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Chap. XIX. — Of Justification.

Q. 1. Are we accounted righteous and saved for our faith, when we are thus freely called?

A. No, but merely by the imputation of the righteousness of Christ, apprehended and applied by faith; for which alone the Lord accepts us as holy and righteous.
Isa. xliii. 25; Rom. iii. 23–26, iv. 5.

Q. 2. What, then, is our justification or righteousness before God?

A. The gracious, free act7979   Legal and evangelical justification differ; first, on the part of the persons to be justified, — the one requiring a person legally and perfectly righteous, — the other a believing sinner; secondly, on the part of God, who in the one is a severe, righteous judge, — in the other, a merciful, reconciled Father; thirdly, in the sentence, which in the one acquitteth, as having done nothing amiss, — in the other, as having all amiss pardoned. of God, imputing the righteousness of Christ to a believing sinner, and for that speaking peace unto his conscience, in the pardon of his sin, — pronouncing him to be just and accepted before him.
Gen. xv. 6; Acts xiii. 38, 39; Luke xviii. 14; Rom. iii. 24, 26, 28, iv. 4–8; Gal. ii. 16.

Q. 3. Are we not, then, righteous before God by our own works?

A. No; for of themselves they can neither satisfy his justice, fulfil his law, nor endure his trial.
Ps. cxxx. 3, 4, cxliii. 2; Isa. lxiv. 6; Luke xvii. 10.

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