Yippee--it's almost Sunday! We GET to go back to church again! In or-der to help us get ready, here is Pastor Thomas Watson, as he eluci-dates the great doctrine of Justification, as he wrote of it in his clas-sic book, "A Body of Divinity." . . .
"What is meant by justification?
"It is a word borrowed from law courts, wherein a person arraigned is pronounced righteous, and is openly absolved. God, in justifying a person, pronounces him to be righteous, and looks upon him as if he had not sinned.
"What is the source of justification?
"The cause, the inward impellant motive or ground of justification, is the free grace of God: 'being justified freely by His grace.' Ambrose expounds this, as 'not of the grace wrought within us, but the free grace of God.' The first wheel that sets all the rest running is the love and favour of God; as a king freely pardons a delinquent. Justification is a blessing spun out of the heart of free grace. God does not justify us because we are worthy, but by justifying us makes us worthy.
"What is the ground, or that by which a sinner is justified?
"The ground of our justification is Christ's satisfaction made to His Father. If it be asked, how can it stand with God's justice and holiness to pronounce us innocent when we are guilty--the answer is, that Christ having made satisfaction for our fault, God may, in equity and justice, pronounce us righteous. It is a just thing for a creditor to dis-charge a debtor of the debt, when a satisfaction is made by the sure-ty.
"But how was Christ's satisfaction meritorious, and so sufficient to justify?
"In respect of the divine nature. As He was man He suffered; as God He satisfied. By Christ's death and merits, God's justice is more abun-dantly satisfied than if we had suffered the pains of hell for ever."