Page images

fication, and redemption. Rev. xiv. 13. ' And I heard a voice from heaven, saying unto me, Write, Blefled are, the dead which die in the " Lord, from henceforth: Yea, faith the Spirit, " that they may rest from their labours; and their ( works do follow them.” I Thel: iv, 14. If ( we believe that Jesus died, and rose again, even " so them also which sleep in Jesus, will God

bring with him.' Compared with Col. i. 27. 'To whom [the faints] God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is, Christ in you, the

hope of glory.' The chief of these Benefits, which the effectually called do, in Communion with Christ, partake of, in this Life, are Justifica. tion, Adoption, and Sanctification : Rom. viii. 30.

Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he 6 alfo called: and whom he called, them he allo justified.' Eph. i. 5. ' Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to

himself.? ? Cor. i. 30. forecited. And there are several other Benefits, which, even in this Life, do either accompany these chief ones, or flow from them, And they partake of them also accordingly, in this Lifs, 1 Cor. i. 30. förecited.

Quest. 33. What is Justification ?

Ans. Juftification is an Act of God's free Grace, wherein he pardoneth all our Sins, and accepteth us as righteous in his Sight, only for the Righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by Faith alone,

EXPLICATION. All who are effecto y called, are justified: Rom. viii. 30. 'Whom he called, them he also justified.' The justifying of a Person doth dever, in the Scripture sense of the Word, fignify, to make one rightea ous with inherent Righteousnefs or Holiness : But commonly and ordinarily it signifies, To declare the righteous : Exod. xxiii. 7. Keep thee far

from a false matter and the innocent and the righteous lay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked. Compared with Rom. iv. 5. 'To ' him that worketh not, but believeth on him that

justifieth the ungodly, his faith is” counted for ' righteoufness. Prov. xvii

. 15. He that justi. fieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the juft, even they both are abomination to the Lord.' 1. v. 23. Wo unto them which justify the wick. ed for reward, and take away the righteouse

ness of the righteous from him. The justifying of a Person sometimes signifies, to therw one rightecus: Job xxxiii

. 32. If thou hast any thing to fay, answer me speak, for I desire to justify " thee. Chap. xxxii. 2. Against Job was Eli hu's wrath kindled, because he justified himself rather than God." Gen. xliv.. 16. ' And Judah faid, How shall we clear ourselves ? cc. Luke xvi. 13.' And he faid unto the Pharisees, Ye are 'they which justify yourselves before men; bac 'God knoweth your hearts. 'Rev. xxii

. 11. ? He that is anjult, tet him be unjust ftill and he

that is righteous, let him be righteous still. Now, since God's justifying a Sinner cannot be a hewing him righteous in his Sight, it must be a declaring him righteous in bis Sight. Wherefore our


[ocr errors]

Justification is not a Change of our Nature, but of our State.

The State a Sinner is brought out of, in his Justification, is the State of Condemnation : Rom. viii. 33. 34. 'Who shall lay any thing to the charge

of God's elect? It is God that justifieth : who * is he that condemneth ?' Compared with verf. 1. # There is therefore now no condemnation to them • which are in Christ Jesus.' All Men, before they are justified, are in a State of Condemnation: John iii. 18. ' He that believeth not, is condemned

already, because he hath not believed in the name • of the only begotten Son of God. Compared with Rom. v. 1. Therefore being justified by faith,

we have peace wili God, through our Lord Je. • sus Christ. And they are so, in virtue of the Curse of the Law still lying on them : Gal. ii. 10. • Cursed is every one that continueth not in all

things which are written in the book of the law to do them.' Compared with Rom. iii. 19. Now

we know that what things foever the law faith, sit faith to them who are under the law : that eve

ry mouth may be stopped, and all the world may • become guilty before God.? But Sinners are, in their Justification, delivered from the Curse : Gal. iii. 13. Chrif hath redeemed us from the

curse of the law, being made a curse for us.' Compared with Rom. viii. 33. 34. forecited. And the Curse never returns upon them thereafter, Rom. viii. 1. forecited. If. liv. 9. ' As I have sworn

that the waters of Noah should no more go over S the earth; so have I sworn, that I would not be

wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.'.

Justification is not a Work carried on by Degrees, but an Ast perfected in an Instant i John V. 24. Verily verily I say unto you, He that

heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent

me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Compared with Rom. i. 17. 'The just shall • live by faith. A Sinner is justified in the first Instant of his believing on Christ, and not before, Rom. v. 1. forecited. Chap. iii. 22. "The righte

ousness of God is by faith of Jesus Christ unto 'all, and upon all them that believe.' John iii. 18. ' He that believeth on him, is not condemned: 'but he that believeth not, is condemned already,

because he hath not believed in thę name of the ' only begotten Son of God.?

Juftification is the Act of God himself: And in it he acts in the Character of a fudge : Rom. viii. 33. 34.' Who shall lay any thing to the charge

of God's elect? It is God that justifieth : who ' is he that condemneth?'. Compared with Deut. XXV. 1. If there be a controversy between men,

and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them, then they shall justify the righte

ous, and condemn the wicked.' The Throne of Judgment on which God junifies a Sinner, is his Throne of Grace: Heb. iv. 16. 'Let us therefore

come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we " may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need! And he is to be found on that Throne, only in Chrift: 2 Cor. v. 19. God was in Chrift, ' reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing

their trespasses unto them.' The Sinner is brought, ' for Justification, unto the Throne of Grace, by 'the Spirit in effectual Calling: 1 Cor. vi. 11. . And such were some of

ye are justi'fied in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the

you imbut

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


Spirit of our God.' The poor Simer comes unto the Throne of Grace, on that Occasion, å guilty, felf-condemned, and Law.condemned Creature: Ezra ix. 15. 'O Lord God of Israel, be. • hold, we are before thee in our trespasses : for

we cannot stand before thee, because of this. Rom. iii. 19. forecited. verf. 23. 24. ' Al-have fin

ned, and come short of the glory of God: Being justified freely by his Grace, through the redemp• tion that is in Jefus Christ. A Law.condemned Sinner can be justified by a holy God there, by an Act of free Grace.

Our Juftification is an A&T of God's free Grace : And by God's free Grace is meant, his free Fa. vour and Good-will. Howbeit, it is an Act of free Grace, not in respect of Chrift, but in refpect of us, Rom. iii. 23. 14. above cited. It is purely an Act of free Grace to us, insomuch that we are justified before we have done any good Work at all : Rom. iv. 5. • To him that worketh

not, but believeth on him that juftifieth the un. godly, his faith is 'counted for righteousness.'

The Parts of the Act of our Justification, passed by God the rightcous Judge, are two; namely, his

pardoning all our Sins, and his accepting us as righteous in his. Sight.

Pardon of Sin is the freeing of the Sinner from *the Guilt of his Sin : Matth vi. 12. And forgive

us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. The Guilt of Sin that lies upon us, till such Time as we are justified, is the Guilt of revenging Wrath, John iii. 18. forecited. verf. 36. ' He that believeth

not the Son, shall not see life; but the wrath of « God abideth on him.' The Pardon, then, given to a Sinner in Juftification, is the freeing him from


« PreviousContinue »