John Murray – Why Justification by faith?

27 Feb

John Murray

The differentiating quality of faith is that the nature and function of faith is to rest completely upon another. It is this resting, confiding, entrusting quality of faith that makes it appropriate to and indeed exhibitive of the nature of justification. It is consonant with its source as the free grace of God, with its nature as a forensic act, and with its ground as the righteousness of Christ. Faith terminates upon Christ and his righteousness and it makes mention of his righteousness and of his only. This is the Savior’s specific identity in the matter of justification-he is the Lord our righteousness. And in resting upon him alone for salvation it is faith that perfectly dovetails justification in him and in his righteousness. Other graces or fruits of the Spirit have their own specific functions in the application of redemption, but only faith has as its specific quality the receiving and resting of self-abandonment and totality of self-commitment.

This is both the stumbling-block and the irresistible appeal of the gospel. It is the stumbling-block to self-righteousness and self-righteousness is the arch-demon of antithesis to grace. It is the glory of the gospel for the contrite and brokenhearted-if we put any other exercise of the human spirit in the place of faith, then we cut the throat of the only confidence a sinner conscious of his lost and helpless condition can entertain. Justification by faith is the jubilee trumpet of the gospel because it proclaims the gospel to the poor and destitute whose only door of hope is to roll themselves in total helplessness upon the grace and power and righteousness of the Redeemer of the lost. In the words of one, ‘cast out your anchor into the ocean of the Redeemer’s merits’.

~John Murray~






Collected Writings of John Murray – Volume 2: Systematic Theology (Edinburgh, Scotland: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2009), 216-217.

Books by John Murray

Other Murray Quotes at The Old Guys

5 Responses to “John Murray – Why Justification by faith?

  1. lacykitkat February 27, 2014 at 7:12 am #

    Reblogged this on HE STILL SPEAKS!.

  2. mydelightandmycounsellors February 27, 2014 at 9:57 am #

    Reblogged this on My Delight and My Counsellors.

  3. jesusandthebible February 27, 2014 at 6:38 pm #

    Justification by faith understood as a faith that rests (passively, merely trusting) on the righteousness of Jesus–and is separate from other graces like the fruit of the Spirit–misses the connections Paul makes in Gal. 5. In 5:4 Paul contrasts those who would be justified by the law (of Moses) as fallen from grace; in 5:5 it is through the Spirit, by faith, that we wait for the hope of righteousness; in 5:6 in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is of any avail, but faith working through love. Here Paul does contrast faith with works of the law of Moses, like circumcision, but he connects faith with not only waiting for the hope of righteousness but also with the grace that comes through the Spirit, by faith, a faith working through love (the first fruit of the Spirit in 5:22). The empowering grace of the Spirit produces a faith and righteousness in our lives that reflects the righteous love of Jesus; without that, a faith that simply rests on Jesus’ righteousness is less than the righteousness needed to inherit the kingdom of God (5:21).

  4. dryanromine March 10, 2014 at 8:14 am #

    Reblogged this on Post Tenebras Lux.

  5. parenting and discipline June 25, 2014 at 12:30 am #

    Thanks for finally talking about >John Murray – Why Justification by
    faith? | The Old Guys <Loved it!

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