[Papercut Press Publishing] 1999-04-27 - I & J: Justification

The Holy Alphabet Series

Romans 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

"Institution is an Act of Gods free Grace, wherein he pardoneth all our sins, and accepteth us as righteous in his sight, onley for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone, Rom. 3:24,25; 4:6-8; 5:17-19; 2 Cor. 5:19,21; Gal. 2:16; Phil. 3:9." --Robert Port

{Institution, used here by Port, is what we call today Justification. I's were used instead of J's in Port's time, and spelling was not standardized in 1655 when Port wrote this.}

Martin Luther tried to quiet his conscience through self-denial and his occupation as a monk. He did not find quiet for his conscience. He went to Rome to find relief from his burden and when he saw the city, fell on his knees crying, "Holy Rome, I salute thee." He was appalled at the wickedness he found in the city. The people said to him, "If there is a hell, Rome is built over it." Finally, he went to ascend Pilate's staircase on his knees. He struggled up every step and repeated prayers at each and every step. Then a voice of thunder seemed to emanate from within him, "The just shall live by faith." (Romans 1:17) He rose and understood the stupidity of his hope of salvation through his own works of merit. Seven years later, he nailed his theses to the doors of Wittenberg Church, and the Reformation began.

Richard Reynolds was having his portrait painted and chose to have himself represented with his Bible open before him with the following legible inscription written in the Bible, "Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."

What did these men know, and what have uncountable Christians believed by faith? It is the doctrine of Justification by faith in Christ. I do not think there is a more significant doctrine taught in God's Holy Word. The doctrine of Biblical Justification is the Gospel of salvation. It is that we stand, by faith, before God, in the righteousness of Christ because of His saving atonement on the cross for our sin and propitiation on our behalf. (Romans 3:25, Hebrews 2:17, 1 John 2:2, 4:10)

This is what we sing about in our hymns and praise songs. It is what we thank God for and what we set our hope on. We are just before God, because Christ has saved us through His sacrifice. Our debt of sin has been paid in full by the precious blood of the Lamb.

It is with joy that I write this to you because I write the same words, in the same sentiment that Port wrote 344 years ago. God's truth is preserved. Years, traditions, practices, and emphasis may change, but God's truth does not and what a blessing it is to know that the faith we have today, that it is Christ alone who saves, and that He saves completely, is the same faith Port was defending 344 years ago and the same faith found in God's Holy Word.

Soli Deo Gloria,