The Doctrine of Justification

“Justification by grace through faith in Jesus Christ for Christ’s sake alone” was the battle cry of the Lutheran Reformation. This is the central doctrine of Scripture and the Lutheran Church. It is called the “material principle” of the Reformation.

Everything needed for salvation was accomplished by Jesus Christ. If anyone tries to add anything to the work Jesus has done and continues to do for our salvation is to diminish the sufficiency of His work on the cross. It is for this reason that the Scripture is so clear in its teaching that salvation comes by faith, apart from works. To be justified before God means to be regarded as worthy, perfect, and holy by God. Sin is an offense to God. To this end Jesus Christ lived a life of perfect obedience, died to pay for our sin, and was raise on Easter on account of our justification. This blood payment for sins is called the atonement. Christ’s work is imputed, placed on us by the means of grace. Jesus took on our sin and we have been given His righteousness. This is all called the doctrine of justification. Rom. 5:9 “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.”

In short, the doctrine of justification by faith in the crucified and risen Christ is the entire Gospel. Wherever it is believed, there the Church of Christ, the communion of saints, exists; whenever it is not believed, there can be no Christian Church.” [Christian Dogmatics, T. Mueller, p. 372.] Rom. 8:31 “Whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. . . . 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies.”

Jesus Himself taught this doctrine in absolute clarity in John 6:28-29. “They asked Him, ‘What are the works that God wants us to do?’ Jesus answered them, ‘His is the work of God-that you believe in Him who sent me.’”

Augsburg Confession – Article IV

Our churches also teach that men cannot be justified before God by their own strength, merits, or works, but are freely justified for Christ’s sake through faith when they believe that they are received into favor and that their sins are forgiven on account of Christ, who by his death made satisfaction for our sins. This faith God imputes for righteousness in his sight Rom. 3:4.

So come to Immanuel Ev. Lutheran Church where the Word of God, the Sacraments, and the liturgy are rightly used so that you will be made holy and blameless in God’s sight.