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