relation to God is changed.

  • (1) He is in a state of grace. Eph. 2:8; II. Tim. 1:9.
  • (2) He has passed out of death into life. John 5:24.
  • (3) His iniquities are forgiven. Rom. 4: 7.
  • (4) Righteousness is reckoned unto him. Rom. 4:5, 6; II. Cor. 5:21; Phil. 3:9.

Sixth: Justification therefore consists of two things:

  • (1) Remission of sins. Rom. 4:7, 8; 3, 25; Acts 13:38; I. John 2:10; Eph. 4:32; II. Cor. 5:19.
  • (2) The imputation of Christ’s righteousness.
    • (a) There is a righteousness of God. Rom. 3:21, 22.
    • (b) Obtained by Jesus Christ. Rom. 3:25, 26; 5:8, 9.
    • (c) We can obtain this righteousness of God in Christ. II. Cor. 5:21; Rom. 1:16, 17; I. Cor. 1:30.
    • (d) A righteousness not mine own, but which is of God, through faith in Christ. Phil. 3:9; Rom. 3:9, 10; 4:5.
    • (e) But of this righteousness many are ignorant, Rom. 10:3.

Seventh: Christ obtained the forgiveness of our sins through His vicarious sufferings and death.

  • (1) Christ was made sin in our behalf. II. Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13; Rom. 8:3.
  • (2) He bare our sins in His body. I. Pet. 2:24; Heb. 9:28.
  • (3) On Him was laid our guilt and punishment. I. Pet. 2:24; Isa. 53:4, 6-8, 11.
  • (4) He made propitiation to the justice of God for our sins (for divine wrath is simply a manifestation of divine holiness, the most intense energy of the holy will of God, the zeal of His wounded love.) Rom. 3:24, 25; I. John 2:2; 4:10; Eph. 5:2.
  • (5) He gave His life a ransom for us. Matt. 20: 28; I. Tim. 2:5, 6; Tit. 2:14; I. Pet. 1:18, 19.
  • (6) He opened the way of reconciliation between man and God. Rom. 5:8-11; II. Cor. 5:18, 19; Eph. 2:16; 5:2; Col. 1:20.
  • (7) He obtained our forgiveness by means of His blood shed for our sins. Acts 20:28; Rom. 3:25; 5:9; Eph. 1:7; 2:13; Col. 1:20; Heb. 9: 12, 14; 13:12,20; I. Pet. 1:19; I. John 1:7.
  • (8) We may say therefore that Christ obtained the forgiveness of our sins by His passive obedience.

Eighth: Christ obtained a righteousness for us by the most perfect fulfillment of the law.

  • (1) God sent forth His Son that He might redeem them which were under the law. Gal. 4: 4, 5.
  • (2) To obtain a righteousness for every one that believeth. Rom. 10: 4.
  • (3) To do the will of God. Heb. 10:7.
  • (4) To fulfill the law. Matt. 5:17; 3:15.
  • (5) Christ has made satisfaction to the law in all things, in order that His fulfilment and obedience might be imputed to us. II. Cor. 5:21; Rom. 8:3, 4; Phil. 3:9.
  • (6) This righteousness obtained by Christ is imputed to us through faith. Rom. 3:22, 25, 26; Rom. 1:16, 17; Phil. 3:9.
  • (7) We may say therefore that Christ obtained this righteousness of God, which is imputed to us (Phil. 3:9) through His active obedience.

Ninth: The impelling internal cause of our justification is the purely gratuitous grace of God. Rom. 3:24; 11: 6; Eph. 1:7; 2:8, 9; II. Tim. 1:9.

Tenth: The impelling external and meritorious cause is the active and passive obedience of Jesus Christ our Mediator. Rom. 3:24; II. Cor. 5:21.

Eleventh: When we say we are justified by faith, we simply mean that faith is the instrument or receptive means by which the salvation, offered in Christ Jesus, is received.

Twelfth: A saving faith is one which apprehends the merit of Christ. Rom. 3:25.

Thirteenth: We must distinguish between an imputed righteousness, which belongs to the topic of justification, and the righteousness of new obedience, or inherent righteousness, which belongs to the sphere of sanctification.

Fourteenth: We are justified before God, and saved by faith alone. Every question of works is altogether excluded from the doctrine of justification before God. Rom. 3: 28; Gal. 2:16; Rom. 5:4, 5; 11:6.

Fifteenth: Justification by faith alone is the central doctrine of Protestantism.

Sixteenth: As effects of justification we may mention:

  • (1) Our mystical union with God. John 15: 4-6; Eph. 3: 17; Gal. 2: 20.
  • (2) Adoption as Sons of God. Gal. 3: 26; Rom. 8: 14; I. John 3: 2.
  • (3) Peace. Rom. 5: 1, 5.
  • (4) Access to divine grace. Rom. 5:2; Eph. 2: 18; 3: 12.
  • (5) Sanctification and eternal life. Rom. 6:22; Acts 26: 18. Seventeenth: We may also speak of certain properties of justification:

Seventeenth: Aspects of justification:

  • (1) It is instantaneous; not gradual or successive, like illumination or sanctification.
  • (2) It is perfect. Our sins are completely forgiven; not almost, or only half, or only a certain number. They are either forgiven or unforgiven. I. John 1: 7; Rom. 8:1; John 5:24.
  • (3) Assurance. Rom. 8:38, 39; Eph. 3: 12; Heb. 10:11
  • (4) Is renewed daily; for we must daily repent of our sins, and be daily, continually justified.
  • (5) The state of justification may be lost. John 15: 2; Heb. 6:5, 6; I. Tim. 4:1.
  • (6) But it may be recovered. John 6: 37; Isa. 1:18; Luke 15:11-32.
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