Justification by Faith
By James R. White
Crowne Publications, 1990, 56 pages
I’m not ashamed to admit it; I’m a Theology 101 kind of guy. No doubt there’s a place for deep theological study and I appreciate the many orthodox pastors and theologians who have dug deep into God’s Word with the help of the Holy Spirit to mine the priceless gems contained therein.
Three of evangelical apologist, James R. White’s early books were released on Kindle for only $0.99 apiece several months ago and I finally got around to reading the last one, “Justification by Faith.” It’s amazing how going without power for five days will free up some time.
Did you ever notice how many “tion” words there are in theology? Justification, sanctification, redemption, salvation, etc. What does it all mean? In this short book, White breaks it all down. When a person accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior, they become justified by the Lord. Justification is a legal term and in this case it means that Christ imputes his perfect righteousness to those who accept Him. As sinners, we have no righteousness of our own, not one single plea, but when we accept Christ by faith, His perfect righteousness is credited to our spiritual account and we become justified in God’s sight by being in Christ. Hallelujah! Obviously, White does a much better job of explaining the terms than I do.
White also addresses those who hold to an aberrant salvation theology such as Roman Catholicism. The Catholic church teaches a person becomes justified by becoming increasingly sanctified (holier) by continually receiving sacramental grace and obeying the Ten Commandments and church rules. They’ve put the cart before the horse! First comes justification through accepting Christ as Savior THEN comes increasing sanctification as a believer follows the Lord ever closer. Teaching that sanctification (“being good”) merits justification is doctrine straight from the pit of hell.
White does a nice job of breaking down the theological terminology and you’ll finish this short book in a sitting or two. Theological jargon aside, I thank the Lord for the simple Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.