Gospel truth produces gospel change. At least, it should. In the following article “Justification vs. Self-Justification”, Ray Ortlund, Jr. explains how doctrine shapes church culture–“grace-justification” should produce an atmosphere of grace and acceptance.
Highlights: We are justified by faith in Christ; He receives our punishment for sin and we receive His reward for righteousness. But, “self-justification is the deepest impulse of the human heart”. We intellectually embrace justification by faith, but functionally we live by self-justification.
We desire to save ourselves… We judge others who live by different standards… We compare ourselves to others (who are worse) in order to justify our sins… We fear man–insecurity, anxiety, etc… We manipulate and condemn… all for the sake of self-promotion and self-validation.
“The doctrine of grace-justification… builds… and protects a culture of grace-justification.”
Check out Ray’s article for further elaboration: Justification versus Self-Justification