Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Manner of a Sinner's Justification - Colquhoun

John Colquhoun (1748-1827): excerpts from his sermon on Justification -
"IV. Under the fourth general head, I was to consider the manner of a sinner's justification. The elect were justified, 1. Intentionally, or in the absolute purpose and decree of God. It is called "the justification of life." It is legal life, in opposition to legal death under the condemning sentence of the violated law, and as such is a constituent part of eternal life. Now, we are told that eternal life was promised and given to the elect in Christ, or to Christ as Representative of the elect, before the world began. "In hope of eternal life, that God who cannot lie promised before the world began." "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began." Hence justification, as a fundamental part of that life, was according to the purpose and grace of God, promised and given to the elect in Christ, before the world began. It was promised to Christ their Representative, in their name, upon condition of his fulfilling all righteousness for them in time. Thus on the ground of their federal union with their adorable Surety, they were justified according to the purpose and grace of God, even from eternity. Hence is this cheering declaration, "The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all," Isa. liii.6...
"2d, They were justified virtually, in the resurrection of Christ from the dead. — When Jesus died, he died in order to satisfy Divine justice, as Surety of the elect: when he rose, he rose as their Representative, and in him they all virtually arose...
"3d, They are justified actually, when they apply this justification, each of them to himself by faith — "All who believe are justified from all things;" that is, are justified actually, so as to have the sentence declared, both in the court of heaven and in the court of conscience...
"Lastly, They shall be publicly justified at the last day. — Then they shall be solemnly absolved before an assembled world, and have their title to eternal life publicly proclaimed. In that day, judgment shall be passed, an irreversible sentence shall be pronounced on them. On this account, it is called the day of judgment, Matth. xii. 36. In that day, the good works of the saints shall be proclaimed, not as the ground of their justification, but as evidences of their interest in the spotless righteousness of Christ, and of their title to life eternal. This, the sentence of the righteous Judge implies, — "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you..."
"Thus the elect are justified... In the day of eternity, their justification was actually secured; in the day of Christ's resurrection, it was acually merited; in the day of believing, it is actually applied to the conscience; and in the day of judgment it shall be actually declared in the most public and solemn manner. From eternity, they were justified in the purpose of God; at Christ's resurrection, they were justified in the Son of God as their representative; at the time of their beginning to believe, they are justified in the court of God, the court of heaven, and the court of conscience; and in the last day, they shall be justified publicly at Christ's august tribunal."
 -John Colquhoun. Sermons, Chiefly on Doctrinal Subjects - Justification, Sermon IX, 152-156.

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