Let it be clearly established that we who believe are justified by grace alone, in Christ alone, through faith alone,without the works of the law.The Lord Jesus Christ earned and obtained justification for all his people by his obedience to God as our Representative and by his sin-atoning death as our Substitute (Heb. 9:12; Rom. 4:25). We were legally reconciled to God in justification by the death of his Son (Rom.5:10). Justification is also an act of God’s free grace (Rom. 3:24). Before the world began, he graciously purposed our justification (Rom.8:29).And in the act of justification,he freely imputes the righteousness of Christ to his people, just as he imputed our sins to Christ (II Cor.5:21). We receive this justification,in the experience of it, by faith alone (Rom. 5:1, 11). Faith adds nothing to the obedience of Christ. Faith adds nothing to the Savior’s blood. Faith neither satisfies justice nor puts away sin. But faith receives Christ and all the benefits of God’s free, saving grace in Christ. It is a fatal error of false, idolatrous religion to mix works into the business of justification at any point.
However, it is equally wrong for any to suggest or imply that, since we are justified freely by the grace of God through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, the believer’s character and conduct in this world are insignificant. Nothing can be further from the truth. ANYONE WHOSE FAITH IS NOT JUSTIFIED BY HIS WORKS DOES NOT POSSESS THAT FAITH BY WHICH GOD’S ELECT ARE JUSTIFIED (James 2:14-26). If grace does not radically alter a person’s behavior, it cannot alter his destiny. When our Lord Jesus said to his disciples, “What do ye more than others?”, his clear implication was – “IF YOU ARE MY DISCIPLES, YOU PROFESS MORE THAN OTHERS, YOU POSSESS MORE THAN OTHERS, AND YOU CERTAINLY OUGHT TO PRACTICE MORE THAN OTHERS.” The grace of God that brings salvation effectually teaches every believer to “live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world” (Tit. 2:11-12). Here is a great wonder of grace: GOD ALMIGHTY TAKES UNHOLY MEN OUT OF THE UNHOLY WORLD, MAKES THEM HOLY BY HIS GRACE, PUTS THEM BACK INTO THIS UNHOLY WORLD, AND CAUSES THEM TO LIVE IN HOLINESS.
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