Mister Richardson's
Bible Doctrine Class


Chapter 22 Outline - Justification & Adoption

Where then is there room for your boasting? It is for ever shut out. On what principle? On the ground of merit? No, but on the ground of faith. For we maintain that it is as the result of faith that a man is held to be righteous, apart from actions done in obedience to Law. - Romans 3:27,28 (Weymouth)

Definition - Justification is an instantaneous legal act of God in which He 1) thinks of our sins as forgiven and Christ's righteousness belonging to us, and 2) declares us to be righteous in His sight.

A. Justification Includes a Legal Declaration by God

  1. "Justify" means to make right or to declare right - Rom 3:20, 26, 28; 5:1; 8:30; 10:4, 10; Gal 2:16; 3:24.
  2. Particularly Romans 4:5 - "To one who does not work but trusts Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness".

B. Justification is Composed of Two Provisions

  1. Our sins are forgiven - "no condemnation" - Romans 8:1.
  2. We are declared righteous in the sight of God - Isa 61:10; Rom 3:21-22; 4:3; 5:19.

C. The Importance of Christ's Imputed Righteousness

  1. Christ is made our Righteousness - 1 Cor 1:30, Phil 3:9.
  2. Justification is external, not internal, so that righteousness is not from us, but God.
  3. Roman Catholicism teaches infused righteousness - righteousness in us.

D. Justification is Based Entirely on God's Grace, Not Any Merit in Ourselves

E. God Justifies Us Through Our Faith in Christ

  1. Faith is an instrument to obtain justification, but it has no merit - Gal 2:16, Rom 5:1.
  2. What does James mean by saying we are justified by works?
  3. Practical implications of justification by faith alone.

F. Adoption

1. Does God's act of justification actually change our internal nature at all? Explain.
2. What two factors are involved in God's declaration of justification?
3. How can God declare us righteous when we are in fact guilty sinners? What is this righteousness based on?
4. Explain the difference between the Protestant and Roman Catholic views of justification.
5. Does faith earn us justification? Why?
6. How is adoption different from justification?

Adoption, forensic, impute, infused righteousness, justification.

Q33: What is justification?
A33: 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.

Q34: What is adoption?
A34: Adoption is an act of God's free grace, whereby we are received into the number, and have a right to all the privileges of the Sons of God.

Does Justification Still Matter? - Michael Horton
On Shorter Catechism #33 - Ordained Servant
James and Justification by Faith - New Horizons