Dedicated to the Passionate Pursuit of the Glory of God.

Puritan Catechism Question of the Week
Q 16. Into what estate did the fall bring mankind?
A. The fall brought mankind into a state of sin and misery.

Name: Mike
Location: California, United States
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Sunday, June 25, 2006

I Believe in Justification by Faith Plus Works

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Justification by Faith Alone is so often proclaimed I thought I'd go with this provacative title. I have not changed my doctrinal conviction and still agree with the Reformation teaching that Justification is solely by Faith alone in Christ alone. That is, I believe that there is no work done by sinful humans in order to put us in a better standing before God. This teaching is strict legalism and is condemned multiple times throughout scripture (see especially Galatians).

However, in another very real sense, Justification is the result of works. The works of Christ not only pardon us for our sin but also credit to us his righteousness.

Historically, Justification consists of two points. I have found it best to view it in terms of a Positive and Negative point:

(-) Our sin is pardoned because Jesus bore the wrath of God (He is our propitiation) on our place at the cross. That is, He who knew no sin became sin on our behalf. Our sin is Imputed to Jesus and he faithfully bears the full punishment poured out on Him. For this reason, those who are found in Christ will not recieve the punishment we deserve.

(+) The righteousness of Christ is imputed to us. Where we lived a sinful life, he lived a perfect life. His perfect righteousness is credited those found in Him. For this reason we might become the righteousness of God.

Both of these affirmations (the positive and negative) are absolutely essential. In our time we are more likely to ignore the (+) point. As a necessary corollary, we often exaggerate the Death of Christ over the life of Christ. However, this cannot and must not happen if we desire to maintain sound doctrine.

For this reason, the catechism says:

Q. 33. What is justification?
A. Justification is an act of God’s free grace, wherein he pardoneth all our sins, and accepteth us as righteous in His sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone.

In conclusion, Justification is received by Faith alone but meritied by the works of Jesus alone. For this reason I believe in Justification by Faith Plus Works.

In Christ Alone,


Blogger a neverending read said...

provocative title indeed, my eyes nearly popped out of their sockets when I saw that title after reading Spurgeon's take on James 2:17 and discovering this blog through Carly's. anyway, this is a really good post, thanks for sharing,

hello and prayers from the Philippines,

6:15 AM  
Blogger Katelyn said...

I agree about the title! I got a little nervous there :)

♥ kate

3:26 PM  
Blogger chediak said...

Hello Mike,

(this is a personal note to you, and a comment regarding your post)

Based on some of your posts and comments I've seen on-line, I think you might find my budding writing ministry to be of interest.

My name is Alex Chediak, and I am an apprentice at The Bethlehem Insitute, a seminary-level training program run by Pastors John Piper and Tom Steller. The book is called With One Voice: Singleness, Dating, and Marriage to the Glory of God. It has been endorsed by Albert Mohler, Ben Patterson, Bruce Ware, and Rick Holland (college pastor to John MacArthur). You can read a brief summary, several reviews, and the endorsements here:


I commend this book to you for the blessing that I think it will bring you and others. Here is a review that I am particularly humbled by:


Many blessings to you,

4:12 PM  
Blogger Nan said...

Well, having read your comments on Challies I figured your title was tongue in cheek! *phew*
Just curious, what denomination you are? My husband (a PCA minister) and I are both from California originally.
God bless,

8:13 PM  
Blogger Joel said...

You threw me for a moment, there. I was fixin' to haul out the holy water and start clacking some beads! :)

2:56 PM  
Blogger voiceofthesheep said...

A very provocative title (the kind I like, one that makes me stop and take notice). I must admit that it got me for a moment.

The only suggestion I would make is in relation to the order of your title. Obviously, saying you believe in justification by faith plus works sounds more sinister...but I would put forth that the more accurate order - that flows with the real sequence - would be 'works plus faith'.

But then, that wouldn't raise as many eyebrows as saying 'faith plus works', would it?

Good post, Mike.


5:27 PM  

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