Posts Tagged ‘Infused Righteousness’

Why Evangelicals Must Engage Roman Catholicism

As I speak to different audiences and at various conferences, the question comes back over and over again: why should Evangelicals bother engaging Roman Catholicism? Let me suggest four reasons.

It’s a Global Issue

Wherever you go in the world – North and South, East and West – you will find people who call themselves Roman Catholics and with whom all of us will interact in one way or another on matters of faith. You will also encounter the Roman Catholic Church through its institutions and agencies: parishes, schools, hospitals, charities, movements, etc. According to the 2020 edition of the Pontifical Yearbook, Catholics around the world amount….

Read the entire article here

Justification and Roman Catholicism

by Stephen Unthank

It shouldn’t surprise Protestant readers that our Roman Catholic friends (or maybe they’re not your friends) really do believe that God justifies sinners. When they read Romans 3:19-26 they also say “Amen!” But of course, it’s what is meant by the term justify that needs careful clarification. In fact, it’s that very definition which makes the difference between calling our Roman Catholic neighbors merely a friend or a brother.[1]

The history of Rome’s understanding is itself variegated and in no way lends itself to an easy retelling, at least not in a short article like this. There’s a story about an argument over justification by faith, held during the two-decade deliberation of the Council of Trent, where “the Bishop of La Cava wrenched the beard of the Cretan Bishop of Chironissa, who had commented that he was either a knave or a fool for sounding a bit like Martin Luther on justification.”[2] And yet, you could turn to many of Thomas Aquinas’ statements on justification and easily conclude that he sounds exactly like Martin Luther. That is to say, there is not a clearly defined doctrine of justification which is easily traceable throughout the history of the Catholic Church. This is partly why there could be such a vague document like the Evangelicals and Catholics Together, which plays on how close Catholics and Protestants can seemingly come. Yet, being close is not the same thing as being faithful and when it comes to the Gospel, faithful is essential whereas being close is still an eternally distant “close.”

It is not quite right to say that the Roman Catholic church opposes salvation by grace through faith. Their own Catechism explicitly states that a person is made right with God by God’s grace, and that grace is accepted by faith. “The first work of the grace of the Holy Spirit….

Read the entire article over at Reformation21  

The Wednesday Word: Faith and our Verdict from God

September 16, 2015 Leave a comment

When Justification becomes ours, we enjoy acquittal in the courtroom of Heaven. We are declared not guilty. This is much greater than receiving a pardon. When a person is pardoned, the Judge is saying, “You did the crime but I forgive you.” That, however, falls far short of Justification for in Justification, the Judge says, “You are not guilty, you did not commit the crime.” Unfortunately, this distinction is not always pressed home, especially in many of our old hymns. We sing, “I love Thee because Thou hast first loved me; And purchased my pardon when nailed to the tree. “ But, beautiful as the Hymn is, Jesus did much more than purchase our pardon, He purchased our acquittal!

It is interesting to note that, in the KJV version of the Bible there is no New Testament mention of the word pardon. It is an entirely Old Testament concept. Yet there are those who will fight tooth and nail to maintain the position that we are pardoned by the work of the cross.Justification we say again is much greater than pardon, it is full and entire acquittal! In fact, to be justified is the direct opposite of being condemned. A condemned man can be pardoned, but his pardon does not clear him of the guilt of having committed his crimes. However, for the believer, there is no condemnation, that is, there is no declaration by the court of Heaven that we are guilty.

Faith takes a hold of this new verdict and makes it our own. Faith believes Heaven’s legal opinion. Understanding the declaration of Heaven’s court, the believer will not look to any quality within himself to rest upon. We, as believers, can now stand before God, in Jesus Christ, by faith plus nothing. Faith grasps that it is Christ for us, not Christ “in us” which saves us. We are saved by us being “in Christ” not by Christ being in us. Our justification is through the finished work of one man and one man alone…The Lord Jesus Christ. We, therefore, must renounce all claims of merit on our behalf and rest all our confidence in Christ and His good works for us. Horatius Bonar, in his masterpiece on Justification, The Everlasting Righteousness tells us,

“Christ in us, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27), is a well-known and blessed truth; but Christ IN US, our justification, is a ruinous error, leading man away from a crucified Christ-a Christ crucified FOR US. Christ for us is one truth; Christ in us is quite another. The mingling of these two together, or the transposition of them, is the nullifying of Substitute. Let it be granted that Christ in us is the source of holiness and fruitfulness the one finished work of the (John 15:4); but let it never be overlooked that first of all there be Christ FOR US, as our propitiation, our justification, our righteousness. The risen Christ in us, our justification, is a modern theory which subverts the cross. Washing, pardoning, reconciling, justifying, all come from the one work of the cross, not from resurrection. The dying Christ completed the work for us from which all the above benefits flow. The risen Christ but sealed and applied what, three days before, He had done once for all.

(The Everlasting Righteousness: Cpt 7, Not Faith But Christ)

Indeed, Bonar is correct, looking to Christ in us for Justification is a disastrous and damaging error yet Colossians 1:27 does speak of “Christ in you the hope of glory”. However, the ‘you’ in this verse in the Greek is plural thus this verse refers to Christ in the midst of His Church. And of course, He is in each member of His church, but the fact that He is ‘in us’ is not our justification and right standing before God. This passage, in Colossians 1:27, is not dealing with justification, but rather with the future state of the believer, his resurrection and the return of the Lord. Paul has already spoken to them of their hope (future) which is laid up in heaven (verse 5) and of the hope of the Gospel (future) (verse 23). The Spirit of God will always lift the eyes of the believer away from himself and his experience and fix his gaze upon Christ, His accomplishments and our future destiny in Him.

Attributing a righteousness “in us” as being the ground of Salvation was one of the great errors of the Roman Communion and one which the Reformers fought with all the resources at their disposal. Yet today there are many sincere believers, in Bible believing churches, caught up in and promoting this same ruinous error.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee 

(I would suggest that for further reading on this, see the use of the word ‘hope’ in the New Testament see Acts 2:26-27, Acts 23:6, Acts 24:15. Alsosee, Romans 8:20,23-24, 1 Thessalonians 2:19, 1 Thess. 4:13-14, 1 Tim. 1:1, Titus 2:13, 1 Peter 1:3-4, 1 John 3:2-3). “Hope” in these verses points to the eschaton and the final consummation of God’s redemptive acts at the end of the age).

Calvinism declares that ‘God is our rock and salvation,” all other views are heresies

Spurgeon 11. The first thing is, THE GREAT DOCTRINE. — that God “only is our rock and our salvation.” If any one should ask us what we would choose for our motto, as preachers of the gospel we think we should reply, “God only is our salvation.” The late lamented Mr. Denham has put at the foot of his portrait, a most admirable text, “Salvation is of the Lord.” Now, that is just an epitome of Calvinism, it is the sum and the substance of it. If any one should ask you what you mean by a Calvinist, you may reply, “He is one who says, salvation is of the Lord.” I cannot find in Scripture any other doctrine than this. It is the essence of the Bible. He only is my rock and my salvation.” Tell me anything that departs from this and it will be a heresy, tell me a heresy, and I shall find its essence here, that it has departed from this great, this fundamental, this rocky truth, “God is my rock and my salvation.” What is the heresy of Rome, but the addition of something to the perfect merits of Jesus Christ — the bringing in of the works of the flesh, to assist in our justification? and what is that heresy of Arminianism but the secret addition of something to the complete work of the Redeemer? You will find that every heresy, if brought to the touchstone, will discover itself here, it departs from this “He only is my rock and my salvation.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- God Alone the Salvation of His People-A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, May 18, 1856

The Wednesday Word: The Country Preacher


A rural pastor and I were once talking about Justification by Faith. I made the point that the righteousness which presents us as acceptable before God is the very righteousness of Christ Himself imputed to us and not infused. The pastor responded by agreeing that what I was saying was all well and good, but he went on to say that he had a country parish and his flock would want to hear something more practical and useful than the difference between infused and imputed righteousness.

The dear man was terribly, terribly wrong. The most practical truth which can be taught to any congregation is the grand truth of Justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone! In this way, they will be delivered from the endless task of looking for some internal righteousness to prove to themselves that they will eventually gain heaven.

The reason I contend this point is that the pronounced burning question which we all need to answer is, “How does sinful man obtain right standing before the all holy God.” A congregation that is not continually exposed to gospel truth is doomed to legalistic ignorance on this vital point.

“Of course,” says one, “The answer to your question is simple. To obtain right standing before God, we need to be born again. And to get born again, we simply pray something along these lines, Lord Jesus I am a sinner, come into my heart and wash away my sins.”


Alas, this kind of teaching is painfully and wickedly wrong on so many levels. Of course, we need to be born again; indeed there is no such thing as a non-born again Christian. However, Christ doesn’t wash away sins when He comes, by His Spirit, into the heart. Where does the Bible teach that? No indeed, sins were dealt with at Calvary, 2000 years ago (Hebrews 10:12-14). Sins were taken away by the Lamb of God. We were cleansed, we were redeemed by a past historical event. Faith (the instrumental cause of Justification) takes hold of that which has been accomplished and makes it our own. We were not cleansed and redeemed by asking Jesus into our heart. If asking Jesus into our heart is the ground (the formal cause) of our Justification, then we are depending on a prayer we have prayed for our salvation. In other words, we believe in salvation by works.

The gospel truth informs us that we are saved by Jesus + nothing.



Let’s imagine that you are lying on your death bed. The doctor has shaken his head and with a sympathetic voice has informed your family that death will come within the hour. You are facing eternity! What or better yet, Whom will you trust? Will you trust that you have asked Jesus into your heart? That’s a rubber crutch! Will you trust that since you prayed that prayer, your life has changed? Another rubber crutch! Or will you trust that 2000 years ago, the eternal Word became flesh, lived died and rose again on your behalf? Will you trust that He has furnished a perfect righteousness for you? Will you rest on Him and Him alone? Will you trust that mercy and grace have burst forth on the sinner in Christ Jesus?


He alone is our only hope for…..

Christ Himself is our Mercy Seat.

Christ Himself is our Wrath Offering.

Christ Himself is our Reconciliation.

Christ Himself is our Perfection.

Christ Himself is our Acceptance.

Christ Himself is our Righteousness.


We rejoice to hear this good news. However, we are, by nature, legalists who continually look within ourselves for something that we can present before God as our qualification for heaven. We quickly forget the grand objective truths of the good news. That’s one of the many reasons why we need to be continually exposed to the gospel.

In spite of what the country pastor told me, the recurrent preaching and teaching of Justification by Grace through Faith is the most practical and helpful message to bring before any congregation.

And that’s the Gospel Truth

Miles McKee


Minister of the Gospel

The Grace Centre,

6 Quay Street, New Ross,

County Wexford, Ireland.


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Imputed Righteousness without Works

This article is a little lengthy, but if someone really wanted to understand this doctrine of imputed righteousness, then he will take the time to read this.

I leave you with this article:

The Doctrine of Imputed Righteousness without Works Asserted and Proved by John Gill

This Epistle is written on purpose to state, explain, and vindicate, the doctrine of a sinner’s justification before God, by the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. In order to which, the Apostle takes up his two first chapters, and part of the third, in proving, that both Jews and Gentiles are under sin, that they have by sinning broke the law of God, and so are become liable to its curses and condemnation, and therefore cannot be justified in the sight of God, by their obedience to it; and then strongly and justly concludes, that a man is justified by faith, in the imputed righteousness of Christ, without the deeds of the law. This doctrine he confirms in the beginning of this chapter, by instances of two of the greatest men, for religion and godliness, that ever were in the Jewish nation. The one is Abraham, who was the friend of God, and the father of the faithful, and yet he was not justified before God by his works; for what saith the Scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness, in verse 3. The other is David, a man after God’s own heart, raised up by the Lord to fulfill all his will. Who yet was so far from trusting to, or depending upon his own righteousness, for justification, that he wholly places the happiness of men, and so unquestionably his own, in a righteousness imputed to him by God, without works, as in the words I have read unto you. In speaking to which, I shall,

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