Of the Baptist Catechism
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Question What is justification?
Answer Justification is an act of God’s free grace, wherein he pardoneth all our sins,1 and accepteth us as righteous in his sight,2 only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us,3 and received by faith alone.4
[1] Romans 3:24–25; 4:6–8
[2] 2 Corinthians 5:19, 21
[3] Romans 5:17-19
[4] Galatians 2:16; Philippians 3:9

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Is justification an act of God?

It is God that justifieth,
Romans 8:33

And of his free grace?

Being justified by his grace, we are made heirs,
Titus 3:7

Doth this grace set aside all merit in the creature?

For if by grace, then it is no more of works,
Romans 11:6

But does it set aside all merit in Christ?

For we are justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ,
Romans 3:24

Does justification include in it the forgiveness of sins?

We have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins,
Ephesians 1:7

Is remission of sins an act of power?

The Son of Man hath power on earth to forgive sin,
Matthew 9:6

And of grace?

I will be merciful to their unrighteousness,
Hebrews 8:12

And of justice?

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins,
1 John 1:9

Does God forgive sin as a Father?

I will spare them as a man spareth his son that serveth him,
Malachi 3:17

And as a sovereign?

Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity?
Micah 7:18

Doth he pardon many sins?

Her sins which are many are all forgiven,
Luke 7:47

And great sins?

Though your sins have been as scarlet they shall be as white as snow,
Isaiah 1:18

But doth every sin need a pardon?

For if he will contend with us, we cannot answer him one of a thousand,
Job 9:3

Doth justification include in it the acceptance of our persons?

He hath made us accepted in the Beloved,
Ephesians 1:6

And of our services?

God had respect to Abel and to his offering,
Genesis 4:4

Doth God look upon justified ones with complacency?

His countenance doth behold the upright,
Psalm 11:7

And speak of them with approbation?

Thou art all fair, my love, there is no spot in thee,
Song of Solomon 4:7

And treat them with intimacy and endearment?

The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him, and he will show them his covenant,
Psalm 25:14

Were the ceremonial sacrifices insufficient for man’s justification?

For they could not take away sin,
Hebrews 10:14

And are moral duties as insufficient now?

For by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified,
Galatians 2:16

Are duties after faith as insufficient as those before?

For all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags,
Isaiah 64:6

Is therefore an attempt to be justified in this way a glaring instance of folly and ignorance?

For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness go about to establish a righteousness of their own,
Romans 10:3

And will it issue in utter ruin and destruction?

This shall ye have of mine hand, ye shall lie down in sorrow,
Isaiah 50:11

Are we justified only for the righteousness of Christ?

Not having my own righteousness which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ,
Philippians 3:9

Did Christ perform what the law required?

There was no guile found in his mouth,
1 Peter 2:22

And is this a part of our justifying righteousness?

By the obedience of one many are made righteous,
Romans 5:19

Did he suffer what the law threatened?

For he was bruised for our iniquities,
Isaiah 53:5

And is this the other part of it?

Thou wast slain and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood,
Revelation 5:9

Is this righteousness satisfactory to God?

The Lord is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake,
Isaiah 42:21

And sufficient for man?

For grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord,
Romans 5:21

And shall it never be abrogated?

My righteousness shall not be abolished,
Isaiah 51:6

Doth this righteousness become ours by imputation?

David describeth the blessedness of the man to whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
Romans 4:6

And does this imputation depend upon any act in the creature?

For it is the gift of righteousness,
Romans 5:17

Must the righteousness of Christ be received as well as imputed?

We have received the atonement,
Romans 5:11

And is faith the instrument of receiving it?

God hath set forth Christ to be a propitiation through faith in his blood,
Romans 3:25

Is justification the less of grace because it is through faith?

Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace,
Romans 4:16

Doth this doctrine glorify the divine wisdom?

Herein God hath abounded towards us in all wisdom and prudence,
Ephesians 1:8

And magnify the divine goodness?

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be a propitiation for our sins,
1 John 4:10

Doth it contribute to the comfort of afflicted consciences?

For being justified by faith, we have peace with God,
Romans 5:1

And to destroy pride and vain glory?

Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay; but by the law of faith,
Romans 3:27

Is it a powerful motive to holiness and practical religion?

It is a doctrine according to godliness,
1 Timothy 6:3

And an everlasting foundation for thankfulness and praise?

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness,
Isaiah 61:10

From A Scriptural Exposition of the Baptist Catechism

The Westminster Larger Catechism Copy a link to this section

#70 Copy this
Question What is justification?
Answer Justification is an act of God's free grace unto sinners,1 in which he pardoneth all their sins, accepteth and accounteth their persons righteous in his sight;2 not for any thing wrought in them, or done by them,3 but only for the perfect obedience and full satisfaction of Christ, by God imputed to them,4 and received by faith alone.5
[1] Romans 3:22, 24–25; 4:5
[2] 2 Corinthians 5:19, 21; Romans 3:22, 24–25, 27–28
[3] Titus 3:5, 7; Ephesians 1:7
[4] Romans 5:17–19; 4:6–8
[5] Acts 10:43; Galatians 2:16; Philippians 3:9

#71 Copy this
Question How is justification an act of God's free grace?
Answer Although Christ, by his obedience and death, did make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to God's justice in the behalf of them that are justified;1 yet inasmuch as God accepteth the satisfaction from a surety, which he might have demanded of them, and did provide this surety, his own only Son,2 imputing his righteousness to them,3 and requiring nothing of them for their justification but faith,4 which also is his gift,5 their justification is to them of free grace.6
[1] Romans 5:8–10, 19
[2] 1 Timothy 2:5–6; Hebrews 10:10; Matthew 20:28; Daniel 9:24, 26; Isaiah 53:4–6, 10–12; Hebrews 7:22; Romans 8:32; 1 Peter 1:18–19
[3] 2 Corinthians 5:21
[4] Romans 3:24–25
[5] Ephesians 2:8
[6] Ephesians 1:17