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REMARKS ON JUSTIFICATION AND SOME OF ITS
MOST IMPORTANT PRIVILEGES.
THE CONGREGATIONAL MEETING-HOUSE,
By R. SHUFFLEBOTTOM.
PRINTED FOR W. BAYNES AND SON, PATERNOSTER ROW.
Rom. v. 1, 2. THEREFORE BEING JUSTIFIED BY
FAITH, WE HAVE PEACE WITH GOD THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST : BY WHOM ALSO WE HAVE ACCESS BY FAITH INTO THIS GRACE WHEREIN WE STAND, AND REJOICE IN HOPE OF THE GLORY OF GOD.
The Epistle to the Romans contains a complete System of Divinity, and is, therefore, fitted to make the Christian perfect in every good word and work. It reveals the gospel and its various excellences, the state of Jews and Gentiles in relation to it, and the manner in which it is applied ; its manifold privileges and blessings, and its genuinc fruits in a life of universal holiness. After our Apostle had clearly and fully stated the way of justification before God, and given examples of it in Abraham and David, in the text he begins to point out the privileges of the justified : Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ : by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
To engage your attention, and promote your benefit by the important truth of our text, I shall,
I. Make a few remarks on justification : and,
II. Notice the privileges of the justified, as expressed in the text.
1. To justify, is to declare any one just or righteous. It is not to impart righteousness, to sanctify, but to put the righteousness of another to our account. Dr. Owen remarks, that this word, whether expressing the act of God towards men, or of men towards God, or men among themselves, is always used in a forensic sense, and never denotes a physical operation or transfusion ; that it always refers to a sentence pronounced, and never to a work on the mind. Thus in 2 Sam. xv. 4. And Absalom said, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every one which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice, (justify him, judge in his cause.) So in Deut. xxv. 1. If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them, then they shall justify the righteous and condemn the wicked. That this is the use of the term justify, he proves from the use of the Hebrew and Greek term in the Scriptures, and from the circumstances attending justification as noticed in the Scriptures. In relation to it, we find a judgment, a judge, a tribunal, a guilty person, a charge, a plea to which alone the sinner flies, an Advocate, and a sentence of absolution. From justification being opposed to condemnation, and from vilier equivalent terms as imputing righteousness without works, the blessedness we have by the pardon of sin, to be justified by his blood, is the same as being reconciled by his death ; Rom. v. 9, 10. Much more being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him : for if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, 2 Cor. v. 20, 21. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us, we pray you in Christ's stead be ye reconciled unto God ; for he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. Reconciliation is not the infusion of a habit of grace, but the effecting of peace and love, by the