It’s a contentious issue to some. But I’ll just post what the New Testament says without comment. Only one passage is partially my translation. The rest are either the NET or ESV. I’ve excluded passages that repeat the same thing. I have left one passage out about the impossibility of being justified by the law simply because I do not think that justification by law and justification by God for obeying the law are necessarily conceptual equals. But it’s important to consider that the New Testament picture of justification is rich and a simple formulation of how it happens is by no means obvious.
Matthew 12:33–37 (ESV): “Either
By Humbling Oneself Before God
Luke 18:9–14 (ESV): He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
By Faith in Christ
Acts 13:38–39 (NET): Therefore let it be known to you, brothers, that through this one forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by this
By Doing The Law
Romans 2:9–16: There will be affliction and distress on everyone who does evil, on the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, for the Jew first and also the Greek. For there is no partiality with God. For all who have sinned apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous before God, but those who do the law will be justified. For whenever the Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature the things required by the law,
By God’s Grace
Romans 3:19–26 (NET): Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the
Romans 5:1–5 (ESV): Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
In/By the Name of Jesus
1 Corinthians 6:9–11 (ESV): Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
By Works (not of the law)
James 2:14–26 (ESV): What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have