The Gospel According to Galatians, Pt. 7 by C. R. Biggs
â€œChrist will do all for you, or nothing for you.â€
â€“J. Gresham Machen (Gal. 2:21)
In our last study we celebrated the 489th anniversary of the Reformation by considering exegetically and biblically the Apostle Paulâ€™s doctrine of justification by faith alone in Galatians chapter 2.
Todayâ€™s study is the second part of a study on justification by faith alone, and why it is vitally and eternally important for us to understand this important doctrine, just because this is the truth of the gospel (Gal. 2:5, 14). As a reminder, twice in Galatians, the Apostle Paul calls the doctrine of justification by faith alone â€œthe truth of the gospelâ€:
ESV Galatians 2:5 â€¦[To the false brothers] we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you.
ESV Galatians 2:14 But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospelâ€¦
Throughout Church history there has been a tendency to recover by Godâ€™s grace a focus on Christ alone and his righteousness received by faith alone, only to find that within a few years we lose our focus, and the same old problem of false teaching and error with regard to the gospel arises again from within Christâ€™s Church to turn our attention from Christ and what he has done, to turn to a righteousness found in Christ and manâ€™s cooperation.
Remember as we learned in our first study on Galatians 1, the Galatian Churches were â€œquicklyâ€ turning from the truth of the gospel which was â€œgrace alone in Christ aloneâ€ to â€œanother gospelâ€ which was â€œgrace plus Christ,â€ that was no gospel at all.
The preserving and proclamation of the truth of this doctrine of justification by faith alone is a constant battle in the Church- -this too is part of the â€œfighting the good fightâ€ as we are commanded to do! Paul writes to sober us all up, especially teachers and preachers in Christâ€™s Church by writing:
ESV Galatians 1:6-8: I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel- 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.
ESV 2 Timothy 4:1-5: I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
It is imperative for Christians today, when learning the biblical teaching of justification by faith alone in Christ alone, that we are reminded of â€œbeating this doctrine into our heads dailyâ€ (Lutherâ€™s language from his Commentary on Galatians) and fixing our eyes of faith upon Jesus Christ and his righteousness alone. Jesus is the only Author and Perfecter of our faith (Heb. 12:1-3).
We must learn again in our time to turn from what man is doing with God, or for God, or in cooperation with Godâ€™s grace, and back to Christ alone again! There is no righteousness found within us according to the Apostle Paul in Galatians, and this is the clear teaching of Scripture (Rom. 3:1-4:25).
The only righteousness that God has revealed is in Christ alone
Godâ€™s verdict of â€œguiltyâ€ or condemnation abides upon all mankind outside of Christ- -apart from faith. Godâ€™s vindication-justification or pronouncement of â€œnot guiltyâ€ is found only in Christ alone- -and not in us. Even as we obey God by faith as a Christian, none of our works are meritorious in any way; rather, the works we perform by loving obedience (Gal. 5:6: â€œfaith working through loveâ€) are evidence of the fact that God has justified us and declared us â€œnot guiltyâ€ by faith in Christ alone.
â€œChrist will do all for you, or nothing for you.â€
â€“J. Gresham Machen
As Dr. Machen put it so bluntly and eloquently: â€œChrist will do all for you, or nothing for you.â€ Is Christ your righteousness alone? Or, have you attempted or tried to add some of your own cooperative works to Christâ€™s works? How are you individually made â€œrightâ€ or â€œrighteousâ€ before a holy God? Justification by faith alone in Christ alone is your only hope! But do you know and understand the meaning of the biblical teaching of justification by faith alone?
Do you allow Christ do all for you with regard to your right standing before God, or do you nullify or make void the gospel by trying to add to it? Remember the words of Paul in Galatians 2:19-21:
ESV Galatians 2:19-21: For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if justification were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.
In Galatians 2:19-21, Paul outlines for us two mutually exclusive ways of salvation. You either live to the law, or you live to God. You trust in Christâ€™s righteousness alone, or you trust in Christâ€™s righteousness plus your own. If you live to law, or live to cooperate with Godâ€™s grace and Christâ€™s righteousness, you nullify, or make void the work and death of Christ for sinners.
Justification by faith alone is a immensely practical and comforting doctrine for the Christian! As we live the Christian life, we constantly sin and fall short of the glory of God, although we make some progress in sanctification by His grace. Yet the Christianâ€™s comfort of assurance of right standing before God, and of who we are in Christ is not found in what we are doing for him (or what we have done for him, piling up all our good works), but what Christ has already done for us in his life, death, resurrection, and ascension.
Nowâ€”beat that into your head one more time!
Dr. Francis Turretin, Italian Reformer (1623-1687) writes concerning the importance of knowing the doctrine of justification as Christâ€™s people:
â€œ[Justification] is called by Luther, the article of a standing and falling church; by other Christians it is termed the characteristic and basis of Christianity not without reason, the principle rampart [bulwark] of the Christian religion, and, it being adulterated or subverted, it is impossible to retain purity of doctrine in other places. Whence Satan in every way has endeavored to corrupt this doctrine in all ages; as has been done especially in the Papacy: for which reason it is deservedly placed among the primary causes of our Secession from the Roman Church and of the Reformation.â€
â€œWatch Your Life and Doctrine Closelyâ€ (KJV)
Sadly today, many evangelicals have all but forgotten the importance of the Reformation, and particularly the doctrine of Justification by faith alone which was the article upon which the Church stands are falls (Lutherâ€™s Latin phrase for this was: Articulus stantis et cadentis Ecclesiae). Now why would I pick on evangelical Christians particularly?
We must remember that evangelical Christians are those who still confess that the Bible is Godâ€™s Word and believe it to be true. Evangelical Christians desire to make Christ and his gospel known to the world. Evangelical Christians trace their origins to the Reformation of the 16th century, and to the recovery of the doctrine of justification by faith alone.
The doctrine of justification by faith alone is the doctrine upon which the Church in any age is judged as to whether it is standing faithfully, or falling from grace. How are most evangelical churches doing according to this measurement today?
Unfortunately, many evangelicals today are not even aware of the Reformation, and some if they are aware, are not particularly interested. â€œDoctrine dividesâ€ they say, and so let us just join together and talk about the things we do agree upon. â€œThere is no need for controversy or discussion, letâ€™s just choose to agree to disagree on certain things, this is an in house debate anyway.â€
These are the same comments made by liberals in the early 20th century who also had forgotten their Reformation roots, and doctrine had become something that was to them an unnecessary evil. What truly mattered was unity, even if this meant denying the doctrines that were recovered in the Reformation (Read Machenâ€™s â€˜Christianity and Liberalismâ€™).
We must lovingly, patiently, carefully, yet boldly call evangelical Christians back to the truth of the gospel. Evangelicals today are greatly interested in getting the gospel out (and that is commendable), but they are not as interested in â€˜getting the gospel rightâ€™ (and that is dangerous!).
We must get the gospel right by understanding the doctrine of justification by faith alone, so that by Godâ€™s grace, we can get the gospel right for ourselves and our children- -and then get the gospel out to a world perishing! Remember the sobering words of the Apostle Paul to his son Timothy (and these words apply for every generation of teacher-pastor, or parent!):
â€œKeep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching.
Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.â€ -1 Timothy 4:16.
Paul commands us to watch our life and our teaching. We are to do this so as to know salvation as individuals before God, and for those we teach to know the truth, and this includes the people of God if we are pastor-teachers and our children if we are parents. The fact that Paul says â€œpersist in thisâ€ is to underline the tendency for us all so quickly to forget the sound teachings and doctrines of Holy Scripture! I think a lack of persistence in life and doctrine, specifically with regard to the gospel of justification by faith alone, is precisely what has happened broadly in the majority of evangelical churches.
Dr. Michael Horton wrote concerning the problem with evangelical Christians who desire to be evangelistic, but who have all but lost and misunderstood the gospel, recovered by Godâ€™s grace in the Reformation:
â€œThe evangelistic energy of evangelical Protestants has added to the tendency to bury concern over the actual content of the evangel (â€œgood newsâ€). One might say that in all of the activity, evangelism is too busy to be troubled with the evangel.
In his broadly representative crusades, the Reverend Billy Graham was simply following in the footsteps of an earlier generation of evangelicals whose missionary and evangelistic zeal encouraged them to play down doctrinal issues when founding the World Council of Churches. Reverend Graham recently reasserted his view of Roman Catholicism:
â€˜I have found that my beliefs are essentially the same as those of orthodox Roman Catholicsâ€™.â€- Quoted in â€˜Faith Aloneâ€™ by R. C. Sproul, pg. 11 (Graham quote from magazine â€˜Berean Callâ€™, Sept. 1994).
Now please understand that I have no pleasure in unnecessarily criticizing evangelical Christians in general, and Billy Graham in particular. However, criticism of certain people within the Church, especially those who teach the Bible, with the purpose of making the gospel clear has biblical precedence in the Apostle Paul (in Galatians against the Judaizers, 1 and 2 Timothy, Paul writes against several teachers who are corrupting the truth).
Many evangelicals are merely ignorant of the truth of the gospel, which is justification by faith alone, but we should seek â€œproductive conflictâ€ over harmony, in order to make known, as well as preserve the gospel of truth at all costs! My question then is: How can Billy Graham (I am using him as a sort of spokesperson for evangelicalism, especially his quote from the 1990s), and other evangelicals today seek to join with Roman Catholics who still today deny the gospel of grace?
My question is aimed at getting at how evangelical Christians could not perceive theologically that there is a big difference between them and Rome? Let us take a look at the official teaching of the Roman Catholic Church on the doctrine of justification that was articulated in the Reformation.
The Roman Catholic Doctrine of Justification by Faith
What does the Roman Catholic Church teach concerning Justification? Let Rome speak for herself. Let us first consider the Roman Catholic Council of Trent (1545-1564) and how it opposed vehemently the doctrine of justification by faith alone recovered by the Church in the 16th century.
CANON IX. (Note: Canons are ecclesiastical laws or decrees according to Roman Catholic theology pronounced by the Magisterium that must govern all individual parishes and churches of the RCC).
â€œIf any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema.â€
This is obvious Semi-Pelagianism of the worst sort, and this is what the Apostle Paul was confronting in the Epistle to the Galatians!
CANON XI.- â€œIf any one saith, that men are justified, either by the sole imputation of the justice of Christ, or by the sole remission of sins, to the exclusion of the grace and the charity which is poured forth in their hearts by the Holy Ghost, and is inherent in them (remains in them); or even that the grace, whereby we are justified, is only the favour (good will) of God; let him be anathema.â€
This is a confusion of justification as forensic as we learned in our last study, and sanctification which is transformative, where grace is infused.
Roman Catholicism still confuses justification and sanctification by calling Godâ€™s anathema, curse, or wrath on those who would say that justification is forensic, and an imputation of Christâ€™s righteousness, not a righteousness that is created through faith and works in the believer! In other words, to use the terms we learned in our previous studies, Rome is NOT Pelagian, but Rome is Semi-Pelagian, which was the doctrinal error the Apostle Paul was condemning at the Churches of Galatia (See previous studies on â€˜The Gospel According to Galatiansâ€™). It is vitally important to notice that Rome can articulate clearly the doctrine of justification by faith alone through imputation, but articulates it clearly in order to condemn it!
And do not kid yourself. No one is free to disagree with Romeâ€™s declaration against justification by faith alone. There simply is no compromise between Rome and the Reformation!
CANON XXXIII: â€œIf anyone says that the Catholic doctrine of justification as set forth by the Holy Council and the present decree, derogates in some respect from the glory of God or the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ,â€¦let him be anathema.â€
You must understand, according to official Roman Catholic doctrine pronounced as canon law at the Council of Trent, what I am articulating in this study, and what I believe the Apostle Paul is teaching in Galatians 1-2 is under the curse-anathema of God according to Rome.
How could evangelicals and Roman Catholics then agree essentially in their beliefs? It is not merely Billy Graham who has articulated this, but other important people in the Evangelical Movement have affirmed it officially, or unofficially made it their practice to unite with Roman Catholics without considering the official doctrinal Distinctives.
[Note: To be fair, I am aware that in the official â€œECT: Evangelicals and Catholics Togetherâ€, the evangelicals who signed the document affirm the doctrine of justification by faith alone (â€œsola fideâ€), but do they believe the doctrine is worth fighting for and preserving? How could we have a â€œcommon missionâ€ culturally and for evangelism when the evangel or â€œgood newsâ€ is justification by faith alone, and signers of the document will not â€œsheep stealâ€ from Rome (meaning they will not try to convert a Roman Catholic to the Reformed faith), or biblically argue over the doctrinal differences and real distinctives! I just cannot imagine Martin Luther and John Calvin signing such a document as this, because even though the evangelicals may articulate that they are joining Roman Catholics for a cultural mission, they are implicitly undermining the Great Commission. Can you imagine the Apostle Paul compromising and signing a joint document with the Judaizers? For more criticism on the dangers theologically of ECT, read â€˜Faith Aloneâ€™ by R. C. Sproul, â€˜Ashamed of the Gospelâ€™ and â€˜Reckless Faithâ€™ by John MacArthur, â€˜Roman Catholicism: Evangelical Protestants Analyze What Divides and Unites Usâ€™, ed. John Armstrong, and read â€˜Modern Reformationâ€™ magazine. There are also excellent resources for better understanding this at www.monergism.com].
Evangelicals and Catholics are joining together and unifying in our time officially and unofficially as if the Protestant Reformation never happened. Why? Perhaps it is because they are (1) Ignorant of the differences (perhaps the majority); (2) Careless of the differences; they do not think the differences amount to that much at all; Or perhaps (3) They are both Semi-Pelagian in their belief systems and are closer to one another than one would like to imagine!
I believe the third point is well worth noting! Roman Catholics are not Pelagian; they have condemned any kind of â€œworks salvationâ€ which is Pelagianism. Roman Catholics uphold the decisions of the Synod of Carthage (418) that condemned Pelagianism (works righteousness), the Council of Orange (529) that condemned Semi-Pelagianism, and the Council of Trent upheld these condemnations.
Rome may have condemned any salvation by works alone, but they teach, affirm and continue to uphold that salvation is by grace and works. Officially, the Roman Catholic Church is still opposed to the biblical doctrine of justification by faith alone- -and we need to be aware of this reality!
The Catholic Encyclopedia defines justification in this way: â€œPrimarily and simply justification is the possession of sanctifying graceâ€¦.We are justified by Christâ€¦and by good works,â€¦.â€
The most recent and officially authorized Roman Catholic Catechism of the Catholic Church defines justification this way (Article 2: Justification and Grace, section 1992, pg. 482, Linguori Publications):
â€œJustification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ who offered himself on the cross as a living victim, holy and pleasing to God, and whose blood has become the instrument of atonement for the sins of all menâ€¦â€
So far, so good (except that last part that denies the biblical doctrine of definite atonement)â€¦but so far, so good with regard to justification and an agreement that we have with Rome.
However, it continuesâ€¦
â€œâ€¦Justification is conferred in Baptism, the sacrament of faith. It conforms us to the righteousness of God, who makes us inwardly just by the power of his mercy. Its purpose is the glory of God and of Christ, and the gift of eternal lifeâ€ (Council of Trent, 1547: DS 1529).
This is blatant and deadly error. Imputation to us rather than infusion in us was one of the most important points of the Reformation doctrinally. We are justified by the imputation of Christâ€™s righteousness outside of us, not through an inherent righteousness through the sacramental infusion of grace.
Pastor John MacArthur reminds us: â€œAll claims that salvation is through belief in Jesus Christ plus something else are blasphemous, satanic lies. There can be no effective or acceptable human addition to Christâ€™s work.â€ -John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Galatians, Moody Press, 1987, page 57.
Romeâ€™s doctrine articulated is clearly and unashamedly grace plus works, and it makes justification transformative through infusion, whereby the person actually becomes righteous and then theyâ€™re justified. In other words, according to Romeâ€™s official teaching, when one is justified, they are already righteous. The righteousness is inherent in them according to Rome through sacramental grace and the work of the Holy Spirit.
In contrast to this error, the biblical teaching is that we are not made righteous, but that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to us while we are yet sinners and ungodly.
This is why Martin Luther taught in the Reformation that we are â€œsimultaneously righteous and sinfulâ€ (Latin: simul Justus et peccator) in opposition to this erroneous teaching of Rome!
â€œHow Can a Person be Righteous Before God?â€: What is the Hope of Our Justification?
Italian Reformer, Francis Turretin (1623-1687) articulated justification by faith alone against Roman Catholic error in this way: "The gospel teaches that what could not be found in us and was to be sought in another, could be found nowhere else than in Christ, the God-man ( theanthropos, Gk.); who taking upon himself the office of surety most fully satisfied the justice of God by his perfect obedience and thus brought to us an everlasting righteousness by which alone we can be justified before God; in order that covered and clothed with that garment as though it were of our first-born (like Jacob), we may obtain under it the eternal blessing of our heavenly Father." -Francis Turretin, 'Institutes of Elenctic Theology'
Heidelberg Catechism Question 60: On Justification, asks the catechetical question: How are thou righteous before God?
Answer. â€œOnly by a true faith in Jesus Christ; so that though my conscience accuse me, that I have grossly transgressed all the commandments of God, and kept none of them, and am still inclined to all evil; notwithstandingâ€¦
â€¦God, without any merit of mine, but only of mere grace, grants and imputes to me, the perfect satisfaction, righteousness and holiness of Christ; even so, as if I never had had, nor committed any sin: yea, as if I had fully accomplished all that obedience which Christ has accomplished for me; inasmuch as I embrace such benefit with a believing heart.â€
If that will not make your day, I do not know what will! Justification by faith, cooperating with Godâ€™s grace is not good news! Justification by faith alone in Christ alone- -is very good news! â€œBeat into your headâ€ the last part of the Heidelberg Catechism, Question 60 again:
â€œâ€¦God, without any merit of mine, but only of mere grace, grants and imputes to me, the perfect satisfaction, righteousness and holiness of Christ; even so, as if I never had had, nor committed any sin: yea, as if I had fully accomplished all that obedience which Christ has accomplished for me; inasmuch as I embrace such benefit with a believing heart.â€
In all of these definitions of the gospel truth of justification by faith alone, the word â€œimputationâ€ is used in contrast with the Roman Catholic doctrine of â€œinfusionâ€. Letâ€™s consider these two words at this point in our study. The one word â€œimputationâ€ is very important to know for yourself, and pass along to others you teach!
Imputation vs. Infusion: A Confusion of Justification and Sanctification?
Let us learn two important theological terms that Christians should know with regard to justification by faith alone. The two terms are imputed and infused.
Definition: What is Imputation? - Simply put: â€œA declaration, or reckoning of righteousnessâ€.
Imputation is the biblical truth that God clothes the ungodly, spiritually dead, sinful person with the righteousness of Christ, by faith alone.
We are in a right standing before God based on Christâ€™s works for us. Paul says Abraham was reckoned/declared/considered (logizomai- Greek), justified based on faith alone. Paul uses the term â€œlogizomaiâ€ 12 times in this passage in Romans 4 to make the point crystal clear.
As believers, we are clothed in Christâ€™s righteousness, and we are reckoned/declared/considered righteous as was Abraham. We receive an â€œalien righteousnessâ€ from God, the righteousness that was earned by Jesus Christ and is imputed to us.
Justification by faith alone is a monergistic work of grace (meaning â€œno cooperationâ€ between God and sinners), where God clothes us in Christâ€™s righteousness and this is received by faith alone! Monergism (from two words in Greek: mono- one, and ergo- work) simply means â€œone workingâ€, and the only one who works in our salvation is God alone! Monergism is the opposite of synergism (from two words in Greek: syn- more than one and ergo- work), which simply means two or more working, as in a cooperation with Godâ€™s grace in order to achieve salvation.
Definition: What is Infusion? - Simply put: â€œTo become righteousâ€. Infusion is the opposite of imputation. This is a synergistic work, or cooperation between God and sinful man! What the first century Israelite, the Medieval, as well as the modern Roman Catholic, and many today claim is that we become righteous- - then we are justified. And this truly makes the eternal difference between heaven and hell.
It is true that once a person is united to Jesus Christ by faith alone in their justification, then that person does become righteous or Christ-like; this is called â€œsanctificationâ€. But we must make sure that justification by faith alone because of Godâ€™s grace alone must precede our sanctification.
In our doctrinal understanding, this is why it is so important to make a distinction (but never separation!) between justification and sanctification. Justification and sanctification are both the benefits we receive in Christ alone, and you cannot have one without the other (cf. Rom. 8:28-31). Justification and sanctification are both grounded in the grace of God alone.
However, in justification a sinner is declared righteous before God because Christâ€™s righteousness is imputed to him by faith alone apart from works. Justification is an act of God alone and is therefore monergistic.
In distinction, sanctification is a work of Godâ€™s grace where the sinner gradually becomes righteous by Godâ€™s grace. Sanctification is the work of God, but the sinner saved by grace cooperates with Godâ€™s grace (albeit imperfectly), and is therefore synergistic. The right standing before God is based on the justification by faith alone in Christ alone!
Notice how carefully the Westminster Divines articulate the two important distinctions between justification and sanctification in the Westminster Shorter Catechism:
WSC 33 What is justification? A. 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)Rom. 3:24,25; Rom. 4:6-8 (2)2 Cor. 5:19,21 (3)Rom. 5:17-19
(4)Gal. 2:16; Phil. 3:9
WSC 35 What is sanctification? A. Sanctification is the work of God's free grace,(1) whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God,(2) and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness.(3)
(1)2 Thess. 2:13 (2)Eph. 4:23,24 (3)Rom. 6:4,6; Rom. 8:
God justifies the ungodly sinner by faith alone. He does not justify or declare righteous those who are already righteous by virtue of having â€œtried hardâ€ to be good, or those who merely have gone through the motions in the visible church, going to church, listening to the Word, and participating in the sacraments, or those who have tried to work hard in any way cooperating with Godâ€™s grace in order to be justified!
Those who have worked hard have not worked hard enough (and never will!)- -in fact they are condemned before Godâ€™s Holy Tribunal! Why? Because they fall short of Godâ€™s glory and can never match the perfect and complete work of Jesus Christ!
Only in Christ are we justified! When we believe and rest in Christâ€™s righteous work for us, God imputes to us the righteous works achieved by Christ!
The Reformed Pastor John Calvin in his Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans wrote concerning the good news of justification by faith alone:
â€œWhenâ€¦we come to Christ, we first find in Him the exact righteousness of the law, and this also becomes ours by imputation.â€
â€œTherefore, we explain justification simply as the acceptance with which God receives us into his favor as righteous men. And we say that it consists in the remission of sins and the imputation of Christâ€™s righteousness.â€- Institutes in the Christian Religion, Calvin, 3.11.2.
Professor John Murray wrote concerning justification by faith alone (he focuses on Jesusâ€™ active and passive obedience for us!):
â€œIt is our Lordâ€™s whole work of obedience in every phase and period that is described as active and passive, and we must avoid the mistake of thinking that the active obedience applies to the obedience of his life and the passive to the obedience of his final sufferings and death. The real use and purpose of the formula is to emphasize the two distinct aspects of our Lordâ€™s vicarious obedience. The truth expressed rests upon the recognition that the law of God has both penal sanctions and positive demandsâ€¦.Christâ€™s obedience was vicarious in the bearing of full judgment of God upon sin, and it was vicarious in the full discharge of the demands of righteousness. [Christâ€™s] obedience becomes the ground of the remission of sin and of actual justification.â€- Redemption Accomplished and Applied, pgs. 21-22.
Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 11: "Those whom, God effectually calls he also freely justifies, not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; not for anything wrought in them or done by them, but for Christâ€™s sake alone; not by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them as their righteousness, but by imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ unto them, they receiving and resting on him and his righteousness by faith, which faith they have not of themselves, it is the gift of God" â€“ WCF Ch 11
Notice how the Westminster Divines define justification with the rejection of the infusing of righteousness against Roman Catholic doctrine, then articulate the biblical doctrine of the imputation of Christâ€™s righteousness by faith â€œreceiving and resting on him and his righteousness by faithâ€¦â€
â€œIs Christ a minister of sin?â€ Does Paulâ€™s doctrine of free grace in Justification by faith alone encourage sin and sinful behavior? (Gal. 1:17)
When the doctrine of justification by faith alone is rightly taught, many fear that it will produce Christians with no fruit in the Christian life (â€œAntinomiansâ€). In fact, this was one reason why Rome officially denounced the doctrine of justification by faith alone because they thought that it would lead to ungodly living where Godâ€™s Law was disregarded (For this good intention, we can commend Rome for their legitimate concern- -but legalism is no better than antinomianism).
When the truth of the gospel is declared and proclaimed in all its sweetness and greatness, some will naturally (sinfully!?) say: â€œShall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?!â€ Meaning, if this grace is so good and abounds where my sin is, then what is preventing me from living like hell- -although I have been saved for heaven?
Paul in Romans 6:1-16 responds to this by saying: â€œGod forbid!â€ â€œMay it never be that we think like this!â€ Why? Because in our justification by faith alone Christâ€™s righteousness has been imputed to us and we have died to sin. We now live in Christ. We are united to Jesus Christ by faith and share in all of the benefits that he is heir to as the Son of God!
You see, the legitimate concern of those who think justification by faith alone will encourage sin and sinful behavior is exactly what the Judaizers were suggesting would happen with Christians in opposition to the Apostle Paulâ€™s pure gospel in Galatians. The Judaizers were trying to undermine Paulâ€™s gospel by saying it would make Christ a â€œminister of sinâ€. Some today are also concerned with a doctrine that teaches that salvation is all of grace and rejects manâ€™s contribution or works.
If you have ever been accused and criticized of preaching â€˜antinomianismâ€™ or if you have been accused and criticized of the sinful conclusions some are reaching because you are preaching grace alone in Christ alone, then youâ€™re in good company- -it happened to the Apostle Paul as well.
Man by nature hates a gospel that is all of grace and all of Godâ€™s doing, but that is the gospel, and nothing else can be good news apart from what God has revealed and provided in Christ alone!
Union with Christ: Considering Justification and Sanctification â€œin Christâ€
However, the problem is not with justification by faith alone. The problem is when some would separated justification from sanctification, as if one can be justified or declared righteous before God and not become righteous or bear fruit that will last in sanctification. The answer to this problem is the solution that the Apostle Paul teaches in Galatians 1:19-21: Union with Christ.
Union with Christ is Paulâ€™s focus. We are justified by faith alone and we receive all of the benefits of Christâ€™s redemption â€œin Himâ€ by being united to him: â€œGod forbidâ€ that Christ is a servant of sin! In our union with Jesus Christ, we receive our justification before God, and God begins the good work of making us like Christ in our sanctification.
Paul says enthusiastically:
â€œI have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if justification were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.â€ â€“Galatians 1:20-21
Paul says: â€œI have been crucified with Christ.â€ He wants the believer to know that it is all of grace that one is saved in union with Jesus Christ. â€œWe were there being crucified with Christâ€ when Christ was crucified just as truly as the two other thieves crucified â€œwith Christâ€ on the hill of Golgotha. In Romans 6, the Apostle Paul states the same reality and truth:
ESV Romans 6:5-11: For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
The Apostle Paul wants the believer to know that in their union with Christ, they have died to sin. They live not unto law, but unto God by faith. As Jesus says similarly in John 15: â€œI am the Vine, you are the branchesâ€¦you will bear fruit, fruit that will last.â€
Roman Catholicism confuses justification and sanctification by placing sanctification and becoming righteous before our justification- -and this is a great error. But there is another perhaps more subtle error and this is a separation of justification and sanctification. This is the error where one thinks he can be declared righteous before God and in right standing, and never bears any fruit.
Paul and James on Justification by Faith Alone
To summarize briefly a long exegetical controversy in the history of the Church, the Apostle Paul was focusing our attention of justification by faith alone in Christ alone, and desired for Christians to know both justification and sanctification are part of the benefits of our union with Jesus Christ. James in chapter 2 of his letter however, wants the focus to be on a faith that works.
Paul and James both agree in their doctrine of union with Christ, and so you might say for Paul, his main emphasis is:
â€œJustification is by faith alone in Christ aloneâ€¦â€
While Jamesâ€™ main emphasis is:
â€œJustification is by faith alone in Christ aloneâ€¦.but not a faith that is alone.â€
Both Paul and James teach that our faith is alone in receiving Christâ€™s righteousness; faith is a gift of God, but it is a working faith. As Paul says, it is faith working through love (Gal. 5:6). When James speaks in chapter two of his epistle of faith not being alone, he is not saying â€œfaith aloneâ€ in justification; he is saying faith is not alone in sanctification; or faith is accompanied by works in our sanctification (but never in our justification!). This is the reason why we must never separate justification from sanctification.
The Westminster Larger Catechism summarizes the benefits of believers in our union with Jesus Christ:
WLC 69 What is the communion in grace which the members of the invisible church have with Christ? A. The communion in grace which the members of the invisible church have with Christ, is their partaking of the virtue of his mediation, in their justification,(1) adoption,(2) sanctification, and whatever else, in this life, manifests their union with him.(3) (1)Rom. 8:30 (2)Eph. 1:5 (3)1 Cor. 1:30
â€œBy Faith Aloneâ€
We now want to consider why it is so important to be justified â€œBy faithâ€, and not on â€œaccount of faith!â€ Big difference! Some will look at Galatians 2, and notice there is no word â€œaloneâ€ there. So why do the Reformers want the faith to be â€œaloneâ€? Why can we not just be happy with merely â€œjustification by faithâ€? Letâ€™s read Galatians 2:15-21:
Galatians 2:15-21: We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; 16 yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified. 17 But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! 18 For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. 19 For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if justification were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.
The â€œaloneâ€ is implicit and extremely important in Galatians 2. As we have learned in previous studies, Paul is laying out two ways of salvation: (1) Judaizers: â€œjustification by faith in Christ (and works of the law)â€ or (2) Paul: â€œjustification by faith alone in Christ (apart from works of the law)â€.
To summarize our brief discussion of Paul and James:
â€œWe are saved by faith alone, but not a faith that is alone; it is a working faith.â€
The word â€œaloneâ€ is vitally important because both ways of salvation that is laid out in the Epistle to the Galatians has faith as an instrument whereby a person becomes righteous before God. In the Judaizing way of salvation faith is coupled with our cooperation with Godâ€™s grace, or our works of the law. In Paulâ€™s way of salvation, faith is alone.
Faith is the instrument whereby we receive the righteousness of God in Christ. Faith is alone in that it is a gift of God, and it is how we receive the righteousness of God in Christ. Faith is not something that cooperates with Godâ€™s grace in order to be justified.
Martin Luther wrote about faith: â€œWherefore Christ apprehended by faith, and dwelling in the heart, it the true Christian righteousness, for the which God counts us righteous and gives us eternal life.â€ (Commentary on Galatians, pg. 135).
â€œWhat Faith isâ€¦What Faith is NOT!â€
Heidelberg Catechism (1563), Q: 21. What is true faith? A: True faith is not only a certain knowledge whereby I hold for truth all that God has revealed to us in His Word; but also a hearty trust, which the Holy Spirit works in me by the Gospel, that not only to others, but to me also, forgiveness of sins, everlasting righteousness and salvation are freely given by God, merely of grace, only for the sake of Christ's merits (Heidelberg Catechism).
Faith is NOT a work, or any kind of cooperation with God that achieves merit! This separates the â€œmen from the boys theologicallyâ€- - not only that, this makes the difference of heaven and hell, so it is not theological nit-picking!
Faith is a fruit of regeneration- - a gift as Ephesians 2 teaches.
Faith is an â€œempty handâ€ humbly held out to receive what God has provided for us in a right relational standing before God, found only in the righteousness of Christ that is revealed in the gospel!
Paul believes in faith â€œworking through loveâ€ as Galatians 5:6 teaches:
ESV Galatians 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.
â€œFaith entails constant motionâ€¦â€: Professor Mark Seifrid writes: â€œBy virtue of its inseparability from hope and love, faith entails constant motion, a â€˜forgetting what lies behind, and reaching forward to what lies aheadâ€™ (Phil. 3:13-14). It is this â€˜certitudeâ€™ of hope and not a present â€˜securityâ€™ which belongs to the believer, according to Paul [because of our union with Jesus Christ] (emphasis mine). Christ, Our Righteousness: Paulâ€™s Theology of Justification, pg. 150.
The one word â€œaloneâ€ in the phrase â€œsaved by grace aloneâ€ (Eph. 2:8-10) separates us not only from our Roman Catholic friends today, but any other person who believes in a â€œcooperativeâ€ or "synergistic" way of God and man working together to achieve salvation.
The Reformed teaching that needs to be continually emphasized in our day and handed down to the next generation, is that we are justified or saved by faith alone in Christ alone through the imputation of Christâ€™s righteousness to us received by faith alone.
Justification is a monergistic work of God.
This means that we not only confess, but truly believe that God alone works in us to achieve our salvation and we are saved not by cooperating with God (even with our faith!), but by believing that God has fully accomplished in the Person and Work of Christ our salvation- - and this is believed by faith alone - -which is not our work, but a gift of God!
Faith receives Godâ€™s grace held out in Christ, but faith is not a work in any way that is meritorious before God!
Professor J. Gresham Machen wrote of men who believe that their faith is something they add to Godâ€™s grace in order to cooperate: â€œâ€¦If a man has faith in Jesus to help the works of the law out, he can be justified by the works of the law after all; it would mean that, while a man is not justified by works alone, he is justified by works and faith together. Thus faith would become merely the means by which a manâ€™s works become effective for salvation.â€ (emphasis mine, pg. 147).
Faith is a gift- -not a work, lest faith itself becomes a â€˜work of the lawâ€™.
Faith as a â€œsmall workâ€ or something we contribute to our salvation by cooperating with Godâ€™s grace was rejected in the Reformation and later formally condemned at the Synod of Dort (1618-1619) that convened to confirm or condemn the teachings of the followers of Jacob Arminius (later known as â€œArminiansâ€).
Canons of Dort (1619). Rejection of Errors Second Head: Paragraph 4. [We reject those:] Who teach: That the new covenant of grace, which God the Father, through the mediation of the death of Christ, made with man, does not herein consist that we by faith, in as much as it accepts the merits of Christ, are justified before God and saved, but in the fact that God, having revoked the demand of perfect obedience of faith, regards faith itself and the obedience of faith, although imperfect, as the perfect obedience of the law, and does esteem it worthy of the reward of eternal life through grace. For these contradict the Scriptures, being: "justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood (Rom 3:24-25)." And these proclaim, as did the wicked Socinus, a new and strange justification of man before God, against the consensus of the whole Church.
In this passage from the Canons of the Synod of Dort, the pastor-theologians are emphasizing that although justification is by faith alone, faith is not in any way meritorious, or something we cooperate with God in order to achieve our salvation. This theological articulation is against anyone who would say that â€œI am saved because I cooperated with Godâ€™s grace by faith.â€ This is the error of works of the law that Paul condemns in Galatians 1-2.
You see, this is the Apostle Paulâ€™s point in Ephesians 2:1-10: Dead men, separated from God and following the prince of the power of the air will not and cannot have faith or believe, unless God in his mercy makes us alive and gives us the gift of faith. That is why Paul contrasts the gift of faith with our works! He says:
Ephesians 2:1-10: And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience- 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ- by grace you have been saved- 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
One teacher reminds us of what Ephesians 2 is teaching about faith and being saved by grace: â€œWhere boasting is present, faith is absentâ€- Mark A. Seifrid, Christ, Our Righteousness: Paulâ€™s Theology of Justification, pg. 133.
In the Westminster Confession of Faith, the principal acts of saving faith are: accepting, receiving and resting upon Christ alone for justification, sanctification, and eternal lifeâ€¦â€ Saving faith is in no way meritorious of our salvation!
WCF 14.2 By this faith, a Christian believeth to be true whatsoever is revealed in the Word, for the authority of God Himself speaking therein;(1) and acteth differently upon that which each particular passage thereof containeth; yielding obedience to the commands,(2) trembling at the threatenings,(3) and embracing the promises of God for this life and that which is to come.(4) But the principal acts of saving faith are accepting, receiving, and resting upon Christ alone for justification, sanctification, and eternal life, by virtue of the covenant of grace.(5) (1)John 4:42; 1 Thess. 2:13; John 5:10; Acts 24:14. (2)Rom. 16:26. (3)Isa. 66:2.
(4)Heb. 11:13; 1 Tim. 4:8. (5)John 1:12; Acts 16:31; Gal. 2:20; Acts 15:11.
Quotations and Theological Reflections on Scripture from other faithful teachers in Church History concerning â€œby Faith Aloneâ€
Robert Traill on â€œby faithâ€: "Faith in Jesus Christ...in the office of justification, is neither condition nor qualification...but in its very act a renouncing of all such pretences."
The very act of faith by which we receive Christ is an act of utter renunciation of all our own works and righteousness as a condition or ground of salvation.
Horatius Bonar profoundly remarks: "Faith is not work, nor merit, nor effort; but the cessation from all these, and the acceptance in place of them of what another has doneâ€”done completely, and forever."
John Girardeau notes, "Faith is emptiness filled with Christ's fulness; impotency lying down upon Christ's strength."
B. B. Warfield appropriately summarizes Christ saving us through faith:
â€œIt is from its object [Jesus Christ] that faith derives its value.... The saving power of faith resides thus not in itself, but in the Almighty Savior on whom it rests....It is not faith that saves, but faith in Jesus Christ....It is not strictly speaking, even faith in Christ that saves, but Christ that saves through faith.â€
"Strictly speaking, the true Christian church does not teach justification by faith. It teaches justification by Christ. Where does the faith come in? It is simply the uniting with, becoming one with, the Lord Jesus Christ. Being married to Christ, all that is His becomes His bride's, the believer'sâ€¦that is the meaning of the word 'reckons' or imputes or credits. The justified one 'does not work, but trusts God who justifies the wicked'(Rom. 4:5)."- John Gerstner, 'Justification by Faith Alone'
Calvin concludes his sermon on Galatians 2:15-16 with these words: â€œLet us, therefore, understand that there is no salvation whatsoever outside of Jesus Christ, for he is the beginning and the end of faith, and he is all in all. Let us continue in humility, knowing that we can only bring condemnation upon ourselves; therefore, we need to find all that pertains to salvation in the pure and free mercy of God. We must be able to say that we are saved through faith. God the Father has appointed his Son the Lord Jesus Christ that he might be both the author and finisher of our salvation. We are to deny ourselves and give ourselves to him wholly and completely, that all the praise might belong to him.
Now let us fall before the majesty of our great God, acknowledging our sins, and asking that he would make us increasingly aware of them, that we may hate them more and more, and grow in repentance (a grace that we need to exercise all our lives). May we learn so to magnify his grace, as it is shown to us in the Lord Jesus Christ, that we might be completely taken up with it; and may we not only do so with our lips, but place our entire trust in him. May we grow in that trust until we are gathered up into our eternal home, where we shall receive faithâ€™s reward. May he not only grant this grace to us, but to all peoples, etc.â€
Justification by Faith Alone is a Comforting and Assuring Doctrine
If we are all honest with ourselves before Godâ€™s holy law, we constantly fall short of Godâ€™s righteousness. We constantly blow it by sinning against God in word, thought, and deed (although by Godâ€™s grace we make some progress in our sanctification). Even our best works for God are tainted by our sin.
When you fall short of Godâ€™s standards and sin against him, where do you gain your forgiveness and hope? In the Lord Jesus Christ alone, or in something you do to regain your right standing?
As we live the Christian life, understanding justification by faith alone in Christ alone, we also want the Reformation teaching to take deep root in our hearts.
We want to understand that all of our right standing before God, all of our hope, all of our confidence today and on judgment day, all of our forgiveness, in short, all of our righteousness, sanctification, and redemption is found in Christ alone (1 Cor. 1:30). This is the gospel and why it is such great news for sinners! Justification by faith alone is an abundantly comforting and extremely practical doctrine to give us assurance when we considers ourselves as sinful and at the same time justified. Let us consider how comforting this doctrine can be.
Oh! How comforting this doctrine is. So greatly comforting for our assurance of Godâ€™s love, that Puritan preacher the Rev. Thomas Brooks (1608-1680) wrote:
First, let all believers know for their comfort that in this imputed righteousness of Christ there is enough to satisfy the justice of God to the uttermost farthing and to take off all His judicial anger and fury. The mediatory righteousness of Christ is so perfect, so full, so exact, so complete, and so fully satisfactory to the justice of God that divine justice cries out, "I have enough, and I require no more! I have found a ransom, and I am fully pacified towards you!" (Eze. 16:61-63; Hebrews. 10:10-12, 14; Isaiah 53:4-6)â€¦.
â€¦. When a believer casts his eyes upon his many thousand sinful commissions and omissions, no wonder that he fears and trembles. But then, when he looks upon Christ's satisfaction, he may see himself acquitted and rejoice. For if there be no charge, no accusation against the Lord Jesus, there can be none against the believer (Romans. 8:33-37). Christ's expiatory sacrifice hath fully satisfied divine justice.
And upon that very ground every believer hath cause to triumph in Christ Jesus, and in that righteousness of His by which he stands justified before the throne of God (2 Cor. 2:14; Revelation 14:4, 5).â€- Thomas Brooks, Nine Strong Consolations on the Imputation of Christâ€™s Righteousness (emphasis mine).
Dr. Michael Horton reminds us all of our hope that we have in the teaching of justification by faith alone:
â€œâ€¦It is good to know--especially when facing the next world--that for every time we have failed to conform to God's will in thought, word, and deed, by actively sinning or failing to conform to his revealed will, his Son has fulfilled the obedience that we owe. By never once giving in to the lust, pride, sloth, greed, selfishness, and malice that are so often allowed space in our overcrowded hearts, Jesus Christ becomes our Savior not only in his atoning death but throughout his life. In this way, every day of his life was as necessary for our salvation as that dark afternoon on Golgotha.
Jesus was the only "fully surrendered, victorious, sold-out," Christian who ever lived! Our surrender is halfhearted and partial; our victories seem always to be sullied by pride. Even if we could live the "higher life," could God not smell our smugness? Wouldn't our best works be sabotaged by our own depravity?
These good works would be corrupt enough to condemn us on the last day, so what we require is the obedience of someone else to stand in for us. It is not only Christ's atoning death, but his saving life during the thirty-three years of his conformity to the Father's will that shelters us from God's just sentence.
"This is why," wrote Charles Hodge, "the believer, when arrayed in this righteousness, need fear neither death nor hell. This is the reason why Paul challenges the universe to lay anything to the charge of God's elect."- Michael Horton, â€˜A Dying Manâ€™s Consolationâ€™, Modern Reformation, 1996.
Let us remind ourselves as the people of God how the Heidelberg Catechism in the first question teaches us concerning our hope in Jesus alone! This devotional catechism is excellent for memorization!
Question 1. What is thy only comfort in life and death? Answer: That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ; who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him.
In conclusion, because I believe this teaching of justification by faith alone is greatly misunderstood by modern, evangelical Christians, I am going to do something that I normally do not do (Donâ€™t try this at home in other words!).
I do not much care for the use of acrostics for summing up Biblical truth. I believe that acrostics can overly simplify and trivialize the Biblical message many times, and I remember the wise words of Marshall McLuan: â€œThe medium is the messageâ€. This aphorism means that how we communicate something in form can undermine or trivialize the content (For example, watch how the television-form undermines the worship of God when you watch it on TV!).
So, I am going against my better judgment and even the advice of Marshall McLuan (and Neil Postman!), but I think it is good in this case to make an exception IF it will aid Christians in more precisely understanding the important Biblical teaching of justification by faith alone. So, here is my acrostic taken from Romans 3-4 and Galatians 2, offered by faith to you, with hopes that it will help you to know more precisely this teaching and that it will be a reality in your own life!
It is the acrostic C-H-R-I-S-T:
C- Christ Alone in His active and passive obedience, in his life and death, is sinful manâ€™s only hope (Romans 3:23-26; Galatians 2:16-21).
H- Humility is our only response as Christians! We were saved by grace plus nothing we did for God (Romans 3:27; 4:1-2; Galatians 2:21).
R- Real Righteousness is given to us, not a â€œlegal fictionâ€, but the real righteousness that was earned by Christ for us, this alien righteous, was given to us and received by faith alone! (Romans 4:3).
I- Imputation is when God imputes, reckons, considers, declares us righteous by giving to ungodly sinners the righteousness of Jesus (Romans 4:5-8).
S- Saved by Christ through Faith. To summarize what the great B. B. Warfield once said: â€œIt is not so much that we are saved by faith. Rather, we are saved by Christ through faith.â€ The emphasis is not on our faith, but on Christ who saves through faith! (Romans 4:16-17)
T- Total Confidence on Judgment Day! We stand NOW, and we will stand THEN in Christ alone! We will be justified-vindicated before Godâ€™s Throne because of Christâ€™s justification-vindication! (Romans 4:21-25)
Sermons available at www.sermonaudio.com/kcpc
To read the entire Gospel According to Galatians' series, click here. You can print them out if you would like.
Â© 2006-2007 A Place for Truth.
Bibliography for Further Reading
Bruce, F. F. Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free.
_________. The Epistle to the Galatians (New International Greek Testament Commentary)
Calvin, John. The Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians, trans. T. H. L. Parker.
Fung, Ronald Y. K. The Epistle to the Galatians (New International Commentary on the New Testament-New Edition).
Gaffin, Richard B., Jr. By Faith, Not by Sight: Paul and the Order of Salvation.
Hendriksen, William. Galatians and Ephesians (Baker New Testament Commentary).
Lenski, R. C. H. The Interpretation of St. Paulâ€™s Epistles to the Galatians, Ephesians, and Philippians.
Lightfoot, J. B. The Epistle of St. Paul to the Galatians (A Zondervan Commentary)
Luther, Martin. A Commentary on St. Paulâ€™s Epistle to the Galatians.
Machen, J. Gresham. Notes on Galatians (Edited by John Skilton).
Morris, Leon. Galatians: Paulâ€™s Charter of Christian Freedom.
Ridderbos, H. N. The Epistle of Paul to the Churches of Galatia. (New International Commentary on the New Testament).
________. Paul: An Outline of His Theology.
Seifrid, Mark A. Christ, our Righteousness: Paulâ€™s Theology of Justification. (NSBT: New Studies in Biblical Theology).
Stott, John R. W. The Message of Galatians (The Bible Speaks Today)
Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 20: On Christian Liberty.
Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, Volume VIII: Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians (edited by Mark J. Edwards).