In every generation, the doctrine of justification by faith alone comes under attack. As the heart of the gospel, the doctrine of justification is most fundamental to the definition of salvation and any adequate understanding of the atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ. In our current cultural milieu where orthodox belief is despised and innovation is praised, many have ignored, maligned, or sought to redefine the biblical doctrine of justification by faith alone. Unfortunately, there are even those within more conservative theological domains whose definition of justification by faith falls short of the biblical and reformed doctrine of justification, particularly as defined in the Westminster Standards. To combat these harmful perversions, we here seek to define a clear, confessional polemic that might serve the church as a bulwark to “strengthen what remains.”
…We deny that a man’s works, in any way, contribute to his justification, whether before or after believing on Christ in faith. We deny that we are justified by “sanctifying fruit” in addition to faith in the perfection of Christ’s work. Furthermore, we deny that doing such works from a “justified position” qualifies those works to become somehow instrumental in obtaining one’s “final salvation”.
…We deny that our deliverance requires the believer’s attainment of two statuses: namely initial justification and final salvation. While we still await the future enactment of our salvation, when the wrath of God against the nations is revealed and his children are brought into the kingdom fully, the ground of that future salvation is entirely present to the individual in the work of the Spirit at the moment of justification. Furthermore, as God himself calls those whom he predestines, justifies those whom he calls, and glorifies those whom he justifies, we deny that any who are predestined, called, or justified may fail to partake of glorification in the end. Thus, we deny that our salvation from the final judgment is established or obtained through the works which proceed from that justification. Read more»
General Synod of the Bible Presbyterian Church, Resolution on the Doctrine of Justification (August 2–6, 2018)