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In this section of the Baptist Larger Catechism, we address Ch. 11-12 in the 1689 London Baptist Confession on justification and adoption. This section consists of an expansion of questions 36-38 in the Baptist Catechism and the Keach Catechism. Three additional questions have been added to describe the nature of true saving faith (Q.65), to emphasize that faith is the instrumental cause of justification (Q.66), and to emphasize that justification is solely an act of God’s grace (Q.64). These additional questions are similar to questions 60 and 68 in the Westminster Larger Catechism.

As before, feel free to comment on the additional questions added and the expanded questions below.

Q. 62: What benefits do the elect experience through Christ in this life?

A: The elect experience union and communion with Him in grace and glory1 and thus, partake of the power of His mediation in their justification,2 adoption,3 sanctification, and whatever else, in this life, manifests their union with Him.4

1. John 17:21; Ephesians 2:5-6; John 17:24; 1 John 1:3; John 1:16; Ephesians 3:16-19; Philippians 3:10

2. Romans 8:30

3. Ephesians 1:5

4. 1 Corinthians 1:30; 1 Corinthians 6:11

Q. 63: What is justification?

A: Justification is the act of God’s free grace unto sinners,1 by which He pardons all their sins and accepts them as righteous in His sight;2 not because of anything worked in them or done by them3 but because God imputes to them Christ’s active obedience unto the whole law,4 and passive obedience in His death for their whole and sole righteousness5 which can only be appropriated by faith.6

1. Romans 3:22-25

2. Jeremiah 23:6; Romans 4:6-8; 2 Corinthians 5:19-21; Romans 3:22-28

3. Titus 3:5-7; Ephesians 1:7

4. Romans 10:4; Romans 5:10,19; Matthew 3:15

5. Romans 3:25; Romans 5:9; Hebrews 10:11-14; 2 Corinthians 5:21

6. Acts 10:43; Galatians 2:16; Philippians 3:9

Q. 64: How is justification an act of God’s free grace?

A: By His obedience and death Christ made the proper, real, and full satisfaction to God’s justice on behalf of those who are justified.1 Yet, insofar as this satisfaction is accepted by God as a guarantee of performance, which He might have demanded from the justified, and since God Himself provided a guarantor in the person of His only Son,2 in justification God imputes righteousness to the justified3 and requires nothing from them in return except faith,4 which they also have as a gift from Him.5 Consequently, justification comes to the justified as an act of God’s free grace.6

1. Romans 5:8-19

2. 1 Timothy 2:5-6; Hebrews 10:10; Matthew 20:28; Isaiah 53:4-12; Romans 8:32; 1 Peter 1:18-19

3. 2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 4:6-11

4. Romans 3:24-25

5. Ephesians 2:8

6. Ephesians 1:7; Romans 3:24-25

Q. 65: What is justifying faith?

A: Justifying faith is an act of the free grace of God1 wrought in the hearts of sinners by the Spirit2 and the Word of God.3 By this faith, sinners are convinced of their sinfulness and miserable condition and of their inability in themselves (and all other creatures) to recover out of their lost condition,4 and by this faith, they give full assent to the truth of the gospel promise.5 They receive and rest on Christ and His righteousness for pardon of sin,6 as held forth in the gospel, and for being accepted and accounted as righteous in the sight of God for salvation.7

1. Hebrews 10:39

2. 2 Corinthians 4:13; Ephesians 1:17-19; 1 Corinthians 12:3; 1 Peter 1:2

3. Romans 10:14-17; 1 Corinthians 1:21

4. Acts 2:37; Acts 16:30; John 16:8-9; Romans 6:6; Ephesians 2:1; Acts 4:12

5. Ephesians 1:13; Hebrews 11:13

6. John 1:12; Acts 16:31; Acts 10:43; Zechariah 3:8-9

7. Philippians 3:9; Acts 15:11

Q. 66: How does faith justify a sinner in the sight of God?

A: Faith justifies a sinner in the sight of God only as an instrument by which the sinner receives Christ and applies Christ’s righteousness,1 not because of any other grace that accompanies faith or because of any good works that result from faith.2 Nor is it the case that the grace of faith or any action springing from it is imputed to the sinner for His justification. 3

1. John 1:12; Philippians 3:9; Galatians 2:16

2. Galatians 3:11; Romans 3:28

3. Romans 4:5; Romans 10:10

Q. 67: What is adoption?

A: Adoption is an act of the free grace of God1 in and for His only Son Jesus Christ,2 by which all those who are justified are received into the number of His children,3 have His name put upon them,4 have the Spirit of His Son given to them,5 are under His fatherly care,6 are welcomed to all the liberties and privileges of the sons of God, and are made heirs of all the promises and fellow-heirs with Christ in glory.7

1. 1 John 3:1

2. Ephesians 1:5; Galatians 4:4-5

3. John 1:12; Romans 8:15-16

4. Numbers 6:24-27; 2 Corinthians 6:18; Revelation 3:12

5. Galatians 4:6

6. Psalm 103:13; Matthew 6:32; Hebrews 12:5-11

7. Hebrews 6:12; Romans 8:17; 1 Peter 1:3-4

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