Having a biblical view of justification should also produce overwhelming thanksgiving. Knowing that justification by faith is apart from works, that justification is a gift of God, and that we are pardoned, declared righteous, and adopted into the family of God should generate within us a heart of eternal thankfulness. This thankfulness then translates into a life of consistent worship of the God, who, in His infinite wisdom, devised a way that depraved sinners might be accepted in the Beloved.
The Reformer John Calvin (1509–64) ardently declared the doctrine of justification by faith alone to be “the principle hinge by which [the Christian] religion is supported” (Institutes 3.11.1). Known as the material principle of the sixteenth-century Reformation, the doctrine of justification by faith alone was at the epicenter of the battle to bring needed reform to the church. This biblical doctrine is central to preserving an accurate understanding of the gospel even as we find it so clearly taught in Paul’s letters to the churches of Rome and Galatia.