Regarding Personal Justification before God
by Mark Horne
For the record:
- I believe that 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 Christ’s sake alone; nor 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 to 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.
- I believe that faith, thus receiving and resting on Christ and his righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification: yet is it not alone in the person justified, but is ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but works by love.
- I believe that Christ, by his obedience and death, did fully discharge the debt of all those that are thus justified, and did make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to his Father’s justice in their behalf. Yet, inasmuch as he was given by the Father for them; and his obedience and satisfaction accepted in their stead; and both, freely, not for anything in them; their justification is only of free grace; that both the exact justice and rich grace of God might be glorified in the justification of sinners.
- I believe that God did, from all eternity, decree to justify all the elect, and Christ did, in the fullness of time, die for their sins, and rise again for their justification: nevertheless, they are not justified, until the Holy Spirit, in due time, actually applies Christ to them.
- I believe God continues to forgive the sins of those that are justified; and, although they can never fall from the state of justification, yet they may, by their sins, fall under God’s fatherly displeasure, and not have the light of his countenance restored to them, until they humble themselves, confess their sins, beg pardon, and renew their faith and repentance.
- I believe the justification of believers under the old testament was, in all these respects, one and the same with the justification of believers under the new testament.
- I believe that, for sinners to escape the wrath and curse of God due to us by reason of the transgression of the law, He requires of us repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, and the diligent use of the outward means whereby Christ communicates to us the benefits of his mediation. The outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicates to his church the benefits of his mediation, are all his ordinances; especially the word, sacraments, and prayer; all which are made effectual to the elect for their salvation.
Not only is the above a true and accurate expression of what I believe, but it is the only thing I have ever believed or wanted to believe (both as a Calvinist and, before that, as an Arminian) or have taught or have written. Nor is there a shadow of a doubt in my mind that these beliefs are Biblically justified and that I will remain committed to them.
I testify before God and the Holy Angels that all of the above is true. If it were not so, I would be the first to reveal it.
I further express the conviction that all of the above is quite obviously my belief and anyone following Biblical standards for learning and believing the truth should already know it.
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