The Doctrine of Justification

The following is from page 15 in James Buchanan's work on justification. It is a fantastic read with great doctrine and instruction.

"That these Lectures may be adapted to the exigencies of the present times, it is necessary to keep steadily in view the theories and speculations which have recently appeared, and to suggest such considerations as may serve to neutralize or counteract their injurious influence. But they are designed to be didactic, rather than controversial. 

For it has long been my firm conviction, that the only effective refutation of error is the establishment of truth. Truth is one, error is multiform; and truth, once firmly established, overthrows all the errors that either have been, or may yet be, opposed to it. He who exposes and expels an error, does well; but it will only return in another form, unless the truth has been so lodged in the heart as to shut it out for ever [emphasis added]. 

The great object, therefore, should be, to expound the doctrine of Justification in its full meaning, as it is revealed in Scripture,-to illustrate the great principles which are involved or implied in it,-to adduce and apply the scriptural proofs on which it rests,-and to contrast it with such other methods of obtaining pardon and acceptance with God as men have devised for themselves; and this, with a view to two practical results: 

first, to direct some, whose consciences have been awakened but not appeased, to a sure ground of immediate pardon and acceptance; and 

secondly, to direct believers, who are still burdened with doubts and fears, to such views of the nature, grounds, and evidences of this Gospel privilege, as may serve, under the divine blessing, to raise them to a more comfortable enjoyment of it, by adding the 'assurance of faith' and 'hope' to 'the assurance of understanding.'"

JAMES BUCHANAN (1804-1870)

He was born in Scotland in 1804 and ordained in 1827 in the Church of Scotland. In 1828 he commenced a very successful ministry in North Leith where he gained a great reputation as an earnest, eloquent, evangelical preacher. In 1845 he was appointed to the Chair of Apologetics at New College, Edinburgh, and in 1847 he succeeded Thomas Chalmers as Professor of Systematic Theology. He retired in 1868 and died two years later.

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