Understanding the Doctrine of Justification
The Doctrine of Justification was called the article on which the Church stands or falls. The idea that we are made righteous, not through our own merits, but simply through God’s gracious declaration of our righteousness, is the entire problem that fueled the Reformation. The Lutheran reformers focused the greatest part of their efforts on defining this doctrine, and many of those who followed the Lutheran movement lifted up this faith tenet as central as well.
The first part of the current study relies heavily on the two normative documents of the Lutheran church—namely scripture and the Lutheran confessions contained in the Book of Concord—although it pulls gently from some other writings of the reformers and those that influenced them as well. The second part of the study aims to examine the doctrine as redefined in movements which were to reexamine the issue in the years that followed.