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Thomas Brooks on Truth

“Ah souls, have you not found truth sweetening your spirits, and cheering your spirits, and warming your spirits, and raising your spirits, and corroborating your spirits?  Have not you found truth a guide to lead you, a staff to uphold you, a cordial to strengthen you, and a plaster to heal you?  And will you not hold fast the truth?  Has not truth been your best friend in your worst days?  Has not truth stood by you when friends have forsaken you?  Has not truth done more for you than all the world could do against you, and will you not hold fast the truth?  Is not truth your right eye, without which you cannot see for Christ?  And your right hand, without which you cannot do for Christ?  And your right foot, without which you cannot walk with Christ?  And will you not hold fast the truth?  Oh!  Hold fast the truth in your judgments and understandings, in your wills and affections, in your profession and conversation…You were better let go anything than truth; you were better let go your honors and riches, your friends and pleasures, and the world’s favors; yea, your nearest and dearest relations, yes, your very lives, than to let go truth.  Oh, keep the truth, and truth will make you safe and happy forever.  Blessed are those souls that are kept by truth.”  (Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, 1:59,60)

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The Good News

The word “gospel” simply means “good news.”  The gospel is the historic, revealed message concerning Jesus Christ. It is that record of events which focuses upon Christ’s life, death, and resurrection for sinners. It is important to understand this as some Christians with good intentions maintain that believers should “live the gospel.”  Technically, one cannot live the good news of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection for sinners – it is a message, it is a declaration, it is good news. One can live in light of it or one can let his conduct be worthy of it or one can pursue holiness; but to live out the events of Christ’s redemptive work on behalf of sinners, is simply not our calling. J. Gresham Machen said,

 We can preach the gospel, they tell us, by our lives, and do not need to preach it by our words. But they are wrong. Men are not saved by the exhibition of our glorious Christian virtues; they are not saved by the contagion of our experiences. We cannot be the instruments of God in saving them if we preach to them thus only ourselves. Nay, we must preach to them the Lord Jesus Christ; for it is only through the gospel which sets Him forth that they can be saved.[1]

In 1 Cor 15, the Apostle Paul addresses the doctrine of the resurrection. In verses 1-4, he sets forth the gospel of Jesus Christ as the foundation for the argument that follows. We note several things concerning the gospel in this section of Scripture.

In the first place, the gospel is rooted in history. Before the foundation of the world, God decreed to save a people by His Son Jesus Christ. The gospel is the execution of that decree in history. Paul says that Christ died, was buried, and rose again. These are historic, dateable and non-repeatable events. In fulfillment of the Old Testament word of promise, Christ came in the fullness of the times, was born of a woman, and born under the law. He lived in obedience to the law of God, died to satisfy divine justice in the place of sinners, and rose again.

Secondly, the gospel is revealed by God. The Scripture speaks of two types of revelation, general and special. Ps 19 and Rom 1 set forth the truth that God reveals Himself to His image bearers through the created order. The heavens declare the glory of God (Ps 19:1) and what God has manifested of Himself to man leaves man without excuse for his sin and disobedience (Rom 1:19-20). However, general revelation does not communicate the necessity for blood atonement. It does not reveal the work of Christ on the cross for sinners. Special revelation is God’s having made Himself and His ways known through the Scriptures. Paul highlights this in 1 Cor 15:1-4 by indicating that Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection happened “according to the Scriptures” (vv.3,4). The work of Christ was not an after-thought or a reaction in the mind of God; the Old Testament conspicuously promised a coming Redeemer who would crush the head of Satan through His redemptive work which Christ carried out in His first coming.

Thirdly, the gospel is the record of Christ’s work for sinners. The Triune God is actively involved in salvation (Eph 1:3-14) and the gospel message is the outworking of the Father’s decree to save the elect. As well, it is the gospel that the Holy Spirit brings to bear upon the elect:  when sinners are born again by His power, they believe the gospel of Christ.  Because of this, the church and her preachers must set forth Christ in His person and in His work to all mankind. Paul determined to know nothing among the Corinthians “except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Cor 2:2); the modern church does well to imitate the Apostle.

Fourthly, the gospel is received by faith alone.  Christianity is not moralism; it is not a message of “try-harder” and you will be accepted by God.  The gospel addresses the root of the matter:  man before God is completely undone because of his sin.  There is no ability in the sinner to gain acceptance with God. The gospel is the revelation of the One who kept the law; who always did what pleased His Father; who died as a sacrifice and a substitute for His people.  The means by which His people are justified is through faith alone.  Paul highlights the role of faith in 1 Cor 15 — “which also you received [by faith] in which you stand” (v.1), “by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain” (v.2) and “so we preach and so you believe” (v.11).  Verse 2 also indicates the absolute necessity of the gospel for salvation, for if one does not believe and hold fast that word, one is not saved.[2]

The final observation is a very practical one:  the gospel is powerful to save the worst sinners.  In verse 9, Paul writes, “For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.”  Paul declares in Rom 1:16 that the gospel “is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.”  He highlights his own sinfulness in Gal 1:13 and makes a wonderful declaration in 1 Tim 1:15, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.”  In light of these observations, we should praise God Almighty for His wonderful gospel!

 

[1] J. Gresham Machen, Education, Christianity, and the State (Jefferson: MD, The Trinity Foundation, 1987), p.21.

[2] Other passages speak to the absolute necessity of Christ and His gospel for salvation.  See for example, Jn 14:6; Acts 4:12; Rom 1:16-17; Eph 1:13-14; Jas 1:18; 1 Pet 1:23.

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The Day of Atonement

In Leviticus 16, the Lord God commanded Old Covenant Israel to observe the Day of Atonement on the 10th day of the 7th month as a perpetual ordinance. The Day of Atonement was a type and shadow that pointed forward to New Covenant fulfillment in and through the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ. The stated purpose of the ritual of Leviticus 16 was “to make atonement for the children of Israel, for all their sins, once a year” (v.34). The word ‘atonement’ means ‘to cover’ and is used in other contexts to refer to ‘forgiveness’ and ‘ransom’ and ‘cleansing.’ The ritual was also designed to teach Israel several lessons concerning atonement.

In the first place, the Day of Atonement demonstrated the holiness of God. The historical occasion for the instruction given in Lev 16 is found in vv.1-2 which refers to the death of Nadab and Abihu when they offered strange fire before the LORD (Lev 10:1-2). After the death of the two priests, the Lord nailed down a fundamental lesson that Israel needed to learn, “By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; and before all the people I must be glorified” (Lev 10:3). The floor plan in the tabernacle (where the ritual was conducted) further demonstrated the holiness of God: there were two rooms and the room behind the veil (the Holy of Holies) was where God manifested His presence. Access to the second room was guarded, restricted, and further revealed that sinners do not just wander into the presence of God without mediation.

Secondly, the Day of Atonement reminded Israel about their sinfulness. When the high priest entered the Holy of Holies, he did so in order to make atonement for sin. The ritual demonstrated the pervasive power of sin: the high priest made atonement for himself, his house, and the children of Israel. It is interesting to note that atonement had to be made even for the Holy of Holies, the holy place, the tabernacle of meeting, and even the altar. The lesson is obvious: even holy things are defiled when they come into contact with sinful man (cf. Hag 2:10-14). Andrew Bonar commented on atonement for the altar in this way,

Strange that the altar should need to be purified! And yet what spot had more connection with sin? Was not ever sin confessed there? Was not every sin laid down there? Was not that the spot where wrath was ever falling? Here is a strange combination – sin, and the atonement for sin. It may have been typical of the fact, that the foulest sin and the fullest atonement were found at the cross.[1]

Thirdly, the Day of Atonement taught the children of Israel that “without the shedding of blood, there is no remission” (Heb 9:22). The high priest did not enter behind the veil without blood. He brought blood to atone for his sins, his house, the children of Israel, and the tabernacle. Lev 17:11 indicated the significance of the sacrifice of blood, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.” The Christian church ought not to reduce (destroy?) the gospel message by portraying it as a self-help message, a moralistic message (be like Jesus!), or one message among many. Furthermore, the Day of Atonement taught the children of Israel (and us) that we are not free to be innovative in our approach to worship; God alone determines how we may approach Him. While modern man seeks signs or wisdom like the Jew and the Greek before him, we must echo the Apostle Paul, “but we preach Christ crucified” (1 Cor 1:23). Blood atonement through Christ the Lord is what sinful man desperately needs if he is to gain acceptance with a holy God.

Finally, the Day of Atonement instructed Israel in how blessed atonement really is. The high priest brought two goats for sacrifice on behalf of Israel (not for the nations surrounding Israel: it was a particular atonement). One of the goats was killed and the other served as a scapegoat. The children of Israel were forbidden from entering the tent of meeting while the priest offered the blood of the first goat, but the ritual concerning the scapegoat was witnessed by the children of Israel. The high priest laid his hands on the goat, confessed the sins of Israel, and then drove the goat into the wilderness. The action demonstrated substitutionary curse-bearing and the removal of sin. If the children of Israel had would have had Horatio Spafford’s famous hymn “When Peace Like a River,” perhaps they would have sung the third stanza in this way,

My sin – O the bliss of this glorious thought! My sin, not in part, but the whole, is laid on this goat and I bear it no more; praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul![2]



[1] Andrew Bonar, Commentary on Leviticus, (Carlisle:  PA, Banner of Truth Trust, re. 1998), 310.

[2] Horatio B. Spafford, Trinity Hymnal – Baptist Edition (Suwanee: GA, Great Commission Publications, 1995), #580.

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What is the Gospel?

The word “gospel” simply means “good news.”  The gospel is the historic, revealed message concerning Jesus Christ. It is that record of events which focus upon Christ’s life, death, and resurrection for sinners. It is important to understand this as some Christians with good intentions maintain that believers should “live the gospel.”  Technically, one cannot live the good news of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection for sinners – it is a message, it is a declaration, it is good news. One can live in light of it or one can let his conduct be worthy of it or one can pursue holiness; but to live out the events of Christ’s redemptive work on behalf of sinners, is simply not our calling. In 1 Cor 15, the Apostle Paul addresses the doctrine of the resurrection. In verses 1-4, he sets forth the gospel of Jesus Christ as the foundation for the argument that follows. We note several things concerning the gospel in this section of Scripture.

In the first place, the gospel is rooted in history. Before the foundation of the world, God decreed to save a people by His Son Jesus Christ. The gospel is the execution of that decree in history. Paul says that Christ died, was buried, and rose again. These are historic, dateable and non-repeatable events. In fulfillment of the Old Testament word of promise, Christ came in the fullness of the times, was born of a woman, and born under the law. He lived in obedience to the law of God, died to satisfy divine justice in the place of sinners, and rose again.

Secondly, the gospel is revealed by God. The Scripture speaks of two types of revelation, general and special. Ps 19 and Rom 1 set forth the truth that God reveals Himself to His image bearers through the created order. The heavens declare the glory of God (Ps 19:1) and what God has manifested of Himself to man leaves man without excuse for his sin and disobedience (Rom 1:19-20). However, general revelation does not communicate the necessity for blood atonement. It does not reveal the work of Christ on the cross for sinners. Special revelation is God’s having made Himself and His ways known through the Scriptures. Paul highlights this in 1 Cor 15:1-4 by indicating that Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection happened “according to the Scriptures” (vv.3,4). The work of Christ was not an after-thought or a reaction in the mind of God; the Old Testament conspicuously promised a coming Redeemer who would crush the head of Satan through His redemptive work which Christ carried out in His first coming.

Thirdly, the gospel is the record of Christ’s work for sinners. The Triune God is actively involved in salvation (Eph 1:3-14) and the gospel message is the outworking of the Father’s decree to save the elect. As well, it is the gospel that the Holy Spirit brings to bear upon the elect:  when sinners are born again by His power, they believe the gospel of Christ.  Because of this, the church and her preachers must set forth Christ in His person and in His work to all mankind. Paul determined to know nothing among the Corinthians “except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Cor 2:2); the modern church does well to imitate the Apostle.

Fourthly, the gospel is received by faith alone.  Christianity is not moralism; it is not a message of “try-harder” and you will be accepted by God.  The gospel addresses the root of the matter:  man before God is completely undone because of his sin.  There is no ability in the sinner to gain acceptance with God. The gospel is the revelation of the One who kept the law; who always did what pleased His Father; who died as a sacrifice and a substitute for His people.  The means by which His people are justified is through faith alone.  Paul highlights the role of faith in 1 Cor 15 — “which also you received [by faith] in which you stand” (v.1), “by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain” (v.2) and “so we preach and so you believe” (v.11).  Verse 2 also indicates the absolute necessity of the gospel for salvation, for if one does not believe and hold fast that word, one is not saved.[1]

The final observation is a very practical one:  the gospel is powerful to save the worst sinners.  In verse 9, Paul writes, “For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.”  Paul declares in Rom 1:16 that the gospel “is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.”  He highlights his own sinfulness in Gal 1:13 and makes a wonderful declaration in 1 Tim 1:15, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.”  In light of these observations, we should praise God Almighty for His wonderful gospel!

 



[1] Other passages speak to the absolute necessity of Christ and His gospel for salvation.  See for example, Jn 14:6; Acts 4:12; Rom 1:16-17; Eph 1:13-14; Jas 1:18; 1 Pet 1:23.

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The Doctrine of Imputation

The Bible sets forth two fundamental truths:  God is righteous and man is wicked.  Because of this, the most important question facing man has always been, “How can a sinful man find acceptance with a holy God?”  Ex 23:7 and Dt 25:1 set forth the law which forbids the justifying of the wicked and the condemnation of the righteous which further exacerbates the problem of reconciliation between a holy God and sinful man.  The gospel of Jesus Christ relieves this tension.  The gospel of Jesus Christ answers the question of how a sinful man can find acceptance with God and it does so in a manner consistent with God’s holiness and righteousness.

The Apostle Paul deals with justification by faith alone in Rom 3:21—4:25.  Justification by faith alone in Christ alone is his overarching theme in this section of the great epistle, but Paul also deals with a vital element of justification:  the doctrine of imputation.  The Westminster Shorter Catechism answers the question “What is justification?” by stating, “Justification is an act of God’s free grace, wherein He pardons all our sins, and accepts us as righteous in His sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone” (WSC #33).  In Rom 3:26, Paul says that God is “just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”  God is able to maintain His justice and justify sinners because God “imputes righteousness apart from works” (Rom 4:6) to those who believe the gospel by God’s grace.

The word “impute” means to reckon to one’s account; to credit to one’s account.  The word is used in a forensic or legal way and destroys the notion of Rome’s transformation of character approach to justification.  In other words, the Protestant reformers correctly understood Paul’s doctrine:  we are justified by faith alone on the basis of the imputed righteousness of Christ alone, not an infused righteousness which Rome maintained.  Concerning justification, the 1689 Confession of Faith says,

 “Those whom God effectually calls, He also freely justified, 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; not by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness; but by imputing Christ’s active obedience unto the whole law, and passive obedience in His death for their whole and sole righteousness…”  (Chapter 11, para.1, emphasis added).

Paul demonstrates this truth in Rom 4 with Abraham and David.  In Rom 4:3 Paul writes, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”  When he believed God, God reckoned him or credited him with righteousness that was not inherently his own.  In Rom 4:6 Paul says, “just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works.”  This righteousness that David celebrates is not inherent in man; it is imputed “apart from works” and therefore is a righteousness one can truly celebrate!

The Bible speaks of three specific instances of imputation.  In the first place, Adam’s sin is imputed to his posterity.  Adam stood in the covenant of works as the federal head or representative of all his posterity.  As WSC #16 says, “Did all mankind fall in Adam’s first transgression?  The covenant being made with Adam, not only for himself, but for his posterity; all mankind, descending from him by ordinary generation, sinned in him, and fell with him, in his first transgression.”  This is not a theological construct developed by the Westminster Divines, but a biblical truth recognized by the church since its inception.  Paul writes in Rom 5:18a, “Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation” and in Rom 5:19a, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners” and establishes this link between Adam and his posterity.  The NKJV translation “made” is better rendered “constitute” or “appoint” as Paul’s point is not that the sinner undergoes a moral change, but rather Paul establishes a legal or forensic unity between Adam and his posterity.

The second type of imputation is the sin of the elect imputed to Jesus Christ.  Imputation lies behind the sacrificial transaction in Leviticus chapters 1 and 16:  when the hand was laid upon the sacrificial victim, there was the transfer or imputation of guilt from the sinner to the sacrifice.  Isaiah prophesied that such would be true when the Suffering Servant came into the world, “And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Is 53:6).  The Apostle Paul declares this imputation in 2 Cor 5:21, “For He [God] made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us…”  The sense is legal or forensic – sin was imputed to Jesus; He did not actually commit sin.

The third instance of imputation is the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to His people.  After stating that God made Christ to be sin for us, he goes on to declare the purpose behind this activity in 2 Cor 5:21, “that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”  The sense is legal or forensic – righteousness is imputed to the elect; they are not transformed into sinless beings.  We saw above that Paul says imputation of righteousness is “apart from works” in Rom 4:6.  He speaks further to the imputation of Christ’s righteousness in Rom 5:18b and 5:19b as he concludes his argument concerning the two men in history that everything hinges upon:  the first Adam and the last Adam.   He writes, “even so through the one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life” (5:18b) and “so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous” (5:19b).

The doctrine of imputation is crucial for our understanding of justification.  The doctrine of imputation explains how God is just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus (Rom 3:26) and how He is the God who “justifies the ungodly” (Rom 4:5).   It is imperative that God’s people study the Apostle’s words and understand his meaning and give serious attention to the abstract theological truths that explain how a holy God saves sinful man.  It is also beneficial for God’s people to see those abstract principles put into a practical context; Zechariah 3:1-5 is one such context.  Joshua the High Priest is brought before the LORD God Almighty.  As a public person, Joshua stands not only for himself, but for the nation.  He stands before the LORD with Satan at his right hand to oppose him, and Joshua is described as being clothed with filthy garments.  The LORD rebuked Satan and dealt most graciously with Joshua.  The filthy garments are removed which demonstrate the pardon of sin, and Joshua is clothed with rich robes which demonstrates the imputation of righteousness.  This blessed transaction is only possible because Jesus Christ was clothed in filthy robes as our sin was imputed to Him (2 Cor 5:21) and He stood in our place and receive the punishment we deserved at the hand of a righteous God.   Thankfully He rose again and this was “because of our justification” (Rom 4:25).

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The Centrality of Preaching

The LBCF of 1689 highlights the ministry of the word in connection with saving faith:  “The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls, is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts, and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the word…”  It should come as no surprise to reformed Christians that God places a great emphasis upon preaching in the church of Jesus Christ.

The Bible is clear concerning the fact that sinners must hear and believe the gospel in order to be saved.  There is objective truth revealed in the Bible concerning the life, death, and resurrection of Christ that sinners must hear in order to be saved.  There are several passages that demonstrate the necessity of the gospel with reference to the salvation of sinners; see for instance Rom 1:16; 10:17; 1 Cor 15:1-4; Eph 1:13-14; 2 Tim 3:15-16; Jas 1:18; 1 Pet 1:23.  This means that no matter how dramatic or powerful our personal testimony may be, if we do not set forth biblical truth, the sinner we witness to will not have the saving data used by the Spirit to affect life-saving change.

The Bible not only emphasizes the objective truth that must be communicated, it highlights the primary vehicle for that communication:  preaching.  In Rom. 10:14-17, the Apostle Paul sets forth the necessity for God-sent men to communicate the truth of the gospel for the salvation of sinners.  John Murray comments, “The main point is that the saving relation to Christ involved in calling upon His name is not something that can occur in a vacuum; it occurs only in a context created by proclamation of the gospel on the part of those commissioned to proclaim it” (Romans, p.58).  Note specifically verse 14 where Paul says, “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?  And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?”  We could accurately translate the second question this way:  “And how shall they believe Him whom they have not heard?”  When a biblically qualified man accurately expounds the Scripture, Christ is speaking in the churches.  Paul illustrates this in Eph. 2:17 when he says “And He [Christ] came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near.”  Jesus never physically traveled to Ephesus, but from His place of authority at the right hand of God, He preached peace by His Spirit through His earthly representatives.

The Second Helvetic Confession states concerning preaching:  “The preaching of the Word of God is the Word of God. Wherefore when this Word of God is now preached in the church by preachers lawfully called, we believe that the very Word of God is proclaimed, and received by the faithful; and that neither any other Word of God is to be invented nor is to be expected from heaven: and that now the Word itself which is preached is to be regarded, not the minister that preaches; for even if he be evil and a sinner, nevertheless the Word of God remains still true and good” (1:4).  May God indeed revive in each of us an appreciation for a sound pulpit ministry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Necessary Distinction

The doctrines of justification and sanctification are both necessary components of the Christian faith.  There is no such thing as a justified but unsanctified sinner and no such thing as a sanctified but unjustified sinner.  Both are essential.  There is, however, a tendency in the church to confuse the doctrines, to combine the doctrines, and to fail to recognize the distinction between the two.  Justification is concerned with Christ’s work for the sinner as the ground of acceptance with our holy God.  Sanctification is the work of the Spirit in the justified sinner whereby he is conformed more and more into the image of the Lord Jesus.

The dogma of Rome is an excellent illustration of a failure to recognize the distinction between the two doctrines.  Rome has reduced the distinction between these two truths and therefore teaches that justification before God includes our works of obedience.  Protestants run the risk of such confusion also.  There is an emphasis today on “living the gospel.”  While I think I understand the sentiment behind such a statement, there is a tendency to move toward Rome in such thinking.  The gospel, strictly defined (see for instance 1 Corinthians 15:1-4), is the historic, revealed message concerning Jesus Christ.  It is that record of events which focus upon Christ’s life, death, and resurrection for sinners.  Technically, one cannot live the good news of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection for sinners – it is a message, it is a declaration, it is good news.  One can live in light of it, one can let his conduct be worthy of it, one can pursue holiness; but to live out the events of Christ’s redemptive work on behalf of sinners, is simply not our calling.

When we preach the gospel, we are preaching a historic, revealed and Christ-centered message concerning His doing, dying, and rising again for sinners.  We are preaching the finished work of Christ as the only foundation for acceptance with God.  We are preaching pardon of sins and imputation of righteousness grounded solely in the active and passive obedience of Christ.  We are preaching the glory of God in the reconciling of sinners to Himself by Jesus Christ.  Period.  Full stop.  No additions, no subtractions, no supplements.  When we preach the effects of the gospel, or the transforming power of the gospel, we instruct the people of God regarding the ethical implications of having believed the truth.  If we do not keep these categories distinct, we run the risk of Romanism, Galatianism, or any other “ism” that includes man’s performance in his acceptance with God.

The Bible recognizes the inclination of sinful man to try to take credit for his acceptance with God.  This is precisely why the Apostle Paul labors earnestly in Romans and Galatians (and elsewhere) to highlight the great truths recovered by the reformation believers:  we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone.  If we confuse justification and sanctification, we run the risk of departing from these wonderful truths.

For further study:

The London Baptist Confession of 1689, chapters 11 (Justification) and 13 (Sanctification)

Westminster Larger Catechism #77

“The Doctrine of Justification” by James Buchanan, published by Banner of Truth.

“Holiness” by J.C. Ryle, chapter on Sanctification.