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Justification: Its Relation to the Work of the Holy Spirit
James Buchanan

Editorial Note: James Buchanan's masterful volume on The Doctrine of Justification was first published in 1867. It remains one of the greatest classics on the subject in the English language. We are pleased to reprint his lecture on the relation of justification to the work of the Holy Spirit. It is obvious that Buchanan wrote this superb passage for the purpose of refuting John Henry Newman's theory of justification by the indwelling Spirit.1

There is, perhaps, no more subtle or plausible error, on the subject of Justification, than that which makes it to rest on the indwelling presence, and the gracious work, of the Holy Spirit in the heart. It is a singularly refined form of opposition to the doctrine of Justification by the imputed righteousness of Christ, for it merely substitutes the work of one divine Person for that of another; and it is plausible, because it seems to do homage to the doctrine of Grace, by ascribing to the presence and operation of the Holy Spirit the production of faith, and all the effects which are ascribed to it, whether these belong to our Justification or to our Sanctification.

It is the more difficult to expose and refute error, when it presents itself in this apparently spiritual form, than when it comes before us in its grosser and more common shape, as a doctrine of justification by works, because it involves some great truths which are held as firmly by those who advocate, as by those who abjure, the Protestant doctrine of Justification. Yet, subtle and plausible as it is, and difficult as it may be to disentangle the error from the partial truth which is involved in it, nothing can be more unscriptural in itself, or more pernicious to the souls of men, than the substitution of the gracious work of the Spirit in us, for the vicarious work of Christ for us, as the ground of our pardon and acceptance with God; for if we are justified solely on account of what Christ did and suffered for us, while He was yet on the earth, we may rest, with entire confidence, on a work which has been already 'finished'—on a righteousness which has been already wrought out, and already accepted of God on behalf of all who believe in His name,—and we may immediately receive, on the sure warrant of His word, the privilege of Justification as a free gift of God's grace through Christ, and as the present privilege of every believer, so as at once to have 'joy and peace in believing.'

Whereas, if we are justified on the ground of the work of the Holy Spirit in us, we are called to rest on a work, which, so far from being finished and accepted, is not even begun in the case of any unrenewed sinner; and which, when it is begun in the case of a believer, is incipient only,—often interrupted in its progress by declension and backsliding,—marred and defiled by remaining sin,—obscured and enveloped in doubt by clouds and thick darkness,—and never perfected in this life, even according to the low standard of a relaxed law, if that law is supposed to require any definite amount of personal holiness in heart and life. For these reasons, it is of the utmost practical importance, to conceive aright, both of the Mediatorial work of Christ, and of the internal work of His Spirit, in the relation which they bear to each other, under the scheme of Grace and Redemption: and with the view of aiding the serious inquirer in doing so, we lay down the following propositions.

The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are revealed as concurring together in the whole purpose and plan of man's redemption; but as sustaining, each of them, a distinct office, and undertaking a different part of the work, in carrying that purpose and plan into effect.

Their common purpose of saving sinners, and their harmonious co-operation in its accomplishment, might be inferred from the unity of the divine nature, which necessarily implies unity in the counsels of the divine will; but the personal distinctions of the Godhead could never have been so clearly revealed in any other way than by the distinct offices and operations, which are ascribed to them in connection with the work of salvation. It is to mark at once their harmony of purpose, and also their several agencies, in this work, that every believer is required to be baptized,—not simply into the name of God,—but 'into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost;'2 and that each of the three is distinctly invoked in the Apostolic form of benediction: 'The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all.'3

The preparatory baptism of John, which is described as 'the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, '—and which was administered to the people who attended his ministry,4 that they might be taught to 'believe on Him who should come after him,' and 'baptize them with the Holy Ghost,'—was imperfect, as compared with Christian baptism, because it did not distinctly specify the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and accordingly it was superseded on the establishment of the Christian Church.

Each of the three Persons in the Godhead sustains a distinct office, and undertakes a work which is ascribed peculiarly to Him, in connection with the divine method of saving sinners.

The Father is revealed as representing the majesty, — exercising the sovereignty, — and maintaining the prerogatives, of the Godhead. It is said of Him that 'He loved us, '—that 'He blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Christ, '—that 'He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world,'—that 'He predestinated us to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved,'—that 'He gave His only-begotten Son,'—that 'He sent His Son to be the Saviour of the world,'—that 'He made Him to be sin for us,'—that 'He set Him forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood,'—that 'He spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up to the death for us all,'—that 'He commendeth His love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us,'—that 'it pleased the Lord to bruise Him,'—that 'He raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory, that our faith and hope might be in God, '—that He 'crowned Him with honour and glory, and did set Him over the works of His hands,'—and that 'God hath exalted Him with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance, and remission of sins. '5

The Son is revealed as acting in official subordination to the Father,—as 'sent,'—as 'given,' —as 'coming to do His will,'—as 'making Himself of no reputation,'—as 'taking upon Him the form of a servant, and appearing in the likeness of man,'—as 'humbling Himself, and becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the cross,'—as being 'made under law,'—as being 'made sin for us, '—as being 'made a curse for us,'—as 'wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities, '—as bearing 'our sins in His own body on the tree, '—as 'giving Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour,'—as 'crucified in weakness, but raised in power,'—as ascending up into heaven, and sitting down 'for ever on the right hand of God, from henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool,'—as 'highly exalted, and having a name given to Him which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, and every tongue confess that He is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. '6

The Holy Spirit is revealed as 'proceeding from the Father,'—as 'sent by the Son from the Father,'—as 'testifying' of Christ, —as 'glorifying Christ,'—as 'bearing witness' of Him,—as 'convincing the world of sin, because they believe not on Him,'—as 'shining into the hearts of men, and giving them the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ,'—as 'renewing them in the spirit of their minds,'—as 'quickening them' into spiritual life—as 'the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Christ,'—as 'the Spirit that dwelleth in us'—that 'worketh in us'—that 'guideth us into all truth'—that 'helpeth our infirmities'—that 'witnesseth with our spirits that we are the children of God,'—as 'the Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest (down payment) of our inheritance.'7

These testimonies are sufficient to show, —first, that there is a real distinction between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, since many things are revealed concerning each of them which cannot be affirmed of the other two;—and secondly, that they sustain different offices under the same scheme of grace, and execute different parts of the same work of redemption.

If these fundamental truths are clearly revealed, it follows that we can only involve ourselves in inextricable confusion by overlooking the fact that such distinctions exist, and by ascribing that to the Father which Scripture ascribes to the Son, —or that to the Son which Scripture ascribes to the Spirit, —or, conversely, that to the Spirit which the Scripture ascribes to the Son. Yet this is the very error with which those are justly chargeable who substitute the work of the Spirit in us, for the work of Christ for us, as the ground of our Justification.

[II.] The work of the Holy Spirit is as necessary for our Justification as the work of Christ Himself; but it is not necessary for the same reasons, nor is it effectual for the same ends.

That the work of the Holy Spirit in us is as necessary, in some respects, for our actual Justification, as the work of Christ for us, has never been denied by sound Protestant divines; and the fact is proved by those passages of Scripture in which the two are expressly connected with each other.

For example, the Apostle says to believers, 'Ye are washed, ye are sanctified, ye are justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God;'8—words which clearly imply, that there is a distinction between our being 'sanctified' and our being 'justified;' but that both blessings are connected, although it may be in different ways, with the work of Christ, and also with the work of His Spirit,—for we are 'sanctified,' as well as 'justified,' 'in the name of the Lord Jesus,' and also 'by the Spirit of our God.'

Again, the Apostle says, 'After that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, —not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that, being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life;'9 —words which clearly imply that our whole salvation, —including regeneration, justification, adoption, and eternal life,—depends equally on the 'kindness,' 'love,' and 'grace' of God,—on the work of 'Jesus Christ our Saviour,'—and on 'the renewing of the Holy Ghost.'

The same truth is clearly taught in those passages of Scripture which affirm, that not one saving privilege can be enjoyed without the gracious work of the Holy Spirit, and that every Gospel blessing is conferred through His agency on the souls of men. Without the effectual work of the Spirit there is no salvation. This is set forth in the strongest way, negatively, and positively.

First negatively: 'Verily I say unto thee, except a man be born again,' or 'from above' (Greek, superne, which is explained as 'born of the Spirit'), 'he cannot see the kingdom of God;'—'If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His;'—and 'no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost."10

Then positively, —through His agency, we are united to Christ, and are made, at one and the same time, partakers of all the blessings of His redemption; for,—'Of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who is made of God unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.'11

From these explicit testimonies it is clear, that no man is a partaker of any of the blessings of salvation, until he is renewed by the Spirit of God; and that every man is made a partaker of them all, as soon as, by the Spirit's agency, he is united to Christ, and enabled to believe on His name. Any doctrine, therefore, which excludes the gracious operation of the Holy Spirit in order to our Justification,—either by representing faith as a mere intellectual belief, and ascribing it to the natural exercise of our faculties on the truth and its evidence, —or by describing it as the product of man's free-will, acting spontaneously and without the effectual influence of divine grace, —is at variance with the express teaching of Scripture, and should be rejected, as it was by Augustine, because it does not sufficiently recognize, either the natural depravity of man, or the efficacy of divine grace.

But, while the work of the Holy Spirit in us is as necessary for our Justification as the work of Christ for us, it is not necessary for the same reasons, nor is it effectual for the same ends. There were two great evils in our natural condition, each of which must be redressed and removed, by means appropriate to itself, if we were to be thoroughly reconciled to God. The first was the guilt of sin, the second was the dominion of sin.

By the one, we were exposed to the wrath of God, and to the curse of His law; by the other, we were slaves to our own evil passions, and subject to that carnal mind which is 'enmity against God.' Both evils must be redressed, if there was to be a thorough reconciliation between God and man; His displeasure, on account of sin, must be averted, and man's enmity, on account of His holiness, must be subdued; and Christ undertook, as Mediator, to accomplish each of these ends, but in different ways.

He undertook to do and suffer all that was necessary to procure,—not Justification only, and far less mere salvabillty, —but a complete salvation, for His people; to expiate their guilt,—to avert from them God's wrath and curse,—to earn for them a title to eternal life,—and to obtain for them, as the reward of His own work, the grace of the Holy Spirit, which was 'the promise of the Father' to Him.

He further undertook, as Mediator and Administrator of the covenant, to dispense the gift of the Holy Spirit for the benefit of His people, —that they might thereby be enabled to believe on Him for their entire salvation, and to look to Him for their Sanctification, as well as for their Justification. He contemplated, therefore, both evils, and provided a remedy for both; but His own work, in so far as it is distinct from that of the Holy Spirit, consisted in the vicarious fulfillment of the divine law, both in its precept and penalty,—so as to lay a solid foundation, in the first instance, for their pardon and acceptance with God; and also to procure for them, that He might freely bestow, the gift of the Holy Spirit, by which they might be made 'a willing people in the day of His power.'

But the work of the Spirit was to be entirely distinct from that of the Son, and was neither designed to supersede, or to supplement, it, for its own special and peculiar ends; on the contrary, it was to consist mainly in persuading men effectually to 'receive and rest upon Christ alone for salvation, as He is freely offered in the Gospel.' Christ was 'exalted as a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance' as well as 'the remission of sins;' and we must be indebted to Him for both; for 'being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He shed forth' the Spirit on the day of Pentecost, and has continued to dispense it, as the fruit of His purchase, and the gift of His grace, in all ages of the Church down to the present day.

The Mediatorial work of Christ is thus clearly distinguished from the internal work of the Spirit. By the former, all the blessings of salvation were procured; by the latter, all these blessings are effectually applied. The work of the Spirit is not the cause, but the consequent, of our redemption; and it forms no part of the ground, although it is the evidence, of our Justification.

That blessing, like every other which is included in salvation, depends entirely on the sacerdotal work of Christ, by which He fulfilled the conditions of the Covenant; and it is dispensed by Him in the exercise of His prophetical and regal offices, as Administrator of the Covenant. The Holy Spirit is His Agent in the exercise of these offices, and by His grace and power men are enabled and persuaded to rely on Him for salvation; but in fulfilling the conditions which were imposed on Christ as Mediator, or in accomplishing 'the work which the Father had given Him to do,' the Spirit had no part, except in so far as He was 'given to Him without measure,' and sustained His holy human soul in obeying and suffering, when 'through the eternal Spirit He offered Himself without spot unto God.'

Apart from such concurrence,—which might be equally affirmed of the Father Himself, —the Holy Spirit did no part of the work by which our redemption was secured; and it is Christ's work alone, therefore, which is the ground of our Justification. That is said of Christ and His work, in this respect, which is never said of the Spirit and His work. It is said of the Son,—but never of the Spirit,—that He became incarnate, and 'took upon Him the form of a servant, and appeared in the likeness of men,'—that 'He was made under law,'—that He was 'made sin for us,'—that 'He was made a curse for us,'—that 'He bore our sins in His own body on the tree,' —that 'He died for us, the just for the unjust,' —that 'He redeemed us to God by His blood,' —that 'He is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth on His name,'—that 'He obtained eternal redemption for us,'—that 'now once in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself, '—and that 'this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.'

From these testimonies it is manifest that a peculiar work is ascribed to Christ which is nowhere ascribed, in whole or in part, to the Holy Spirit; a work which was 'finished' on the Cross, and is different even from that which He is still carrying on in the Church by the agency of His Spirit, and the instrumentality of His Word,—a work which had a direct reference to the expiation of human guilt, and the satisfaction of the law and justice of God,—and a work which constitutes the only, but all-sufficient, ground of our Justification.

If that work accomplished the end for which it was designed, no other ground of acceptance is either necessary, or possible; and the work of the Spirit Himself cannot be supposed to supersede, or even to supplement, it, without dishonour to the efficacy of that 'precious blood,' and the merits of that perfect righteousness, by which Christ satisfied the Law and Justice of God. But this important truth will become still more evident, if from the peculiar work which is ascribed to Christ, we proceed to consider that other work, equally peculiar, which is ascribed to the Holy Spirit.

[III.] The work of the Spirit consists in 'bearing witness to Christ,' and applying to men the redemption which He obtained for them, so as to make it effectual for their complete and everlasting salvation.

'It is the Spirit which beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth;'12 and the great subject of His testimony is Christ—Christ crucified, and Christ exalted:—'He shall testify of Me;'—'He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that He shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you.'13 The testimony of the Spirit relates to Christ as the only Saviour of sinners; and He bears witness to Him both in the Word, which was written by His inspiration, and in the hearts of His people, when He is given unto them 'as the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,'14 by which they obtain 'the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.'15

Accordingly, so far from leading us to rest on His own work in us, as the ground of our acceptance with God, that work itself mainly consists in applying to us the redemption which was procured by Christ,—by convincing us of our need of it, —by revealing its all-sufficiency,—by 'making known to us the things that are freely given to us of God,'—and disposing, and enabling, us to trust in Christ alone.

The question, 'How, and by whom, was salvation procured for sinners?' should not supersede, but should rather lead on, to that other question, 'How are we made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ?' The scriptural answer to this question is—By its being effectually applied to us by the Holy Spirit.

If it be asked again, 'How does the Spirit apply Christ's redemption to us?' the scriptural answer is—By working faith in us, and uniting us to Christ. And if it be still further asked, 'How does He work faith in us, and unite us to Christ?' the scriptural answer is—that 'He persuades, and enables, us to receive and rest on Christ alone for salvation as He is freely offered to us in the Gospel.' This is the grand object of His whole work in conversion, to bring a sinner to close with Christ, and to rely on Him as his own Saviour.

This result may not be effected without a preparatory process, of longer or shorter duration, in different cases; for the sinner must be convinced of his sin, and misery, and danger, before he can feel his need of a Saviour, or have any serious desire for salvation,—he must be enlightened in the knowledge of Christ, in the glory of His person, and the nature of His redeeming work, before he can see in Him the very Saviour whom he needs,—and he must be made willing,—for naturally he is not willing to be saved, in the full scriptural sense of that expression, and still less to be saved in this way,—by the mere mercy of God through the righteousness of another; but then there comes a critical moment when he is effectually persuaded to receive and rest on Christ alone; and he is free to do so at once, for there is no barrier between him and Christ, except his own unbelief, or his own unwillingness. Receiving Christ by faith, he is united to Him; and being united to Him, 'he is complete in Him,'—Christ's righteousness becomes his for his Justification, and Christ's Spirit becomes his also for his Sanctification.

If such be the nature of the Spirit's work, its necessity for our actual Justification cannot arise from any defect in the righteousness of Christ, for its great design is to lead the sinner to receive and rest on Christ alone; it must arise only from the depraved state of our own minds, which is such that, were we left to ourselves, we would never close with the gracious call of the Gospel, —partly because we are insensible of the evil and demerit of sin,—partly because we are spiritually blind, —and partly because we are unwilling to be saved in God's way, and on God's terms.

Hence arises the indispensable necessity of the Spirit's work, in applying the redemption, which was procured by Christ, for our Justification; while its necessity for other ends arises from the very nature of salvation itself, which consists in deliverance from the power and practice of sin, as well as from its guilt and punishment, and is designed, not only to give us a title to eternal life, but also to 'make us meet for the inheritance of the saints in light.' For the doctrine of a free Justification, by grace through faith alone, is miserably misunderstood or perverted, if it be supposed to cancel that unalterable law of Christ's kingdom—'This is the will of God, even your Sanctification,' and 'Without holiness no man shall see the Lord.'

Regeneration and Justification are simultaneous; and no man is justified who is not renewed, nor is any man renewed who is not also, and immediately, justified.

By the agency of the Holy Spirit, who works faith in us, by enabling and persuading us to receive and rest upon Christ alone for salvation, we are united to Christ; and by our union with Him, we are made partakers of all the blessings which He died to purchase, and is exalted to bestow. We are united to Him as our federal, or representative, Head, and are thus made partakers of His justifying righteousness,—and we are united to Him, at one and the same time, as our spiritual, or life-giving, Head, and are thus made partakers of His sanctifying grace. With reference to the former effect of our union to Christ, it is said, that 'we are accepted in the Beloved,'—that 'we are made the righteousness of God in Him,'—that 'in Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace.' With reference to the latter effect of our union to Christ, it is said, that 'we are sanctified in Christ Jesus,' —that 'if any man be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creature,'—and that from Him 'as the Head, all the body, by joints and bands, having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.'16

And with reference to both effects of our union to Christ, it is said, 'Ye are complete in Him,' and 'of God are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.' It is from 'the fullness that is in Christ,' that all saving blessings flow; for 'it pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell,' and 'of His fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.'17

So intimate and endearing is the union between Christ and His people, that they are said to be in Him, and He in them. 'Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me,' or apart from me, 'ye can do nothing."18 The work of the Spirit produces, and maintains, this union with Christ by faith; for 'we are strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith, ... that we may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that we might be filled with all the fullness of God.'19

The Holy Spirit, so far from withdrawing our confidence from Christ, that it may rest on His own work within, teaches us to rest on Him alone for all the blessings of salvation, and to 'hold fast the beginning of our confidence even to the end.' So far from making Christ less 'precious' to us, the Spirit endears Him to us the more, as at once 'the Author and the Finisher of our faith,' and teaches us to 'rejoice in Him with joy unspeakable, and full of glory.'

If the work of the Spirit in us consists merely in the effectual application of the work of Christ for us, and in making us partakers of all the blessings of His redemption, it follows that Regeneration and Justification are simultaneous, and that no man is justified who is not renewed, nor is any man renewed who is not also justified.

This is a most important truth, and one that is sufficient to neutralize the two great errors, which have been maintained by opposite parties on this subject. The one is the error of the Antinomians, who have spoken of Justification as being antecedent to, and independent of, Regeneration by the Holy Spirit, and have identified it sometimes with God's eternal election,—at other times with the redeeming work of Christ,—as if there were no difference between an eternal purpose to save, and the execution of that purpose in time, or between the procuring of redemption, and the actual application of it to the souls of men.

The other is the error of Popish writers, and some of their followers in the Protestant Church, who have spoken of Justification as dependent, not on the finished work of Christ alone, but on our personal obedience and final perseverance; and have virtually postponed it till the judgment of the great day, as if it were not the present privilege of believers, and of every believer on the instant when he is united to Christ,—or as if he did not receive Christ for his sanctification, and even for his perseverance, as well as for the free pardon of all his sins, and the gracious acceptance of his person and his services. These two errors may be said to lie at opposite extremes from each other; but they are equally false and dangerous.

Paul was 'a chosen vessel,' and was redeemed by the blood of Christ; but he was not justified while he was 'a blasphemer and a persecutor;' it was not till he was convinced and converted, that he 'obtained mercy;'20—but then immediately he could say, 'I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him till the great day;'—'I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved ME, and gave Himself for ME.'21 And so, invariably in the case of every true convert, there is a critical moment when he 'passes from death unto life,'—from a state of 'wrath' to a state of 'reconciliation, '—from being 'without Christ,' and therefore 'without hope, and without God in the world,' to being 'in Christ,'22 as 'a fellow-citizen with the saints, and of the household of God;' and it is equally certain—that he was not justified before,—and that he is justified now.

It has sometimes been asked—Whether Regeneration or Justification has the precedency in the order of nature? This is a question of some speculative interest, but of little practical importance. It relates to the order of our conceptions, not to the order of time; for it is admitted on all hands that the two blessings are bestowed simultaneously. The difficulties which have suggested it are such as these,—How God can be supposed, on the one hand, to bestow the gift of His Spirit on any one who is still in a state of wrath and condemnation, —and how He can be supposed, on the other hand, to justify any sinner while he is not united to Christ by that living faith which is implanted only by the Spirit of God? But such difficulties will be found to resolve themselves into a more general and profound question; and can only be effectually removed, by falling back on God's eternal purpose of mercy towards sinners, which included equally their redemption by Christ, and their regeneration by His Spirit. The grand mystery is how God, who hates sin, could ever love any class of sinners,—and so love them, as to give His own Son to die for them, and His Holy Spirit to dwell in them. The relation which subsists, in respect of order, between Regeneration and Justification, is sufficiently determined, for all practical purposes, if neither is held to be prior or posterior to the other, in point of time, —and if it is clearly understood that they are simultaneous gifts of the same free grace; for then it follows,—that no unrenewed sinner is justified,—and that every believer, as soon as he believes, is pardoned and accepted of God.



1 Reprinted from James Buchanan, The Doctrine of Justification: An Outline of Its History in the Church and of Its Exposition from Scripture, 1867 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1977), pp. 387-404. See pp.213-19.
2 Matt. xxviii. 19.
3 2 Cor. xiii. 14.
4 Acts xix. 2-6.
5 John iii. 16; Eph. i. 3, 4, 5; 1 John iv. 14; 2 Cor. v.21; Rom. iii. 25, viii. 32; Isa. Liii. 10; 1 Pet. i. 21; Heb. ii. 7; Acts v.31.
6 Phil. ii. 7; Gal. iii. 13; Isa. Liii.; Eph. v.2; Heb. x. 12; Phil. ii. 9, 10.
7 John xv. 26, xvi. 14; 1 John v.6; John xvi. 8, 9; Eph. i. 17, 14.
8 1 Cor. vi. 11.
9 Tit. iii. 4-7
10 John iii. 3, 5, 6; Rom. viii. 9; 1 Cor. xii. 3.
11 1 Cor. i. 30.
12 1 John v.6.
13 John xv. 26, xvi. 14, 15.
14 Eph. i. 17.
15 2 Cor. iv. 6.
16 1 Cor. i. 2; 2 Cor. v.17; Col. ii. 19.
17 Col. i. 19; John i. 16.
18 John xv. 4.
19 Eph. iii. 16, 17.
20 1 Tim. i. 16.
21 Gal. ii. 20.
22 Eph. ii. 12, 13.