Friday, March 24, 2017

39 Articles: Article 11 – Of the Justification of Man

We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by faith, and not for our own works or deservings; wherefore, that we are justified by faith only is a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort, as more largely is expressed in the Homily of Justification.

The eleventh article introduces us to the most important point of controversy in the sixteenth century. It would not be an exaggeration to say that polemics raged round the question of Justification by Faith.

It is sometimes said that the controversy on this particular issue was not as acute in England as on the Continent of Europe. It is also pointed out that a possible explanation of this fact may be found in the surmise that Cardinal Pole had certain sympathies with the Reformed position on this subject. But these statements must be taken with care. We know that Pole’s bitter enemy Caraffa, who ascended the Papal throne as Paul IV, summoned him before the newly established Inquisition at Rome, but Pole’s death prevented any inquiry into his opinions.

Another feature that must be taken into account in forming a judgment on this interesting point is that the discussion in England naturally settled round a question that could he more easily determined in a Court of Justice. The language of the Council of Trent on Justification made any discussion on the matter extremely intricate. It was much easier to secure conviction on the denial of the existence in the consecrated elements of the real and true Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. The shifting of emphasis consequent upon the number of indictments for heresy in the reign of Mary is easily understood, but must not be taken too readily as evidence that a cardinal point of doctrine was either ignored or relegated to a subordinate position. Read More

 Also See:
A Sermon of the Salvation of Mankind by Only Christ Our Saviour from Sin and Death Everlasting
A Sermon of the Salvation of Mankind by Only Christ Our Saviour from Sin and Death Everlasting (Modern Language Version)

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