Westminster Larger Catechism – Lord’s Day 19

Q & A 70
Q What is justification?
A Justification is an act of God’s free grace unto sinners *1, in which he pardons all their sins, accepts and accounts their persons righteous in his sight *2; not for any thing wrought in them, or done by them *3, but only for the perfect obedience and full satisfaction of Christ, by God imputed to them *4, and received by faith alone *5.

Q & A 71
Q How is justification an act of God’s free grace?
A Although Christ, by his obedience and death, did make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to God’s justice in the behalf of them that are justified *6; yet in as much as God accepts the satisfaction from a surety, which he might have demanded of them, and did provide this surety, his own only Son *7, imputing his righteousness to them *8, and requiring nothing of them for their justification but faith *9, which also is his gift *10, their justification is to them of free grace *11.

Q & A 72
Q What is justifying faith?
A Justifying faith is a saving grace *12, wrought in the heart of a sinner by the Spirit *13 and Word of God *14, whereby he, being convinced of his sin and misery, and of the disability in himself and all other creatures to recover him out of his lost condition *15, not only assents to the truth of the promise of the gospel *16, but receives and rests upon Christ and his righteousness, therein held forth, for pardon of sin *17, and for the accepting and accounting of his person righteous in the sight of God for salvation *18.

Q & A 73
Q How does faith justify a sinner in the sight of God?
A Faith justifies a sinner in the sight of God, not because of those other graces which do always accompany it, or of good works that are the fruits of it *19, nor as if the grace of faith, or any act thereof, were imputed to him for his justification *20; but only as it is an instrument by which he receives and applies Christ and his righteousness *21.

*1 Romans 3:22, 24-25; Romans 4:5.
*2 2 Corinthians 5:19, 21; Romans 3:22, 24-25, 27-28.
*3 Titus 3:5, 7; Ephesians 1:7.
*4 Romans 5:17-19; Romans 4:6-8.
*5 Acts 10:43; Galatians 2:16; Philippians 3:9.
*6 Romans 5:8-10, 19.
*7 1 Timothy 2:5-6; Hebrews 10:10; Matthew 20:28; Daniel 9:24, 26; Isaiah 53:4-6, 10-12; Hebrews 7:22; Romans 8:32; 1 Peter 1:18-19.
*8 2 Corinthians 5:21.
*9 Romans 3:24-25.
*10 Ephesians 2:8.
*11 Ephesians 1:17.
*12 Hebrews 10:39.
*13 2 Corinthians 4:13; Ephesians 1:17-19.
*14 Romans 10:14-17.
*15 Acts 2:37; Acts 16:30; John 16:8-9; Romans 6:6; Ephesians 2:1; Acts 4:12.
*16 Ephesians 1:13.
*17 John 1:12; Acts 10:43.
*18 Philippians 3:9; Acts 15:11.
*19 Galatians 3:11; Romans 3:28.
*20 Romans 4:5; Romans 10:10.
*21 John 1:12; Philippians 3:9; Galatians 1:16.

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