Righteousness by Faith
By E. White
Do not allow your minds to be diverted from the
all-important theme of the righteousness of Christ by the study
The thought that the righteousness of Christ is
imputed to us, not because of any merit on our part, but as a
free gift from God, is a precious thought. The enemy of God and
man is not willing that this truth should be clearly presented;
for he knows that if the people receive it fully, his power will
What Is Righteousness?
What is righteousness? . .
.Righteousness means being good and doing good. Righteousness is
obedience to the law. Righteousness is right doing, and it is by
their deeds that all will be judged.
Righteousness is holiness, likeness to God, and
"God is love." 1 John 4:16. It is conformity to the law
of God, for "all Thy commandments are righteousness"
(Psalm 119:172), and "love is the fulfilling of the
law" (Romans 13:10).
He who enters heaven must have a character that
is without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. Naught that
defileth can ever enter there. In all the redeemed host not one
defect will be seen.
The Ground Rules of Salvation
Repentance has in it nothing of the
nature of merit, but it prepares the heart for the acceptance of
Christ as the only Saviour, the only hope of the lost sinner.
God has made the first advance. While you were
in rebellion against Him, He went forth to seek you. With the
tender heart of the shepherd He left the ninety and nine and went
out into the wilderness to find that which was lost. . . .
In the parable of the lost sheep, Christ
teaches that salvation does not come through our seeking after
God but through Gods seeking after us.
Coming to Christ does not require severe mental
effort and agony; it is simply accepting the terms of salvation
that God has made plain in His Word. The blessing is free to all.
Jesus said unto him [the rich young ruler],
"If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and
give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and
come and follow me." Here are conditions, and the Bible is
full of conditions.
From a sense o thorough conviction, you can. .
. testify to men of the immutable character of the law manifested
by the death of Christ on the cross, the malignant nature of sin,
and the righteousness of God in justifying the believer in Jesus,
on condition of his future obedience to the statutes of God
government in heaven and earth.
No man can cover his soul with the garments of
Christs righteousness while practicing known sins, or
neglecting known duties. God requires the entire surrender of the
heart, before justification can take place . . . .In order for
man to be justified by faith, faith must reach a point where it
will control the affections and impulses of the heart.
Salvation is a gift offered to you free; on no
other condition can you obtain it, only as a
free gift. But co-operation on your part is
essential for your salvation.
Faith is trusting in Godbelieving
that He loves us, and knows what is for our best good. Thus,
instead of our own way, it leads us to choose His way. In place
of our ignorance, it accepts His wisdom; in place of our
weakness, His strength; in place of our sinfulness, His
righteousness. Our lives, ourselves, are already His; faith
acknowledges His ownership, and accepts its blessing.
Faith looks beyond the difficulties, and lays
hold of the unseen, even Omnipotence: therefore it cannot be
baffled. Faith is the clasping of the hand of Christ in every
Where there is not only a belief in Gods
Word, but also a submission of the will to Him; where the heart
is yielded to Him, the affections fixed upon Him, there is
faithfaith that works by love and purifies the soul.
Justification by Faith
What is justification by faith? It is
the work of God in laying the glory of man in the dust, and doing
for man that which it is not in his power to do for himself. When
men see their own nothingness, they are prepared to be clothed
with the righteousness of Christ.
As the penitent sinner, contrite before God,
discerns Christs atonement in his behalf, and accepts this
atonement as his only hope in this life and the future life, his
sins are pardoned. This is justification by faith.
The grace of Christ is freely to justify the
sinner without merit or claim on his part. Justification is a
full, complete pardon of sin. The moment a sinner accepts Christ
by faith, that moment he is pardoned. The righteousness of Christ
is imputed to him, and he is no more to doubt Gods
It is not Gods will that you should be
distrustful, and torture your soul with the fear that God will
not accept you because you are sinful and unworthy.
But, you say if I could only know that He is my Saviour! Well, what kind of evidence do you want? Do you want a
special feeling or emotion to prove that Christ is yours? Is this
more reliable than pure faith in Gods promises? . . .
There is not a friend in the world of whom you
would require one-half the assurance that our heavenly Father has
given you in His promises.
Those who accept Christ, and in their first
confidence say, I am saved, are in danger of trusting to
themselves. They lose sight of their own weakness and their
constant need of divine strength. They are unprepared for
Satans devices, and under temptation many, like Peter, fall
into the very depths of sin. We are admonished, "Let him
that thinketh he standeth,
take heed lest he fall." 1 Corinthians 10:12. Our only
safety is in constant distrust of self, and dependence on Christ.
In order that we may have the righteousness of
Christ, we need daily to be transformed by the influence of the
Spirit, to be a partaker of the divine nature. It is the work of
the Holy Spirit to elevate the taste, to sanctify the heart, to
ennoble the whole man.
In order for man to retain justification, there
must be continual obedience, through active, living faith that
works by love and purifies the soul.
It is by continual surrender of the will, by
continual obedience, that the blessing of justification is
Sanctification by Faith
Our only ground of hope is in the
righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and in that wrought by His
Spirit working in and through us.
The righteousness by which we are justified is
imputed; the righteousness by which we are sanctified is
imparted. The first is our title to heaven, the second is our
fitness for heaven.
Both our title to heaven and our fitness for it
are found in the righteousness of Christ.
When through repentance and faith we accept
Christ as our Saviour, the Lord pardons our sins, and remits the
penalty prescribed for the transgression of the law. The sinner
then stands before God as a just person; he is taken into favor
with Heaven, and through the Spirit has fellowship with the
Father and the Son. Then there is yet another work to be
accomplished, and this is of a progressive nature. The soul is to
be sanctified through the truth. And this also is accomplished
through faith. For it is only by the grace of Christ, which we
receive through faith, that the character can be transformed.
Those who would be saints in heaven, must first
be saints upon the earth; for when we leave this earth, we shall
take our character with us, and this will be simply taking with
us some of the elements of heaven imparted to us through the
righteousness of Christ.
The newly converted soul often has fierce
conflicts with established habits or with some special form of
temptation, and, being overcome by some master passion or
tendency, he is guilty of indiscretion or actual wrong. . . .We
must expect to meet with great imperfections in those who are
young and inexperienced.
We have a correct record of the religious
experiences of marked characters in Bible history. Men whom God favored, and to whom He entrusted great responsibilities, were
sometimes overcome by temptation and committed sins, even as we
of the present day strive, waver, and frequently fall into error.
But it is encouraging to our desponding hearts to know that
through Gods grace they could gain fresh vigor to again
rise above their evil natures; and, remembering this, we are
ready to renew the conflict ourselves.
Sanctifications Goal: A
True sanctification is nothing more or less
than to love God with all the heart, to walk in His commandments
and ordinances blameless. Sanctification is not an emotion,
but a heaven-born principle that brings all the passions and
desires under the control of the Spirit of God; and this work is
done through our Lord and Saviour.
When self is merged in Christ, love springs
forth spontaneously. The completeness of Christian character is
attained when the impulse to help and bless others springs
constantly from within.
When we submit ourselves to Christ, the heart
is united with His heart, the will is merged in His will, the
mind becomes one with His mind, the thoughts are brought into
captivity to Him; we live His life. This is what it means to be
clothed with the garment of His righteousness.
Total Victory a Reality
We can overcome. Yes; fully, entirely.
Jesus died to make a way of escape for us, that we might overcome
every evil temper, every sin, every temptation, and sit down at
last with Him.
If you will stand under the bloodstained banner
of Prince Emmanuel, faithfully doing His service, you need never
yield to temptation; for One stands by your side who is able to
keep you from falling.
The strongest temptation is no excuse for sin.
However great the pressure brought to bear upon the soul,
transgression is our own act. It is not in the power of earth or
hell to compel anyone to sin. The will must consent, the heart
must yield, or passion can not overbear reason, nor iniquity
triumph over righteousness.
If we consent, He will so identify Himself with
our thoughts and aims, so blend our hearts and minds into
conformity to His will, that when obeying Him we shall be but
carrying out our own impulses.
Not even by a thought did He yield to
temptation. So it may be with us.
Those only who through faith in Christ obey all
of Gods commandments will reach the condition of
sinlessness in which Adam lived before his transgression. They testify to their love of
Christ by obeying all His precepts.
In every phase of your character-building you
are to please God. This you may do; for Enoch pleased Him, though
living in a degenerate age. And there are Enochs in this
When the character of Christ shall be perfectly
reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His
We Need Not See All Points Alike
Many commit the error of trying to
define minutely the fine points of distinction between
justification and sanctification. Into the definitions of these
two terms they often bring their own ideas and speculations. Why
try to be more minute than is Inspiration on the vital question
of righteousness by faith? Why try to work out every minute
point, as if the salvation of the soul depended upon all having
exactly your understanding of this matter? All cannot see in the
same line of vision.
It is not essential for you to know and tell
others all the whys and wherefores as to what constitutes the new
heart, or as to the position they can and must reach so as never
to sin. You have no such work to do. All are not constituted
alike. Conversions are not all alike.
A Perfect Heart Is More Essential Than
a Perfect Theology
There is to be no dread of anyone
being borne down even in a widespread apostasy, who has a living
experience in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
If Jesus be formed within, the hope of glory, the illiterate as
well as the educated can bear the testimony of our faith, saying,
"I know in whom I have believed." Some will not, in
argument, be able to show wherein their adversary is wrong,
having never had any advantages that others have had, yet these
are not overborne by the apostasy because they have the evidence
in their own heart that they have the truth, and the most subtle
reasoning and assaults of Satan cannot move them from their
knowledge of the truth and they have not a doubt or fear that
they are themselves in error.
"I want," says one, "to reason
out this matter." Well, reason it out if you can. "The
wind bloweth where it listeth," and you hear the sound
thereof, but you cannot explain it. And no more can you explain
the things of God upon the human heart. You cannot explain this
faith that lays right hold upon the merits of the blood of a
crucified and risen Saviour to bring Christs righteousness
into your life. Clothed with the righteousness of Christ and not
your own righteousness, you will not depend upon what you can do
or what you will do.
He saves us because He said He would. Are we
going to go into all the explanations as to how He can save us?
Do we have the goodness in ourselves that will make us better and
cleanse us from the spots and stains of sin, enabling us then to
come to God? We simply cannot do it.
Christ crucified, Christ risen, Christ ascended
into the heavens, Christ coming again, should so soften, gladden,
and fill the mind of the minister that he will present these
truths to the people in love and deep earnestness.
I love Him! I love Him! I see in Jesus
matchless charms. I see in Him everything to be desired by the
children of men. Let us come to the "Lamb of God, which
taketh away the sins of the world." Let us, through His
merits and righteousness, obtain a fitting up for heaven.