Resources On The Doctrine Of Justification

According to J. H. Alsted (1588–1638), “the article justification is said to be the article of the standing or falling of the church.” It was said to be such by the confessionally Reformed and Lutheran alike. The language was probably borrowed from various things that Luther had said but it was echoed by Calvin when he wrote that in order to understand justification, sanctification, and union with Christ we must grasp the truth that the doctrine of justification is the “principal axis” on which the Christian religion turns (Institutes 3.11.1). His student and the principal author of the Heidelberg Catechism, Zacharias Ursinus (1534–83), called justification “one of the two chief articles of the Christian faith.” William Perkins (1558-1602) called justification “the greatest question in the world.” In the 17th century, Francis Turretin (1623–87) called the doctrine of justification sola gratiasola fide as the “rampart” (fortress) of the Christian faith. In the 19th century Charles Hodge (1797–1878) called justification on the basis of Christ’s merits the “great center” of the Christian system. J. Gresham Machen (11881-1937) called the doctrine of justification the “central doctrine” of the Christian faith. Each of these testify to the importance of the doctrine of justification to the Reformed confession of the Christian faith. Below are resources from the HB and in print on the doctrine of justification by grace alone, through faith alone.


Essays and Reviews

  1. Notes On Calvin’s Doctrine That Justification Sola Fide Is The Principal Axis Of The Christian Religion
  2. The Reformed Churches Confess Luther’s Translation Of Romans 3:28: Allein
  3. Has The Forensic Eclipsed Christ?
  4. God Does Not Re-Define Sin Or Righteousness
  5. N. T. Wright Is Still Wrong
  6. Justification In The Earliest Christian Fathers
  7. N. T. Wright Contra The Imputation Of Christ’s Active Obedience: Not A God One Wants To Worship
  8. Richard Baxter On Initial And Final Justification Through Faith And Works
  9. Initial Justification Sola Fide And Final Salvation Through Faithfulness Is Federal Vision Theology
  10. One Of The Root Causes Of The Current Controversy Over Salvation Sola Fide
  11. Regensburg and Regensburg II: Trying to Reconcile Irreconcilable Differences on Justification
  12. Believers Are Not Out On Bail
  13. A Friendly Reply To Derek Regarding Calvin, Luther, And The Falling Of The Church
  14. There Is Only One Stage Of Justification
  15. Heidelberg 60: Only By True Faith
  16. Heidelberg 62: Works No Part Of Our Justification
  17. Muddying The Distinction Between Justification And Salvation
  18. Christ’s Merits Affirmed And Ours Denied In The Reformed Confessions
  19. Justification By Faith Alone Is Presbyterian Doctrine
  20. Justification By Faith Alone Is The Normative Reformed Doctrine
  21. Is Faith A Virtue?
  22. Yes There Is A Reformed Doctrine Of Justification
  23. Romans 2:13: Justified Through Our Faithfulness?
  24. Faith Alone Is The Instrument Of Justification AND Salvation
  25. Your Faith Has Saved You
  26. The Danger Of A Falling Church
  27. Sola Fides” is not Sola Fide
  28. Justification and Vindication
  29. Why Do Some Say That Doubt Is Of The Essence Of Faith?
  30. Maybe They Really Don’t Get It
  31. The Moralist’s Catechism


  1. Allen, Michael. Justification and the Gospel : Understanding the Contexts and Controversies. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, a division of Baker Publishing Group, 2013.
  2. Barrett, Matthew. The Doctrine on Which the Church Stands or Falls : Justification in Biblical, Theological, Historical, and Pastoral Perspective. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2019.
  3. Buchanan, James, and J. I Packer. The Doctrine of Justification : An Outline of Its History in the Church and of Its Exposition from Scripture. Retypeseted. Edinburgh, UK: Banner of Truth Trust, 2016.
  4. Clark, R. Scott., ed., Covenant, Justification, and Pastoral Ministry: Essays by the Faculty of Westminster Seminary California. Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing, 2007.
  5. Fesko, J. V. Justification : Understanding the Classic Reformed Doctrine. Phillipsburg, N.J.: P & R Pub, 2008.
  6. Fesko, J. V. Beyond Calvin : Union with Christ and Justification in Early Modern Reformed Theology (1517-1700). Reformed Historical Theology, V. 20. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2012.
  7. Glomsrud, Ryan, and Michael Scott Horton. Justified : Essays on the Doctrine of Justification. Escondido, CA: Modern Reformation, 2011.
  8. Hägglund Bengt. The Background of Luther’s Doctrine of Justification in Late Medieval Theology. Facet Books. Historical Series, 18. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1971.
  9. Horton, Michael Scott. Justification. New Studies in Dogmatics. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2018.
  10. Hughes, Philip Edgcumbe, Thomas Cranmer, and Richard Hooker. Faith and Works : Cranmer and Hooker on Justification. Wilton, Conn.: Morehouse-Barlow, 1982.
  11. Jeon, Jeong Koo. Covenant Theology and Justification by Faith : The Shepherd Controversy and Its Impacts. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2006.
  12. Johnson, Gary L. W. and Guy Prentiss Waters. By Faith Alone: Answering the Challenges to the Doctrine of Justification. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 2006.
  13. Robertson, O. Palmer. The Current Justification Controversy. Trinity Paper, No. 63. Unicoi, Tenn.: Trinity Foundation, 2003.
  14. Pemble, William, and Don Kistler. The Justification of a Sinner : A Treatise on Justification by Faith Alone : Wherein the Truth of That Point Is Fully Cleared, and Vindicated from the Cavils of Its Adversaries : Delivered at Magdalen Hall in Oxford. Morgan, PA: Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 2002.
  15. Sproul, R. C. Faith Alone : The Evangelical Doctrine of Justification. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 1995.
  16. Stuhlmacher, Peter. Revisiting Paul’s Doctrine of Justification : A Challenge to the New Perspective. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2001.
  17. Traill, Robert. Justification Vindicated. New rev.ed. Puritan Paperbacks. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2002.
  18. Venema, Cornelis P. The Gospel of Free Acceptance in Christ : An Assessment of the Reformation and New Perspectives on Paul. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2006.
  19. Vermigli, Pietro Martire, and Frank A James. Predestination and Justification : Two Theological Loci. Sixteenth Century Essays & Studies, V. 68. Kirksville, Mo.: Truman State University Press, 2003.
  20. Waters, Guy Prentiss. A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Being Made Right with God : Understanding Justification. Ross-shire, Scotland: Christian Focus, 2012.
  21. Waters, Guy Prentiss. Justification and the New Perspectives on Paul: A Review and Response. Phillipsburg, N.J.: P & R Pub, 2004.
  22. Waters, Guy Prentiss. Justification Being Made Right with God? Fearn: Christian Focus Publications, 2010.

Published Articles and Chapters

  1. R. Scott Clark, “Iustitia Imputata Christi: Alien or Proper to Luther’s Doctrine of Justification”? Concordia Theological Quarterly 70 (2006): 269–310.
  2. R. Scott Clark, “The Benefits of Christ: Double Justification in Protestant Theology Before the Westminster Assembly,” Anthony T. Selvaggio, ed., The Faith Once Delivered: Celebrating the Legacy of Reformed Systematic Theology and the Westminster Assembly (Essays in Honor of Dr. Wayne Spear). (Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing, 2007), 107–34.
  3. R. Scott Clark, “How We Got Here: A Brief History of the Current Controversy,” in R. Scott Clark, ed. Covenant, Justification and Pastoral Ministry: Essays by the Faculty of Westminster Seminary California (Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing, 2006), 3–24.
  4. R. Scott Clark, “Do This and Live: The Active Obedience of Christ,” in R. Scott Clark, ed. Covenant, Justification and Pastoral Ministry: Essays by the Faculty of Westminster Seminary California (Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing, 2006), 229–65.


  1. Office Hours: With Michael Horton On Justification
  2. With Abounding Grace Radio On Justification By Grace Alone, Through Faith Alone
  3. Heidelcast Minute: Understanding The Roots Of The Federal Vision
  4. No Compromise On The Imputation Of Christ’s Active Obedience
  5. Heidelcast 57: Why We Can’t Move On (3)
  6. Office Hours: Mike Horton On Sanctification And Justification
  7. Office Hours: But Through Faith Alone-Guy Waters on the NPP and the FV


  1. 1 Clement On Justification
  2. The Gospel To Diognetus (c. 150 AD)
  3. Augustine On Justification, Salvation, And Assurance
  4. Luther: Not For Others Only But For Me Also
  5. Luther: A New Definition Of Righteousness
  6. Luther: Right Understanding Of Justification leads To True Sanctification
  7. Tyndale: The Whole Reason For Writing Romans
  8. Calvin: It Is Not Faith That Is Imputed To Us But Christ’s Righteousness
  9. Calvin: Paul Excludes All Works, Even Those Wrought By The Spirit
  10. Calvin: Assurance Fills Our Sails
  11. Calvin: Justification By Faith Alone Is A Refuge For Sinners
  12. Calvin On Freedom From Bondage To The Law
  13. Calvin On Romans 8:4
  14. Calvin On Osiander
  15. Calvin: Justification And Sanctification: Conjoined, Coherent, But Distinct
  16. Calvin on “Not Having a Righteousness of My Own”
  17. Calvin On A Mistaken Confidence in Works
  18. Belgic Confession: Faith Is The Instrument By Which We Embrace Christ
  19. Olevianus: The First Benefit Of The Resurrection Is The Certainty Of Our Justification
  20. Ursinus On Christ’s Merits And Sola Fide
  21. Ursinus: Justification: One Of The Two Chief Articles Of Our Faith
  22. Perkins: Justification Is The Greatest Question In The World
  23. Perkins: There Is Only One Justification And That By Faith Alone
  24. Perkins: The Doctrine Of A Two-Stage Justification Is A “Popish Device”
  25. Perkins: We Exclude Good Works From The Act Of Justification And Salvation
  26. Perkins: Your Good Works Are Of No Value To Your Justification
  27. Perkins: God Finds In Our Good Works More To Damn Than To Save
  28. What is the Article of the Standing or Falling of the Church?
  29. Owen On The Covenant Of Works And The Imputation Of Christ’s Active Obedience
  30. Owen Defended The Imputation Of Christ’s Active Obedience Against Richard Baxter
  31. Owen: What The Socinians Denied And Taught On Faith And Justification
  32. John Owen: Abraham’s Evangelical Obedience Excluded From His Justification
  33. Turretin: Justification Is The “Principal Rampart” Of The Christian Religion
  34. Turretin: We Are Justified Now And Shall Be Vindicated At The Last Day
  35. Turretin: Justification Is The Saving Doctrine And Ground Of Secession From Rome
  36. Turretin: The Doctrine Of Justification Is Not A Cold, Academic Debate
  37. Turretin: The Romanists Admit A Forensic Sense To “Justify” But They Also Have A Two-Stage Justification
  38. Turretin: There Is No Future Justification By Grace And Works
  39. Turretin Talking Like Luther On Justification
  40. Turretin Contra Two-Stage Justification
  41. Henricus Siccama: Faith Is The Open Hand Of A Beggar
  42. Marrowmen: Our Good Works Are Not Instrumental Or Causal In Our Justification Or Salvation
  43. Witsius: Justification And Salvation Sola Fide Are Fundamental Doctrines
  44. Brakel: It Is Contrary To The Reformed Confession To Say Justification Is Acquired By Good Works
  45. The Most Heavenly Thought Of The Most Heavenly Man Does Not Deserve Heaven
  46. Ralph Erskine: Do Not Imagine Christ’s Imputed Righteousness Is Anything But Perfect
  47. Ralph Erskine: The Greatest Sin Is Pardonable By Christ’s Righteousness
  48. Hodge: Justification By Our Works Is Impossible
  49. Hodge On That “Gloomy Doctrine” Versus The Good News
  50. Hodge: Justification At The Center
  51. Charles Hodge On Romans 8:4
  52. Buchanan: Nothing New Or True About “Final Justification”
  53. Vos Contra Two-Stage Justification
  54. Warfield on Calvinists and Lutherans on Justification and Sanctification
  55. Machen: Justification Sola Fide Is The Central Doctrine Of The Christian Faith
  56. Machen: Christ Is All Or Nothing
  57. Machen: The Key Verse Of Galatians
  58. Berkhof on Justification and Union with Christ
  59. John Murray: Justification Is Still The Article Of The Standing Or Falling Of The Church
  60. Cranfield On Why “Works Of The Law” Means More Than Mosaic Ceremonies
  61. The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals: Against Erosion Of The Doctrine Of Justification
  62. Sproul: James, Luther, and Justification In James 2:24
  63. Daniel P. Fuller’s Doctrine Of Justification: Antithetical To The Reformation
  64. More source quotations on justification

On Romans 2:13

  1. Romans 2:13: Justified Through Our Faithfulness?
  2. Romans 2:13 and the Covenant of Works
  3. Augustine On Romans 2:13
  4. Romans 2:13: Justified Through Our Faithfulness?
  5. Luther’s First Lecture On Romans 2:13 (1515–16)
  6. Calvin On Romans 2:13 In His Institutes
  7. Calvin On Romans 2:13
  8. Olevianus On Romans 2:13
  9. Thomas Cartwright Contra Rome On Romans 2:13
  10. David Dickson On Romans 2:13
  11. Charles Hodge On Romans 2:13
  12. Leon Morris On Romans 2:13

Ecclesiastical Reports

  1. Bible Presbyterian Church: We Reject A Final Justification Through Works
  2. The URCNA Synodical Committee Report on the Federal Vision and Justification
  3. The URCNA Reject Final Justification Through Works (2004)
  4. The URCNA’s Nine Points of Pastoral Advice on the Federal Vision
  5. The PCA Report on the Federal Vision and New Perspective on Paul
  6. The Report of OPC Study Committee on Justification
  7. The RCUS Study Committee Report on the Federal Vision’s Doctrine of Justification

Related Topics

  1. Resources On The Controversy Over “Final Salvation Through Works”
  2. Resources On The Reformation Solas
  3. Resources On Keeping Justification And Sanctification Together Without Confusing Them
  4. Resources On The Federal Vision Theology
  5. Resources On Norman Shepherd
  6. Resources On the Imputation Of The Active Obedience Of Christ

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