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The Larger Catechism Ė Questions 71-80



Q. 71. How is justification an act of God's free grace?

A. Although Christ, by his obedience and death, did make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to God's justice in the behalf of them that are justifieda; yet in as much as God accepteth the satisfaction from a surety, which he might have demanded of them, and did provide this surety, his own only Sonb, imputing his righteousness to themc, and requiring nothing of them for their justification but faithd, which also is his gifte, their justification is to them of free gracef.


a Rom.5:8-10,19 b 1 Tim.2:5,6; Heb.10:10; Matt.20:28; Dan.9:24,26; Isa.53:4-6,10-12; Heb.7:22; Rom.8:32; 1 Pet.1:18,19 c 2 Cor.5:21 d Rom.3:24,25 e Eph.2:8 f Eph.1:7



Q. 72. What is justifying faith?

A. Justifying faith is a saving gracea, wrought in the heart of a sinner by the Spiritb and word of Godc, whereby he, being convinced of his sin and misery, and of the disability in himself and all other creatures to recover him out of his lost conditiond, not only assenteth to the truth of the promise of the gospele, but receiveth and resteth upon Christ and his righteousness, therein held forth, for pardon of sinf, and for the accepting and accounting of his person righteous in the sight of God for salvationg.


a Heb.10:39 b 2 Cor.4:13; Eph.1:17-19 c Rom.10:14,17 d Acts 2:37 ; Acts 16:30 ; John 16:8,9; Rom.5:6; Eph.2:1; Acts 4:12 e Eph.1:13 f John 1:12; Acts 16:31; Acts 10:43 g Phil.3:9; Acts 15:11



Q. 73. How doth faith justify a sinner in the sight of God?

A. Faith justifies a sinner in the sight of God, not because of those other graces which do always accompany it, or of good works that are the fruits of ita, nor as if the grace of faith, or any act thereof; were imputed to him for his justificationb; but only as it is an instrument by which he receiveth and applieth Christ and his righteousnessc.


a Gal.3:11; Rom.3:28 b Rom.4:5 compared with Rom.10:10 c John 1:12; Phil.3:9; Gal.2:16



Q. 74. What is adoption?

A. Adoption is an act of the free grace of Goda, in and for his only Son Jesus Christb, whereby all those that are justified are received into the number of his childrenc, have his name put upon themd, the Spirit of his Son given to theme, are under his fatherly care and dispensationsf, admitted to all the liberties and privileges of the sons of God, made heirs of all the promises, and fellow-heirs with Christ in gloryg.


a 1 John 3:1 b Eph.1:5; Gal.4:4,5 c John 1:12 d 2 Cor.6:18; Rev.3:12 e Gal.4:6 f Ps.103:13; Prov.14:26; Matt.6:32 g Heb.6:12; Rom.8:17



Q. 75. What is sanctification?

A. Sanctification is a work of God's grace, whereby they whom God hath, before the foundation of the world, chosen to be holy, are in time, through the powerful operation of his Spirita applying the death and resurrection of Christ unto themb, renewed in their whole man after the image of Godc; having the seeds of repentance unto life, and all other saving graces, put into their heartsd, and those graces so stirred up, increased, and strengthenede, as that they more and more die unto sin, and rise unto newness of lifef.


a Eph.1:4; 1 Cor.6:11; 2 Thess.2:13 b Rom.6:4-6 c Eph.4:23,24 d Acts 11:18 ; 1 John 3:9 e Jude 20; Heb.6:11,12; Eph.3:16-19; Col.1:10,11 f Rom.6:4,6,14; Gal.5:24



Q. 76. What is repentance unto life?

A. Repentance unto life is a saving gracea, wrought in the heart of a sinner by the Spiritb and word of Godc, whereby, out of the sight and sense, not only of the dangerd, but also of the filthiness and odiousness of his sinse, and upon the apprehension of God's mercy in Christ to such as are penitentf, he so grieves forg and hates his sinsh, as that he turns from them all to Godi, purposing and endeavouring constantly to walk with him in all the ways of new obediencek.


a 2 Tim.2:25 b Zech.12:10 c Acts 11:18,20,21 d Ezek.18:28,30,32; Luke 15:17,18; Hosea 2:6,7 e Ezek.36:31; Isa.30:22 f Joel 2:12,13 g Jer.31:18,19 h 2 Cor.7:11 i Acts 26:18; Ezek.14:6; 1 Kings 8:47,48 k Ps.119:6,59,128; Luke 1:6; 2 Kings 23:25



Q. 77. Wherein do justification and sanctification differ?

A. Although sanctification be inseparably joined with justificationa, yet they differ, in that God in justification imputeth the righteousness of Christb; in sanctification his Spirit infuseth grace, and enableth to the exercise thereofc; in the former, sin is pardonedd; in the other, it is subduede: the one doth equally free all believers from the revenging wrath of God, and that perfectly in this life, that they never fall into condemnationf;the other is neither equal in allg, nor in this life perfect in anyh, but growing up to perfectioni.


a 1 Cor.6:11; 1 Cor.1:30 b Rom.4:6,8 c Ezek.36:27 d Rom.3:24,25 e Rom.6:6,14 f Rom.8:33,34 g 1 John 2:12-14; Heb.5:12-14 h 1 John 1:8,10 i 2 Cor.7:1; Phil.3:12-14



Q. 78. Whence ariseth the imperfection of sanctification in believers?

A. The imperfection of sanctification in believers ariseth from the remnants of sin abiding in every part of them, and the perpetual lustings of the flesh against the spirit; whereby they are often foiled with temptations, and fall into many sinsa, are hindered in all their spiritual servicesb, and their best works are imperfect and defiled in the sight of Godc.


a Rom.7:18,23; Mark 14:66-72; Gal.2:11,12 b Heb.12:1 c Isa.64:6; Exod.28:38



Q. 79. May not true believers, by reason of their imperfections, and the many temptations and sins they are overtaken with, fall away from the state of grace?

A. True believers, by reason of the unchangeable love of Goda, and his decree and covenant to give them perseveranceb, their inseparable union with Christc, his continual intercession for themd, and the Spirit and seed of God abiding in theme, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of gracef, but are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvationg.


a Jer.31:3 b 2 Tim.2:19; Heb.13:20,21; 2 Sam.23:5 c 1 Cor.1:8,9 d Heb.7:25; Luke 22:32 e 1 John 3:9; 1 John 2:27 f Jer.32:40; John 10:28 g 1 Pet.1:5



Q. 80. Can true believers be infallibly assured that they are in the estate of grace, and that they shall persevere therein unto salvation?

A. Such as truly believe in Christ, and endeavour to walk in all good conscience before hima, may, without extraordinary revelation, by faith grounded upon the truth of God's promises, and by the Spirit enabling them to discern in themselves those graces to which the promises of life are madeb, and bearing witness with their spirits that they are the children of Godc, be infallibly assured that they are in the estate of grace, and shall persevere therein unto salvationd.


a 1 John 2:3 b 1 Cor.2:12; 1 John 3:14,18,19,21,24; 1 John 4:13,16; Heb.6:11,12 c Rom.8:16 d 1 John 5:13



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