Justification--False View

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  • BIBLE (Correct): Justification is the legal declaration of righteousness by God upon the sinner where the sinner is counted righteous by faith (Rom. 4:1-11, 5:1). It is apart from the works of the Law (Rom. 3:28). It is a gift (Rom. 3:24).
  • CS: There is no doctrine in Christian Science of legal justification because it denies the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ. Therefore, justification is not an issue of being right before God.
  • JW: Justification is a legally correct standing before God that is obtained by faith and good works.  
    • “Abraham’s faith, combined with works, was “counted [reckoned, credited, or attributed] to him as righteousness” (Insight on the Scriptures, vol. 1, p. 604).
  • LDS: Justification, which is legal righteousness, is not by faith alone. Instead, it is by faith and works.  
    • “What then is the law of justification? It is simply this: ‘All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations’ (D&C 132:7), in which men must abide to be saved and exalted, (D&C 132:7). “One of the most pernicious doctrines ever advocated by man, is the doctrine of ‘justification by faith alone . . . ’” (Joseph Fielding Smith, The Restoration of All Things, 1964, p. 192).
    • “The Sectarian Dogma of Justification by Faith Alone has exercised an influence for evil” (James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith, 1984, p. 432).
  • RC: Justification, which is legal righteousness, is not by faith alone. Instead, it is by faith and works.
    • "Justification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ. It is granted us through Baptism," (CCC, par. 2020).  
    • "If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema" (Council of Trent, Canons on Justification, Canon 9).
    • "If any one saith, that man is truly absolved from his sins and justified, because he assuredly believed himself absolved and justified; or, that no one is truly justified but he who believes himself justified; and that, by this faith alone, absolution and justification are effected; let him be anathema," (Canon 14).

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.