Justification in Christ


Elder Truman Keel

Article of Faith Number 5


We believe that sinners are only justified in the sight of God by the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ, which is unto all and upon all that believe.

This Article seems to embrace several primary thoughts. It first states it is possible to be justified but by one way only. Secondly, it declares that the justification under consideration is in the sight of God and not man. Thirdly, it gives us the means by which we are justified. Fourthly, it identifies those who the means is applied to and with the fruits being their justification in the sight of God. Job says in (Job 9:2) “I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God?” Job readily admits man can be just with God.

By using the word only, the brethren, expressed their belief that any and all other means of being justified in the sight of God were excluded and eliminated. No other way exists. (Acts 4:12) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” There is only one source of justification, which is necessary for heaven and immortal glory.

(Job 9:20) “If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if I say I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse.”

God is the offended deity and demands justice. The full penalty must be paid. (Job 9:32) “For He is not a man, as I am, that I should answer Him, and we should come together in judgment.” You can’t negotiate with God. What ever occurs in reconciling this matter, God is the offended one and man the offender, and therefore God must be satisfied with the results. (II Cor. 5:18) “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.”

God, being a holy and righteous God, and one that changes not, required that the penalty of the offence be paid in full. He required a perfect and righteous offering, His Son, Jesus Christ. (Rom. 3:10) “As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one.” (Matt 5:20) “For I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” If we ever shall dwell with God in heaven, we must be in possession of righteousness and seeing we have none of our own, it must come from another source. It must exceed in quality and quantity, that which the scribes and Pharisees claimed.

How shall we come in possession of righteousness? (Rom. 4:21-22) “And being fully persuaded, (Abraham) that, what He (God) had promised, He was able to perform.” (V22) “And therefore it was imputed to Him for righteousness.” It was applied to His account of righteousness by the Lord. (V- 23) says, it was not written for his (Abraham’s) sake alone. (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.” This righteousness (not ours) shall be imputed (applied to our account) to believers in God.

(Jer. 23:6) “In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” We have not righteousness of our own, sufficient to justify us in the sight of God, but the righteousness of Christ is deposited (imputed) to our account. God will accept nothing less than perfection and even the stars are not pure in His sight, according to Job, chapter 25. (Rom. 4:6) “Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works.” Notice that no works of man was required.

The brethren declare last of all, who they believe are the recipients of this imputed righteousness. (Rom. 3:22) clearly supports their beliefs. “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all that believe: for there is no difference.” No believers shall be without this righteousness. How do they receive it? It is imputed to them.

I will close with two scriptures that seem to summarize our subject. (Rom. 3:24) “Being justified (In His sight) freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” (Rom. 8:33) “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.”


Brethren, I am persuaded this Article of Faith is fully supported by the scriptures, which is the canon stick by which all theories, philosophies, and teachings are to be measured by, and set forth a doctrinal principal, (justification) which I believe most Primitive Baptist will attest to its truth.