I posted this thread in the Baptist theology forum, but wanted the non-baptists to see and be able to participate as well. For those familiar with church history, you will recognize the quote in the title of this thread as that of Martin Luther. And I agree with him in that sentiment. Below is a statement of the doctrine of justification and some other points concerning it. This should be enough to be a discussion on the subject. What is the doctrine of justification? The doctrine of justification is God's acceptance and recieving of sinners by accounting and accepting them as righteous. This is done, not by infusing righteousness in them, not by anything done by them, but for Christ's sake alone. Nor is it an imputation of faith itself, the act of believing, or any other act of obedience that is their righteousness, but it is the active obeidence of Christ, it is HIS righteousness that is imputed to them and on account of Christ's righteousness (an alien righteousness) that they are declared just. "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." Rom 3:24-26 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." Rom 8:28-30 "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:" 1 Cor 1:30 "Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:" Phil 3:8-9 I emphasized the Phil 3:9 section to illustrate that the Scriptures teach it is not faith itself that is the rigtheousness, but righteousness is by faith. It is NOT our own righteousness by that which is through faith, the righteousness of Christ. Is this doctrine a reason to continue in sin? Absolutley NOT! Our confession of faith superbly says, "Faith thus receiving and resting on Christ and his righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification; yet it is not alone in the person justified, but is ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but worketh by love." 1689 LBCF, Chapter 11,2 "For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love." Galatians 5:6 "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone." James 2:17 Were OT saints justified differently from us? By no means! "So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham." Gal 3:9 We are blessed WITH faithful Abraham, not apart from him. Our justification by faith is the same as was his. Romans 4:14 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. v.20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; v.21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. v.22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. v.23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; v.24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; v.25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.