Saturday, March 16, 2013

Justification explained...

Herein is the Gospel and only herein.  Everything in Scripture may be the truth of God. But only in the proclaimed finished work of Jesus Christ revealed in God's Word do we hear and receive the unique Good News of God, the power of God unto salvation unto everyone that believeth (Rom. 1:16a).  From Thomas Cranmer's A Sermon Of The Salvation Of Mankind By Only Christ Our Saviour From Sin And Death Everlasting:

Three things must go together in our justification. In these aforesaid places, the Apostle touches specially three things, which must go together in our justification. Upon GOD'S part, his great mercy and grace: upon Christ's part, justice, that is, the satisfaction of GOD'S justice, or the price of our redemption, by the offering of his body, and shedding of his blood, with fulfilling of the law perfectly & throughly; and upon our part true & lively faith in the merits of Jesus Christ, which yet is not ours, but by GOD'S working in us: so that in our justification, is not only God's mercy & grace, but also his justice, which the Apostle calls the justice of GOD, & it consists in paying our ransom, & fulfilling of the law: & so the grace of God doth not shut out the justice of God in our justification, but only shuts out the justice of, that is to say, the justice of our works, as to be merits of deserving our justification. And therefore S. Paul declares here nothing upon the behalf of man, concerning his justification, but only a true & lively faith, which nevertheless is the gift of GOD, and not man's only work, without GOD: And yet that faith doth not shut out repentance, hope, love, dread, & the fear of God, to be joined with faith in every man that is justified, but it shuts them out from the office of justifying...
... But this saying, That we be justified by faith only, freely and without works, is spoken for to take away clearly all merit of our works, as being unable to deserve our justification at GODS hands, and thereby most plainly to express the weakness of man, and the goodness of GOD, the great infirmity of our selves, and the might and power of GOD, the imperfectness of our own works, and the most abundant grace of our Savior Christ, and therefore wholly to ascribe the merit and deserving of our justification unto Christ only, and his most precious blood shedding.

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