I recently posted Benjamin Keach’s seven ways in which people misunderstand justification and so live impoverished even gospel denying lives. Here, Keach sets out true justification, without works:
Thus having given you several dangerous, and corrupt Notions of Men about the great Point of Justification, I shall proceed to give you in the last place the true Description, Notion, and Definition of it, according as it hath been, and is asserted generally by all sound Christians and faithful Men.
Eighthly, This is that which we say, i.e. That Justification is an absolute Act of God’s most sovereign Grace, whereby he imputeth the complete and perfect Righteousness of Jesus Christ to a believing Sinner, though ungodly in himself, absolving him from all his Sins, and accepting him as righteous in Christ.
We affirm that Justification is the Acceptance of a Sinner with God as righteous, through the Righteousness of Jesus Christ imputed to him, not that Justification is nothing more but the pardon of Sin, or the not, or non-exacting the Punishment of Sin, due for the breach of the Law of Works, and the acceptance of a Man, so far as he performeth the New Condition of sincere Obedience.
But we affirm that believing Sinners are made partakers of Christ’s Righteousness, and the benefits of it; and that by Faith alone, as that by which we wholly fly to him for Righteousness, and trusting in the promise of Life for his Sake and Merits.
`Not that Faith, as one observes, in the whole Latitude, is believing and obeying ‘the Gospel, by which we are made Partakers of the benefit of Christ in his ‘Obedience to his own Law; and, in that he having purchased this Grant or Law, i.e. that they which obey him should be justified and saved, and not that Christ’s Obedience shall or doth save them.’
We believe, and teach that by Christ’s Righteousness imputed, he that believes is perfectly justified, and is freed from the Curse of the Law, and accepted, and accounted righteous in the sight of God, and hereby hath a certain Title to Eternal Life.