Info

sanctification; all three are results of the death of Christ but the sin- offering must precede the thank-offering. We must first be accepted ourselves before we can offer gifts; <581104>Hebrews 11:4 ? ?By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he had witness borne to him that he was righteous, God bearing witness in respect of his gifts.?

Hence we read in Ephesians5:25, 26 ? ?Christ also loved the church, and gave himself up for it; that he might sanctify it, having cleansed = [after he had cleansed] it by the washing of water with the word? [ ? regeneration 1; 1 Pet. 1:1, 2 ? ?elect... according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit [regeneration], unto obedience [conversion] and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ [justification]?; <620107>1 John 1:7 ? ?if we walk in the light, as he is in the light we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanseth us from all sin? ? here the ?cleansing? refers primarily and mainly to justification, not to sanctification for the apostle himself declares in verse 8 ? ?If we may say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.?

Quenstedt says it well that, ?justification, since it is an act, outside of man, in God, cannot produce an intrinsic change in us.? And yet, he says, ?although faith alone justifies, yet faith is not alone.? Melanchthon: ?Sola fides justificat; sed fides non est sola.? With faith go all manner of gifts of the Spirit and internal graces of character. But we should let go all the doctrinal gains of the Reformation if we did not insist that these gifts and graces are accompaniments and consequences of justification, instead of being a part or a ground ofjustification. See Girdlestone, O.T. Synonyms, 104, note ? ?Justification is God?s declaration that the individual sinner on account of the faith, which unites him to Christ, is taken up into the relation which Christ holds to the Father and has applied to him personally the objective work accomplished for humanity by Christ.?

6. Relation of Justification to Faith.

A. We are justified by faith, rather than by love or by any other grace:

(a) not because faith is itself a work of obedience by which we merit justification, for this would be a doctrine of justification by works,

(b) nor because faith is accepted as an equivalent of obedience, for there is no equivalent except the perfect obedience of Christ,

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment