A “Bonus” Chapter Summary from Books At a Glance
By Benjamin J. Montoya
The doctrine of justification seeks to answer the following crucial question: how can a man be just with God? Our answer to this question is of eternal significance. The right answer can lead to heaven provided someone trusts in Christ whereas the wrong answer will lead to a real hell. To understand it rightly, we need to look to Scripture.
Scripture makes clear that God created us good and placed us under his Law. His Law reflects his perfect character. We are obligated to keep this Law as his creatures. Our obedience to the Law is known as righteousness. If we keep it, we are known as righteous; but, if we do not, we are unrighteous. Paul insists that the Law demands strict obedience and that people are cursed if they do not obey it all. Because of the Fall, we are all born unrighteous, deserving of God’s just punishment.
Justification, however, is a change our status of being unrighteous to becoming righteous in Christ. We can never hope to earn this new status because of our unrighteousness. Instead, we trust in Christ by faith and depend entirely on his satisfaction of the Law, his bearing our penalty on the cross, and the righteousness of Christ. Justification is a legal declaration that God makes based on Christ. It is not the process of becoming holy, as some have confused justification with sanctification. Justification is also taught throughout the Scriptures as will be shown below. But, people still reject it.[To continue reading this summary, please see below....]
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THE WAY OF LIFE, by Charles Hodge