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I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Monday, September 21, 2015

Three Years Ago - Still Relevant.
Easily Available Sources on Justification by Faith

[1] QUEN. (IV, 286): “The immediate effect of faith is the remission of sins, adoption, justification, union with Christ, access to God, and peace of conscience. Among these effects of faith, justification is the principal, to which all the rest can be referred.”

[2] QUEN. (III, 526): “Justification is the external, judicial, gracious act of the most Holy Trinity, by which a sinful man, whose sins are forgiven, on account of the merit of Christ apprehended by faith, is accounted just, to the praise of God’s glorious grace and justice and to the salvation of the justified.”

[3] BR. (574): “For with and through faith man is at once justified; so that the act by which faith is conferred upon man, and the act by which man is justified, are simultaneous, although faith is by nature first in order and justification subsequent to it.”

[4] BR. (574): “Justification has a forensic sense, and denotes that act by which God, the judge, pronounces righteous the sinner responsible for guilt and liable to punishment, but who believes in Jesus.”

CHMN. (Loc. c. Th., II, 250): “Paul everywhere describes justification as a judicial process, because the conscience of the sinner accused by the divine Law before the tribunal of God, convicted and lying under the sentence of eternal condemnation, but fleeing to the throne of grace, is restored, acquitted, delivered from the sentence of condemnation, is received into eternal life, on account of the obedience and intercession of the Son of God, the Mediator, which is apprehended and applied by faith.” According to this, justification signifies to pronounce righteous. FORM. CONC. (Sol. Dec., III, 17): “The word justification signifies in this matter to pronounce righteous, to absolve from sins and the eternal punishment of sins on account of Christ’s righteousness, which is imputed to faith by God.” BR. (575): “Although the Latin word justificare is compounded of the adjective justus and the verb facere, it does not denote in general usage, and especially in the Scriptures when sinful man is said to be justified before God, the infusion of an habitual righteousness, but, according to the import of the Hebrew word הִצְדִּיק (2 Sam. 15:4; Deut. 25:1), and the word427δικαιουν in the Septuagint and Paul (Rom. 3 and 4), the Latin justificare is also transferred from an outward to a spiritual court, at which men are placed as before a divine tribunal, and are acquitted after the case has been heard and sentence has been pronounced.” According to the Catholic doctrine, “justify” is equivalent in import to making righteous; making a righteous person out of a wicked one. In opposition to this, AP. CONF. (III, 131): “Justification signifies not to make a wicked person righteous, but in a forensic sense to pronounce righteous.” QUEN. (III, 515): “These words δικαιουν and הִצְדִּיק, nowhere and never in the whole Scriptures, even when not used in reference to the justification of the sinner before God, signify justification by the infusion of new qualities; but whenever they are used of God justifying the wicked before His tribunal they have a forensic signification.” GRH. (VII, 4 sq.) thus gives the Scripture proof in detail: “The forensic signification (of the word δικαιουν) is proved, (1) because it denotes a judicial act, not only without reference to the doctrine of gratuitous justification before God (Is. 5:23; Deut. 25:1; 2 Sam. 15:4; Ps. 82:3; Is. 43:9), but also in the very article of justification (Ps. 143:2; Job 9:2, 3; Luke 18:14); (2) because it is opposed to condemnation (Deut. 25:1; 1 Kings 8:32; Prov. 17:15; Matt. 12:37; Rom. 5:16; 8:33, 34); (3) because itscorrelatives are judicial. For a judgment is mentioned, Ps. 143:2; a judge, John 5:27; a tribunal, Rom. 14:10; a criminal, Rom. 3:19; a plaintiff, John 5:45; a witness, Rom. 2:15; an indictment, Col. 2:14; an obligation, Matt. 18:24; an advocate, 1 John 2:1; an acquittal, Ps. 32:1. The Law accuses the sinner before the judgment-seat of God, that he may be subject to the judgment of God. Rom. 3:19. Conscience concurs with this accusation of the Law, Rom. 2:15. Since, in consequence of sin, the whole nature of man and all his works are miserably contaminated, he discovers nothing to oppose to the judgment of God; the Law therefore hurls the thunder of its curse and condemnation upon man convicted of sin, but the Gospel presents Christ the Mediator, who by His most perfect obedience has atoned for our sins. To Him the sinner, terrified and condemned by the Law, flees by true faith, opposes this righteousness of Christ to the sentence of God and the condemnation of the Law, and in view of, and by the imputation of this, he is justified, that is, freed from the sentence of condemnation and pronounced righteous; (4) because the equivalent phrases are judicial. To be justified is to be not called into judgment, Ps. 143:2; to be not condemned, John 3:18; not to come into condemnation, John 5:24; not to be judged, John 3:18. The publican went down to his house justified, 428that is, acquitted of his sins, Luke 18:14. Paul explains justification by ‘imputing for righteousness,’ Rom. 4:3, 5; by ‘covering iniquities’; by ‘not imputing sin,’ 5:7; by ‘remitting sins,’ Rom. 3:25; by ‘forgiving trespasses,’ Col. 2:13. Here belong the phrases: ‘to be reconciled to God,’ Rom. 5:10; ‘to be made righteous,’ 5:19; ‘to partake of the blessing,’ Eph. 1:3; ‘to receive remission of sins,’ Acts 10:43; ‘to be saved,’ Acts 4:12. Comp. the parable,Matt. 18:27.”

[5] BR. (577): “Justification does not mean a real and internal change of man.” HOLL. (928): “Justification is a judicial, and that, too, a gracious act, by which God, reconciled by the satisfaction of Christ, acquits the sinner who believes in Christ of the offenses with which he is charged, and accounts and pronounces him righteous. Since this action takes place apart from man, in God, it cannot intrinsically change man. For, as a debtor for whom another pays his debt, so that he is considered released from the debt, undergoes not an intrinsic but an extrinsic change in regard to his condition, so the sinner who is reputed and pronounced free from his sins, on account of the satisfaction of Christ applied by true faith, is changed, not intrinsically, but extrinsically, with respect to his better condition. The point from which this external change takes place (terminus a quo) is the state of being responsible for guilt and liable to punishment; because thereby the sinner remains in a state of sin and wrath (Rom. 4:7; Eph. 1:7; 2 Cor. 5:19). The point to which it conducts (teminus ad quem) is the state of grace and righteousness; because God, remitting the offenses of the sinner who believes in Christ, receives him into favor, and imputes to him the righteousness of Christ (Rom. 4:5, 6;Gal. 3:6; 2 Cor. 5:21; Phil. 3:9; Rom. 5:19).” To the last, BR. (579) remarks in addition: “Some refer to this place the privileges of the sons of God, and the inheritance of eternal life, which is conferred or adjudged to us in God’s account. Some add the dignity of the reward of righteousness which we obtain in this act of justification. But others, and probably the majority, distinguish the act by which the sonship, or the inheritance, or the privilege of reward is conferred on the faithful from justification, and consider them as its consequences . . . . The Scriptures also frequently distinguish between these two things, viz., freedom from the condemnation of sin, with power to become the sons of God, and the heavenly inheritance, of which the latter implies the former, and is furnished to the justified by a subsequent and new gift, viz., that when the judgment is finished, the sonship or adoption referred to in Rom. 8:15, 23; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5 will take place.”


[6] QUEN. (III, 524): “Our justification before God consists in the remission and non-imputation of sins and the imputation of righteousness of Christ.” The FORM. CONC. sometimes presents both these expressions conjointly, and sometimes it describes the sentence of justification as having reference only to the remission of sins. It says (Epit., III, 4): “We believe that our righteousness before God consists in this, that the Lord forgives us our sins through mere grace . . . . For He gives and imputes to us the righteousness of the obedience of Christ; on account of this righteousness we are received into favor by God, and are accounted just.” And it says (Sol. Dec., III, 9): “Concerning the righteousness of faith, we confess that the sinner is justified before God, i.e., is absolved from all his sins and from the sentence of most righteous condemnation, and adopted into the number of the children of God and regarded as an heir of eternal life.” . . . The same course is adopted by other Dogmaticians. No difference is thereby intended in the matter itself. BR. mentions, as the form of justification, only the forgiveness of sins, because he presupposes the imputation of the righteousness of Christ as that upon which the forgiveness if based. He says (588): “It is certain that, when we call the form of justification the forgiveness or non-imputation of sins, the imputation of the righteousness of Christ is not excluded, . . . nor the imputation of this faith itself for righteousness. That is, we mean to say, that the imputation of the righteousness of Christ, and of faith itself, is only logically prior to that forensic act of justification by which men are absolved from the guilt of sins; for to the question, Why does God justify man? the a priori explanation is given, Because God imputes to man the righteousness or merit of Christ apprehended by faith, or so judges it to belong to man that he is on this account absolved from the guilt of his sins.” Other Dogmaticians express themselves differently in regard to the relation existing between the forgiveness of sins and the imputation of the righteousness of Christ.

QUEN. (ib.): “These parts (so to speak) are not different or distinct essentially (τω ειναι), but merely logically (τω λογω); for the imputation of Christ’s righteousness is essentially nothing else than the remission of sins, and the remission of sins is nothing else than the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, so that either word separately taken expresses the whole nature of justification. Whence the apostle Paul, Rom. 4, interchanges the forgiveness of sins and the imputation of righteousness in his description of justification, which he sometimes defines as the forgiveness of sins, and sometimes as the imputation of righteousness. For, as it can properly be said 430that at one and the same time, and by one and the same action, the expulsion of darkness from the atmosphere is the introduction of light, so one and the same wicked man, at one and the same time, and by the very same act of justification, is both freed from guilt and pronounced righteous.” HOLL. (915): “Remission of sins and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness are inseparable and closely-united acts; but distinct, indeed, in form, as the first is privative, and the other positive, and as the one results immediately from the passive obedience of Christ, the other from His active obedience. We do not deny, meanwhile, that the one may properly be inferred from the other, for there is no sinner, whose sins are pardoned, but has the righteousness of Christ imputed, and the reverse.”