Westminster Confession of Faith 1647
Page 4 (Chapter 11-15) [Main Page]
CHAPTER XI - Of Justification
I. Those whom God effectually calls, He also freely justifies: not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous, not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ’s sake alone; nor by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness, but by imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ unto them, they receiving and resting on Him and His righteousness by faith; which faith they have not of themselves, it is the gift of God.
Rom 8:30; Rom 3:24; Rom 4:5, 6, 7, 8; 2Cor 5:19, 21; Rom 3:22, 24, 25, 27, 28; Tit 3:5, 7; Eph 1:7; Jer 23:6; 1Cor 1:30, 31; Rom 5:17, 18, 19; Acts 10:43; Gal 2:16; Php 3:9; Acts 13:38, 39; Eph 2:7, 8.
II. Faith, thus receiving and resting on Christ and His righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification; yet it is not alone in the person justified, but is ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but works by love.
John 1:12; Rom 3:28; Rom 5:1; James 2:17, 22, 26; Gal 5:6.
III. Christ, by His obedience and death, did fully discharge the debt of all those that are thus justified, and did make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to His Father’s justice in their behalf. Yet, inasmuch as He was given by the Father for them; and His obedience and satisfaction accepted in their stead; and both freely, not for anything in them; their justification is only of free grace; that both the exact justice, and rich grace of God, might be glorified in the justification of sinners.
Rom 5:8-10, 19; 1Tim 2:5, 6; Heb 10:10, 14; Dan 9:24, 26; Isa 43:4-6, 10-12; Rom 8:32; 2Cor 5:21; Matt 3:17; Eph 5:2; Rom 3:24; Eph 1:7; Rom 3:26; Eph 2:7.
IV. God did, from all eternity, decree to justify all the elect, and Christ did, in the fullness of time, die for their sins, and rise again for their justification: nevertheless, they are not justified, until the Holy Spirit doth, in due time, actually apply Christ unto them.
Gal 3:8; 1Pe 1:2, 19, 20, Rom 8:30; Gal 4:4; 1Tim 2:6; Rom 4:25; Col 1:21, 22; Gal 2:16; Tit 3:3-7.
V. God doth continue to forgive the sins of those that are justified; and, although they can never fall from the state of justification; yet they may, by their sins, fall under God’s fatherly displeasure, and not have the light of His countenance restored unto them, until they humble themselves, confess their sins, beg pardon, and renew their faith and repentance.
Matt 6:12; 1Jn 1:7, 9: 1Jn 2:1, 2; Luke 22:32; John 10:28; Heb 10:14; Ps 89:31-33; Ps 51:7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12; Ps 37:5; Matt 26:75; 1Cor 11:30, 32; Luke 1:20.
VI. The justification of believers under the old testament was, in all these respects, one and the same with the justification of believers under the new testament.
Gal 3:9, 13, 14; Rom 4:22, 23, 24; Heb 13:8.
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CHAPTER XII - Of Adoption
I. All those that are justified, God vouchsafes, in and for His only Son Jesus Christ, to make partakers of the grace of adoption: by which they are taken into the number, and enjoy the liberties and privileges of the children of God, have His name put upon them, receive the spirit of adoption, have access to the throne of grace with boldness, are enabled to cry, Abba, Father, are pitied, protected, provided for, and chastened by Him as by a father; yet never cast off, but sealed to the day of redemption, and inherit the promises, as heirs of everlasting salvation.
Eph 1:5; Gal 4:4, 5; Rom 8:17, John 1:12; Jer 14:9; 2Cor 6:18; Rev 3:12; Rom 8:15, Eph 3:12; Rom 5:2, Gal 4:6; Ps 103:13; Prov 14:26; Matt 6:30, 32; 1Pe 5:7; Heb 12:6; Lam 3:31; Eph 4:30; Heb 6:12; 1Pe 1:3, 4; Heb 1:14.
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CHAPTER XIII - Of Sanctification
I. They who are effectually called and regenerated, having a new heart and a new spirit created in them, are further sanctified, really and personally, through the virtue of Christ’s death and resurrection, by His Word and Spirit dwelling in them: the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed, and the several lusts thereof are more and more weakened and mortified; and they more and more quickened and strengthened in all saving graces, to the practice of true holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.
1Cor 6:11; Acts 20:32; Php 3:10; Rom 6:5, 6; John 17:17; Eph 5:26; 2Thess 2:13; Rom 6:6, 14; Gal 5:24; Rom 8:13; Col 1:11; Eph 3:16, 17, 18, 19; 2Cor 7:1; Heb 12:14.
II. This sanctification is throughout, in the whole man; yet imperfect in this life, there abiding still some remnants of corruption in every part: whence arises a continual and irreconcilable war; the flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.
1Thess 5:23; 1Jn 1:10; Rom 7:18, 23; Php 3:12; Gal 5:17; 1Pe 2:11.
III. In which war, although the remaining corruption, for a time, may much prevail; yet through the continual supply of strength from the sanctifying Spirit of Christ, the regenerate part doth overcome; and so, the saints grow in grace, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Rom 7:23; Rom 6:14; 1Jn 5:4; Eph 4:15, 16; 2Pe 3:18; 2Cor 3:18; 2Cor 7:1.
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CHAPTER XIV - Of Saving Faith
I. The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls, is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts; and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the Word: by which also, and by the administration of the sacraments, and prayer, it is increased and strengthened.
Heb 10:39; 2Cor 4:13; Eph 1:17,18, 19; Eph 2:8; Rom 10:14, 17; 1Pe 2:2; Acts 20:32; Rom 4:11; Luke 17:5; Rom 1:16, 17.
II. By this faith, a Christian believeth to be true whatsoever is revealed in the Word, for the authority of God Himself speaking therein; and acts differently upon that which each particular passage thereof contains; yielding obedience to the commands, trembling at the threats, and embracing the promises of God for this life, and that which is to come. But the principal acts of saving faith are accepting, receiving, and resting upon Christ alone for justification, sanctification, and eternal life, by virtue of the covenant of grace.
John 4:42; 1Thess 2:13; 1Jn 5:10; Acts 24:14; Rom 16:26; Isa 56:2; Heb 11:13; 1Tim 4:8; John 1:12; Acts 16:31; Gal 2:20; Acts 15:11.
III. This faith is different in degrees, weak or strong; may be often and many ways assailed, and weakened, but gets the victory; growing up in many to the attainment of a full assurance through Christ, who is both the author and finisher of our faith.
Heb 5:13, 14; Rom 4:19, 20; Matt 6:30; Matt 8:10; Luke 22:31, 32; Eph 6:16; 1Jn 5:4, 5; Heb 6:11, 12; Heb 10:22; Col 2:2; Heb 12:2.
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CHAPTER XV - Of Repentance Unto Life
I. Repentance unto life is an evangelical grace, the doctrine whereof is to be preached by every minister of the Gospel, as well as that of faith in Christ.
Zech 12:10; Acts 11:18; Luke 24:47; Mark 1:5; Acts 20:21.
II. By it, a sinner, out of the sight and sense not only of the danger, but also of the filthiness and odiousness of his sins, as contrary to the holy nature and righteous law of God; and upon the apprehension of His mercy in Christ to such as are penitent, so grieves for, and hates his sins, as to turn from them all unto God, purposing and endeavoring to walk with Him in all the ways of His commandments.
Ezek 18:30, 31; Ezek 36:31; Isa 30:22; Ps 51:4; Jer 31:18, 19; Joel 2:12, 13; Amos 5:15; Ps 119:128; 2Cor 7:11; Ps 119:6, 59, 106; Luke 1:6; 2Kg 23:25.
III. Although repentance be not to be rested in, as any satisfaction for sin or any cause of the pardon thereof, which is the act of God’s free grace in Christ; yet is it of such necessity to all sinners, that none may expect pardon without it.
Ezek 36:31, 32; Ezek 16:61, 62, 63; Hos 14:2, 4; Rom 3:24; Eph 1: 7; Luke 13:3, 5; Acts 17:30, 31.
IV. As there is no sin so small, but it deserves damnation, so there is no sin so great, that it can bring damnation upon those who truly repent.
Rom 6:23; Rom 5:12; Matt 12:36; Isa 55:7; Rom 8:1; Isa 1:16, 18.
V. Men ought not to content themselves with a general repentance, but it is every man’s duty to endeavor to repent of his particular sins, particularly.
Ps 19:13; Luke 19:8; 1Tim 1:13, 15.
VI. As every man is bound to make private confession of his sins to God, praying for the pardon thereof; upon which, and the forsaking of them, he shall find mercy; so, he that scandalizes his brother, or the Church of Christ, ought to be willing, by a private or public confession, and sorrow for his sin to declare his repentance to those that are offended, who are thereupon to be reconciled to him, and in love to receive him.
Ps 32:5, 6; Prov 28:13; 1Jn 1: 9; James 5:16; Luke 17:3, 4; Joshua 7:19; Ps 51 chapter; 2Cor 2:8.
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