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Page 246

From Our Reformed Doctrinal Standards

The Belgic Confession of Faith

Article 23 - Of Justification

We believe that our salvation consists in the remission of our sins for Jesus Christ's sake, and that therein our righteousness before God is implied: as David and Paul teach us, declaring this to be the happiness of man, that God imputes righteousness to him without works. And the same apostle saith, that we are justified freely by His grace, through the redemption which is in Jesus Christ. And therefore we always hold fast this foundation, ascribing all the glory to God, humbling ourselves before Him, and acknowledging ourselves to be such as we really are, without presuming to trust in any thing in ourselves, or in any merit of ours, relying and resting upon the obedience of Christ crucified alone, which becomes ours, when we believe in Him. This is sufficient to cover all our iniquities, and to give us confidence in approaching to God; freeing the conscience of fear, terror, and dread, without following the example of our first father, Adam, who, trembling, attempted to cover himself with fig-leaves. And verily if we should appear before God, relying on ourselves, or on any other creature, though ever so little, we should, alas! be consumed. And therefore everyone must pray with David: 0 Lord, enter not into judgment with Thy servant: for in Thy sight shall no man living be justified.

The Heidelberg Catechism

Questions and Answers 56, 59, 62, and 63

Q. 56. What believest thou concerning the "forgiveness of sins"?
A. That God, for the sake of Christ's satisfaction, will no more remember my sins, neither my corrupt nature, against which I have to struggle all my life long; but will graciously impute to me the righteousness of Christ, that I may never be condemned before the tribunal of God.

Q. 59. But what doth it profit thee now that thou believest all this?
A. That I am righteous in Christ, before God, and an heir of eternal life.

Q. 62. But why cannot our good works be the whole, or part of our righteousness before God?
A. Because, that the righteousness, which can be approved of before the tribunal of God, must be absolutely perfect, and in all respects conformable to the divine law; and also, that our best works in this life are all imperfect and defiled with sin.

Q. 63. What! do not our good works merit, which yet God will reward in this and in a future life?
A. This reward is not of merit, but of grace.


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