Justification and the Christian Life
Michael S. Horton
J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics
Westminster Seminary California
Adapted from chapter 11 of Justification, volume 1 by Michael Horton. Copyright © 2018 by Michael Horton. Used by permission of Zondervan.
Justification and the Christian life — this is where the rubber meets the road, isn’t it? Those of us who cherish this wonderful doctrine, rediscovered in the Reformation, can attest to the existential significance of this doctrine, the pastoral weight that it has, and the spiritual comfort that it gives us each day of our lives as believers.
And yet not everybody feels that way. A purely forensic declaration as the ground for God’s acceptance? God reckoning that the just, even while they are unjust, to be righteous simply for the sake of Christ? That righteousness is imputed to them through faith alone? That doctrine sounds miles away from anything that would produce any kind of ethical motivation, at least according to some.
Of course, Roman Catholic polemics have always made that point, but so have a number of Protestants going all the way back to Albert Schweitzer, who said, “Those who subsequently made the doctrine of justification by faith the center of Christian belief, have had the tragic experience of finding that they were dealing with a conception of redemption from which no ethic could logically be derived.” Not everyone has put it so crisply, so clearly, so eloquently as Schweitzer, but there is a feeling among many people that justification just doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter to the questions we’re asking today. If we’re looking for solutions to our personal, social, political and ethical problems, how on earth is a doctrine like this going to give us very much support?
Let us begin by getting this out of the way: historically, this is a pretty difficult thesis to sustain. Very few specialists in the Reformation are going to hazard the thesis that the Reformation bred passivity and indifference. On the contrary, they point out how it encouraged incredible activism among the laity. It really liberated average Christians for a life of gratitude in ways that are historically significant. But Schweitzer complains the doctrine offers a view of redemption from which no ethic could logically be derived. So that’s his argument – logically, regardless of the history, whether it has or not – logically, how can you get any kind of ethical impetus from a doctrine of justification? I want to try to answer that question in the brief time that we have together.
The first thing I want to focus on is justification’s personal impact on us: fears relieved. I call this “carrots and sticks versus gratitude.” At least as important for the reformers as the doctrine of justification was the distinction between the law and the gospel. Everything from Genesis to Revelation is God’s Word. But God does different things when he speaks. He creates by his speech. He sustains by his speech. He judges by his speech. He redeems by his speech. He tears down and he builds up. He wounds and he heals.
And the law is God’s command that comes to us as a very good thing. But the problem is we hear it in our condition as sinful children of Adam, as damning, as well we should, if this is what we’re banking our hopes of assurance on.
In his Antidote to the Council of Trent, John Calvin observes the numerous passages promising all believers the assurance that comes from Christ. He asks, who is to deprive brothers and sisters of that which Christ purchased at the cost of his own blood? He continues,
Why do they not remember what they learned when boys at school that what is subordinate is not contrary? I say that it is owing to free imputation that we are considered righteous before God. I say that from this [and that is key: from this] is also another benefit proceeds, namely that our works have the name of righteousness, though they are far from having the reality of righteousness. In short, I affirm that not by our own merit, but by faith alone, are both our persons and our works justified, and that the justification of works depends on the justification of the person, as the effect on the cause. … Hence, it is a most iniquitous perversion to substitute some kind of meritorious for a gratuitous righteousness, as if God, after justifying us once freely in a single moment, left us to procure righteousness for ourselves by the observance of the law during the whole of life.
A lot of Christians live the way that he’s describing here. It was great when I became a Christian, all my sins were forgiven. I felt liberated and reconciled to God. A weight off my back. I experienced that joy of my salvation. And then, when falling into doubt or a besetting sin, one starts to wonder: is that still for me now? Was there enough grace at the beginning? Do I have to procure my ongoing justification by in my own works?
Calvin is not a minor point here when he says that our persons as well as our works are justified. Even the sin clinging to our best works is forgiven and forgotten and cleansed by Christ’s righteousness. I remember when my dad tried to teach me how to fix a car. He was an airplane mechanic in World War II, and the apple not only fell far from the tree, it rolled down the hill into the street, got run over by a few trucks, and then ran to the gutter. I have no mechanical skills whatsoever and I never have. One day the car hood was open. My dad wasn’t exasperated. He wasn’t impatient with me, but I wasn’t getting it. He said, put your hands here in the — whatever it was, I think it was the motor. Get your hands dirty, just tinker around in there. And then he flipped up whatever needed to be flipped up. We went inside the house with our towels, and my mom asked us what we were doing. He told my mom that I fixed the car. Now, of course, I didn’t fix the car. My dad was being so gracious to me because he accepted my person and he accepted that work, insufficient and inadequate as it was. That work didn’t contribute to my acceptance before him. He even took joy in my inept participation in what he was doing.
That’s the kind of good Father we have, but incomparably greater in his goodness and grace. It’s exactly the opposite in the Roman Catholic conception: the works justify the person. If the works are righteous, then the person will be righteous. But here we have a God who justifies the sinner, and the sinner now is considered righteous before God on account of Christ. Therefore, God even uses the imperfect works that we do as part of that divine economy of grace. Isn’t it amazing?
Peter spoke of the law in Acts 15:10 as that which “neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear.” Calvin comments on this: “It is an error to suppose that this refers only to ceremonies.” We have big debates today, especially around what is called the New Perspectives on Paul, where Paul’s reference to the works of the law refers to circumcision and dietary laws, the things that distinguish Jews from Gentiles. That is exactly what Rome was saying as well. Calvin asks: what was so arduous in ceremonies “as to make all human strength fail under the burden of them?” What a good question! People could get circumcised and they could keep kosher. What was so arduous that the burden was too heavy for them to bear? “Hence too it is that Christ’s yoke is easy and his burden light not because there are fewer laws. But because the saints feel an alacrity in their liberty while they feel themselves no longer under the law.” Not under some laws, but under the law at all for justification. At the heart of the Council of Trent’s errors, said Calvin, is the confusion of the law and the gospel. He argues this, especially in relation to canons 12 and 20:
Paul calls the gospel, rather than the law, “the doctrine of faith.” He, moreover, declares that the gospel is the message of reconciliation. … For the words of Paul always hold true that the difference between the law and the gospel lies in this, that the latter does not like the former promised life under the condition of works, but from faith. What can be clearer than the antithesis? “The righteousness of the law is in this wise, the man who does these things shall live by them.” But the righteousness which is of faith speaks thus: “whosoever believeth …” (Rom 10:5).
We cannot be sure of our final justification, according to the Council of Trent. Yet, Calvin replies, “Christ says, ‘Son, be of good cheer. Thy sins are forgiven thee.’ This sentence the horned fathers abominate whenever anyone teaches that acquittal is completed by faith alone.”
When it comes to assurance, Calvin agrees with Trent that we cannot speculate about our predestination. He writes,
I acknowledge indeed, and we are careful to teach, that nothing is more pernicious than to inquire into the secret counsel of God with a view of thereby obtaining a knowledge of our election – that is a whirlpool in which we shall be swallowed up and lost. But seeing that our Heavenly Father holds forth in Christ a mirror of our eternal adoption, no man truly holds what has been given us by Christ save he who is assured that Christ himself has been given to him by the Father, so that he will not perish.
How can the Fathers at Trent, Calvin continues, argue that the average believer in this life cannot have any assurance? That one can hope for justification, but doesn’t have assurance of present pardon now, especially when scripture freely promises that assurance to every believer, even the weakest believer? Calvin writes, “On whole, then, we see that what the venerable fathers call rash and damnable presumption is nothing other than that holy confidence in our adoption revealed to us by Christ, to which God everywhere encourages his people.”
Nor can penance be an assurance that one has regained lost grace. You see the penitential system was like a bathtub. You committed a venial sin and there was a little break in the bathtub, and grace leaked out. You just patched it up with a little bit of penance. But then the whole bathtub broke, and the water rushed out. Now you really need to come back, start from scratch. Jerome called this a “second plank after shipwreck.”
I grew up in a very different tradition, a Protestant evangelical tradition. We had rededication. If we really slipped up, then we would come forward in the service to rededicate our lives. It was like a second plank after a shipwreck. Calvin says:
I would ask why [Jerome] calls it a second plank and not a third or fourth? For how few who are there who do not during life make more than one shipwreck. Nay, what man was ever found whom the grace of God has not rescued from daily shipwrecks. But I have no business with Jerome at present. The Fathers of Trent do not treat of repentance but of the sacrament of penance, which they pretend to have been instituted by Christ.
Besides the requirement of auricular confession to a priest privately since the Fourth Lateran Council, penance was completely unknown in the ancient church. Calvin points out that not until Innocent III “entangled the Christian people in this net, which the fathers of Trent would now make fast.” And it was never imposed as necessary in the churches of the East.
But God nevertheless still chastises believers. I admit it. But to what end? Is it that he, by inflicting punishment, may pay what is due to himself and his own justice? Not at all, but that he may humble them by striking them, by striking them with a dread of his anger, that he may produce in them an earnest feeling of repentance and render them more cautious in the future. . . . To sum up the whole: though believers ought to be constantly thinking of repentance, these Holy Fathers imagine it to be an indescribable something of rare occurrence.
You see the irony: we actually believe in repentance more than Rome does, Calvin says. We think it should be a daily occurrence. Calvin is reprising here the very first of Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses: “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said repent, he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.”
With justification already attained, we are free to pursue repentance and faith without making them the ground of our confidence. I am not assured because of the quality of my faith and repentance, but I repent in order to believe and trust more firmly in that full redemption accomplished by Christ. If God treated us according to justice, we have no hope, because, as Calvin points out here, all sins are mortal. All sins burst the bathtub. Any sin against a holy God, a perfect God, a just God, would be of infinite injustice.
What you see here is that Calvin has a very pastoral motivation. He doesn’t want to win an argument. He wants to win people. He is jealous for the comfort that he wants the sheep of Christ to have and are lacking because this truth is being withheld from them. These are life and death issues. Like Paul, Calvin is asking, “tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law?” (Gal 4:21). Calvin asserts:
These new lawgivers tie down forgiveness to a formula of confession contrary to the command of God and assert that it is redeemed by satisfaction. … I am desirous to be assured of my salvation. I am shown in the Word of God a simple way which will lead me straight to the entire and tranquil possession of this great boon. I will say no more. Men come and lay hands on me, and tie me down to a necessity of confession from which Christ frees me. They lay upon me the burden of satisfaction, ordering me to provide at my own hand that which Christ shows me is to be sought from his hand alone. Can I long doubt what is expedient to do? No, away with all hesitation, when attempts are made to lead us away from the only author of our salvation.
This is not a mere theological quarrel. Calvin seems stupefied not only by their exegesis but by their experiential naiveté. “It is not strange that addle-pated monks who, having never experienced any real struggle of conscience … should thus prate about the perfection of the law” despite their own hypocrisy. “With the same confidence do they talk of a heaven for hire, while they themselves meanwhile continue engrossed with the present hire, after which they’re always gaping?” They fail to realize “that there is no work untainted with impurity, until it be washed away by the blood of Christ.” He continues: “Were regeneration perfected in this life the observance of the law would be possible. … But there is no wonder that they speak so boldly of things they do not understand. War is pleasant to those who have never tried it.” “Such boldness is not strange in men who have never felt any serious fear of the Divine judgment,” Calvin adds. They do not know or teach others to know truly that they are “pardoned by a paternal indulgence.”
We reach the haven of security, only when God lays aside the character of a judge and exhibits himself to us as a Father. . . . Therefore, paying no regard to the Council of Trent, let us hold that fixed faith, which the Prophets and Apostles, by the Spirit of Christ. delivered to us, knowing whence we have learned it.
Calvin’s Antidote to Trent is very similar to a warm and impassioned letter he wrote to Cardinal Sadoleto. The Cardinal was trying to recall Geneva back to the arms of Rome while Calvin was ensconced in Strasbourg, and the City Council of Geneva asked Calvin to compose the response on behalf of Geneva. He says:
Hence, I observe, Cardinal Sadoleto, that you have too lazy a theology, as is almost always the case with those who have never experienced any serious struggles of conscience. For otherwise, you would never place a Christian man on the ground so slippery, nay, so precipitous that he could scarcely stand a moment if even given the slightest push.
So many Christians are like that, aren’t they? You might be in that situation right now: just the slightest push and you just give it all up. You’d say, “I’m lost and there is no hope for me.” Recalling his own early years, Calvin relates:
I believed, as I had been taught, that I was redeemed by the death of Christ from liability to eternal death. But the redemption, I thought, was one whose virtue could never reach me. I anticipated a future resurrection, but hated to think of it, as being an event most dreadful. . . . They, indeed, preached of [God’s] mercy towards men, but confined it to those who could show themselves deserving of it.
And then, he continues, he heard “a very different doctrine” which actually “brought me back to its fountainhead. . . . Offended by the novelty, I lent an unwilling ear, and at first, I confess, strenuously and passionately resisted; for . . . it was with the greatest difficulty that I was induced to confess that I had all my life been in ignorance and error. One thing in particular made me averse to these new teachers; namely, reverence for the Church.” Yet, Calvin says, once he opened his eyes, he understood the truth from those who treasured it. “They spoke nobly of the Church and showed the greatest desire to cultivate it.”
So our first point is that the only way to have a genuine, heartfelt response of love and gratitude to God is for it to come naturally from our hearts as a gift. It comes from our confidence that we are justified and adopted, accepted by God the Father, solely because of his son, Jesus Christ.
Looking Up to God in Faith and Out to Neighbor in Loving Works
This leads to our good works toward our neighbor. Luther famously said – or at least it is commonly paraphrased – God doesn’t need your good works, your neighbor does. We read in James that all good gifts come from the Father of lights, and Paul tells us in Romans 11 that no one has given God anything that God should repay him, for from him and to him and through him are all things to whom be the glory forever. Amen.
God is the giver of gifts. God gives salvation. There’s not one parcel of it, not one morsel that we can claim as our own and hold it up to God and say: “See, I did this. At least, I did that.” It’s all God, it’s all his work, and he receives consequently all of the glory for it.
What does it say about our theology if our ethics can only be derived from some type of analytic righteousness, that is, a righteousness that God sees in me intrinsically? Or from the other side, why do we assume, a priori, that a gospel of free acceptance with God in Christ alone, through faith alone, cannot yield any ethical imperatives or actions?
We’ve got to be very careful here because justification isn’t an imperative. Justification should never and can never be confused with sanctification. That was Rome’s error, and it is the error of many Protestants. Nevertheless, how can it be imagined that out of the boon of this great salvation God has given us in Christ, there would be no motivation for good works?
Critics such as Schweitzer tell us that justification is a legal fiction. It has no basis in reality. But in fact it has the greatest basis in reality. Two thousand years ago outside the center city of Jerusalem, God gave his Son and his Son willingly gave himself up on the cross for us, and then three days later he was raised for our justification. That’s not a legal fiction that actually happened in history, and that is the ground for our justification here and now.
Let us respond point by point to Schweitzer’s complaint. First, we have to say the doctrine of justification doesn’t say everything that is included in the good news, but apart from it, there is no good news. Let me repeat that: the gospel is not merely our justification. It is our election, our redemption in Christ, our justification, our sanctification, our glorification, our adoption. There are so many gifts that we have in Jesus Christ, Christ himself being the greatest gift of all. To have Christ is to have him with all of his gifts.
And so justification is not the whole package. Justification isn’t the only gift that we receive in union with Christ. But without it, we can’t receive any of the others. Without justification, even if God had chosen us, we would never be accepted before him. Without justification, even though he calls us to himself, and even though he sanctifies us, we would never have that holiness in this life which God requires. And therefore, we would never be glorified. While justification doesn’t say everything, while it can’t be made to hold the weight for everything in the Christian life, it is that linchpin without which nothing else matters.
It is true that an ethical system can’t be derived from the doctrine of justification, but can an ethics be derived from any one doctrine at all? Each doctrine in the Christian faith answers a different question, exposing a different piece of the architectural framework. But only as a system of interconnected parts does the whole constitute a building. It’s not the purpose of the doctrine of justification to provide an ethic. Most people don’t think that they are in a situation where the wrath of God is a serious problem to face. The problem, as they see it, is that we need more morality in the world. We need more justice, more love, and more forgiveness. We need to be better people. We need better social structures. We need to be better mothers and fathers and children, and so on.
If we lose the perspective of a holy God, not what God can do for us as individuals or a society, but what we owe to him, if we lose that transcendent perspective, of course justification before a holy God will be of little consequence. But if that is our situation, if that is our condition, justification takes on an immense burden. It answers the most important question. Until that question is answered, none of the other questions matter. It’s not just one doctrine, among many. Justification really is the doctrine by which the church stands or falls.
Not condemnation, but death, is our central problem, others say. The real focus of salvation is not this legal framework that some are so obsessed with, but deliverance from death. Yet, as Scripture declares, death is the wages of sin. It is a sentence rendered on the basis of the verdict of God’s law. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:56-57, “the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” In other words, remove the curse, and the sentence of death is lifted. The curse is a legal judicial matter. Once that problem is solved, the fear and sting of death goes away.
Still other people will say, it’s not legal penal justification, it’s Christ’s victory over the powers. Isn’t that what Paul says in Colossians 2:15, that “he disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame by triumphing over them in Christ”? Yes, it does say that, but the previous verses read, “and you who were dead in your trespasses and the circumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross” (13-14). Even for Christ’s victory over the powers you need the judicial satisfaction of God’s righteous will.
Nor can peace with God – reconciliation – take the place of justification. Paul says in Romans 5:1, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” My point is not that justification is all of these things. Not that justification is reconciliation. Not simply that justification is the victory of Christ over the powers. Not that justification is the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. But without justification, none of these other wonderful gifts of our salvation is possible.
Secondly, in the Reformers’ understanding justification is not the alternative to, but the basis for sanctification. This is the problem in not only Roman Catholicism, but also in a lot of Protestant alternatives today to the doctrine of justification as understood by the Reformation. You have to choose between justification by an imputed righteousness or sanctification by an infused righteousness. It is either one or the other. But in the Reformation doctrine, that’s a false choice. These are twin gifts that we have in union with Christ. Not in spite of, but because of justification, the Christian is liberated to look up in faith to God and out to neighbors in love.
This is such a liberating ethic. It liberates us for activity that isn’t based on our fear of punishment and our hope of rewards. Freed from the curse of the law, believers can now exalt, “Oh, how I love your law!” It is wonderful for us finally to get to the place where we can say, I love you God and I love your law. But you can’t be justified on that basis because love is the summary of the law. Jesus said that to be justified by loving God and our neighbors is to be justified by works.
Justification is not the goal, but the source of our love and service. Justification is not the be-all and end-all the Christian life, but it is the source. We keep returning to it not just once, not just twice, but every day. We need to know we have that solid acceptance before God. It is like marriage. Some people will say today, I don’t need a piece of paper. It’s a relationship, not a legal institution. But legal marriage provides the sure foundation for the relationship. The same is true of adoption. People who have been adopted talk about the security that they have, knowing that they are equal members of the family to any of the other natural siblings. They have an entitlement to the same inheritance, legally secure and set in stone. Justification isn’t the marriage, it isn’t the family life, but it is the secure basis for that union that we have in Christ and that adoption that we have by the Father in the Son, entitled to his entire inheritance, coheirs with Christ.
Third, the doctrine of justification is far from rendering believers passive. We are trying to get justification to do too much here. Justification isn’t regeneration, and it isn’t regeneration. Justification doesn’t answer every question about salvation, yet it does answer the question, how can a sinner be right before God? It doesn’t fully explain how the power of sin in your life can be broken. But that power cannot be broken unless you are legally set right before a holy God.
Luther said, “faith is a busy thing.” Faith “kills the old Adam and makes altogether different people, in heart and spirit and mind powers, and it brings with it the Holy Spirit.” Luther adds:
Oh, it’s a living, busy, active, mighty thing, this faith. And so it is impossible for it not to do good works incessantly. It does not ask whether there are good works to do, but before the question arises, it has already done them, and is always at the doing of them. He who does not do these works is a faithless man. He gropes and looks about after faith and good works and knows neither what faith is nor what good works are, though he talks and talks, with many words about faith and good works. Faith as a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that a man would stake his life on it a thousand times.
That doesn’t sound like a barren, sterile doctrine, does it? That sounds like something that very much fuels the Christian life. From this perspective – justification by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone – not only do we get a Father instead of a judge, we get neighbors instead of threats.
When we look out on the world today, other people are primarily threats. But not in God’s economy; in God’s economy they are my neighbor. I might disagree with them about all kinds of things. They might be totally opposed to my worldview. They may be living lives that are totally contrary to the word of God. They may be hostile to the Christian faith, hostile perhaps even to the liberties of Christians to continue to proclaim the gospel. But they are my neighbors, and I can love them because I don’t need them for my justification. Rather, they need my good works, they need my neighborliness, they need my love.
Luther says, “This confidence in God’s grace and knowledge of it makes men glad and bold and happy in dealing with God and all his creatures.” “And thus,” he continues, “it is impossible to separate works from faith, quite as impossible as it has to separate burning and shining from fire. Beware, therefore, of your own false notions and of the idle talkers, who would be wise enough to make decisions about faith and good works, and yet are the greatest fools.”
Calvin makes the same point. Since our works cannot satisfy God, let them satisfy our neighbors who need them. This is a completely new outlook. If you look at Luther’s Freedom of the Christian or Calvin’s Institutes (especially book three), you’ll see very clearly how they connect justification to the life of faith.
Presenting our works to God as if they demanded a reward makes God mad because we presumptuously imagine that our works could possibly contribute anything more than what his sacrificial love in Jesus Christ provided. God is angered when we do that. We are not helped, because we can’t add one ounce of righteousness to Christ’s righteousness. And our neighbor isn’t served.
But with justification firmly in place, God is satisfied. He accepts us, and now we can accept our neighbor. The crucial insight of the Reformation, then, wasn’t a movement from injustice or justice nor even the recognition that all of salvation is due to God’s grace alone. The Reformation was a paradigmatic shift away from you and me to the Triune God.
Does this doctrine matter? Absolutely it matters. I remember when this doctrine first hit me. I was digging into Romans. The pastor in my evangelical church believed one could lose one’s salvation. Worried that I was getting into some bad theology, he asked me, “young man, when were you saved?” I wasn’t trying to be cute, but for the first time it occurred to me. I said, “Two-thousand years ago outside the center city of Jerusalem.”
That is the anchor, that is the confidence that this wonderful truth brings to us. No other truth answers that specific question that only justification can answer. Justification doesn’t answer all the questions, but it answers that question. And unless and until that question is answered in a biblical way, none of the other fears that grip us in this hour or any hour will go away.
 Albert Schweitzer, The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998), 225. (Originally published in 1930.)
 John Calvin, Selected Works of John Calvin: Tracts and Letters, vol. 3, Acts and Antidote, ed. Henry Beveridge and Jules Bonnet, trans. Henry Beveridge. (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1983), 128-29.
 Calvin, Acts and Antidote, 131.
 Calvin, Acts and Antidote, 131.
 Calvin, Acts and Antidote, 131-32.
 Calvin, Acts and Antidote, 154-56.
 Calvin, Acts and Antidote, 154 (“horned” means “mitred.”)
 Calvin, Acts and Antidote, 135.
 Calvin, Acts and Antidote, 136.
 Calvin, Acts and Antidote, 138.
 Calvin, Acts and Antidote, 140.
 Calvin, Acts and Antidote, 142-43.
 Calvin, Acts and Antidote, 139.
 Calvin, Acts and Antidote, 145.
 Calvin, Acts and Antidote, 156.
 Calvin, Acts and Antidote, 158.
 Calvin, Acts and Antidote, 146.
 Calvin, Acts and Antidote, 147.
 John Calvin, Selected Works of John Calvin: Tracts and Letters, vol. 1, Reply to Sadoleto, ed. Henry Beveridge and Jules Bonnet, trans. Henry Beveridge. (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1983), 52.
 Calvin, Response to Sadoleto, 61.
 Calvin, Response to Sadoleto, 62.
 Calvin, Response to Sadoleto, 63.
 Martin Luther, Commentary on Romans, trans. J. Theodore Mueller (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1954), xvii.
 Luther, Commentary on Romans, xvii.