Benedict Pictet on Final Justification

Pictet represents a nearly identical position as Diodati’s. There were other views, as we will see in a few posts to come, but this concept of “the Justification of the Righteous” and how they are judged by the evangelical standard is one way which the Reformed doctors sought to harmonize Paul and James. Pictet writes:

On the Justification of a Righteous Man

We have spoken of the justification of man as a sinner ; we must now speak of his justification as a righteous man, i. e, that by which he proves that he is justified, and that he possesses a true justifying faith. Now this justification is by works, even in the sight of God, as well as of men; and of this James speaks, when he declares that “by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.’ (James ii. 24.) To illustrate this, we must remark that there is a two-fold accusation of man. First, he is accused before God’s tribunal of the guilt of sin, and this accusation is met or done away by the justification of which we have already treated. Secondly, the man who has been thus justified may be accused of hypocrisy, false profession and unregeneracy ; now he clears himself from this accusation, and justifies his faith by his works—this is his second justification; it differs from the first; for in the first a sinner is acquitted from guilt, in the second a godly man is distinguished from the ungodly. In the first God imputes the righteousness of Christ ; in the second he pronounces judgment from the gift of holiness bestowed upon us; both these justifications the believer obtains, and therefore it is true that “by works he is justified, and not by faith only.” Continue reading