Chapter 11, Paragraph 1.
“Those whom God Effectually calleth, he also freely justifieth, not by infusing Righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting, and accepting their Persons as Righteous; not for any thing wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ’s sake alone,…”
Romans 3:24, 8:30
If you are effectually drawn to God, there is good news: you are justified! But what does that mean? It does not mean that God infuses us with righteousness. We do not soak up some righteousness in order to be justified. If that were the case, then that righteousness could leak out when we sin, and we could never be sure of our right standing before God. Our righteousness would be dependent upon our works. But we know that when God draws a sinner to Himself, it is effectual! So infused righteousness cannot be the means of justification.
Justification is God freely declaring the sinner forgiven of their sins, accounting the sinner as righteous, and accepting her as righteous. Christian, God no longer holds your sin against you. He views you as righteous, and accepts you as such! You are no longer estranged, but are in communion with Him!
“Hold up!” you say. “I thought God was holy, and cannot abide with sin! How can He declare a sinner righteous, if that sinner is not actually righteous?” The elect are not chosen, called, and declared righteous on their own merit. Rather, the path taken to be drawn to God is always through Jesus Christ.
I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. -John 14:6
As mediator between the elect and God, Christ’s perfect obedience and sacrifice “hath fully satisfied the Justice of God” and “procured reconciliation”, as the Confession states in Chapter 8, paragraph 5. Christians are justified freely by God because He sees the righteousness of Christ on their behalf. Thus sinners can be forgiven, accounted as righteous, and accepted by God – all due to Christ!
Questions to Consider
- How does the Roman Catholic view of justification lessen the work of Christ?