"And we all are all wrong with him because we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. Far too frequently we fail to entertain the gravity of this fact. Hence the reality of our sin and the reality of the wrath of God upon us for our sin do not come into our reckoning. This is the reason why the grand article of justification does not ring the bells in the innermost depths of our spirit. And this is the reason why the gospel of justification is to such an extent a meaningless sound in the world and in the church of the twentieth century. We are not imbued with the profound sense of the reality of God, of his majesty and holiness. And sin, if reckoned with at all, is little more than a misfortune of maladjustment"
(Murray, John. Redemption Accomplished and Applied. Pg. 117).
Dr. James White includes this in his book: The God Who Justifies
(TGWJ). The first time I went through TGWJ, I was in the process of embracing Reformed Theology. This meant that a lot of the content flew right over my head. I just did not grasp it. Years later, I am rereading this wonderful work by James in the hopes that I retain more of the material being presented.
Adam and I are reading this together and discussing every few chapters. I'm already in the fifth chapter, and once more my passion towards justification has been renewed.
John Murray declares an excellent point in the above citation - that the great doctrine of justification by faith alone is deemphasized in our day. Naturally, this raises the question: "Why is justification, the doctrine at the very heart of the gospel, hardly given any attention today? even in the church?" Murray argues that it is because men today do not consider the Holiness of God, and the sinfulness of man. It is only when these two truths are considered that sinful men then wonder how their relationship with God might be restored.
Dr. White writes a little later: "We need a Reformation in our day that will again draw the line clearly between those who embrace the gospel of God's grace in Christ and those who do not. And how one answers the question "How is a man made right with God?" determines whether one embraces that gospel or not"
If you are like me, after reading that you couldn't help but shout out a hearty "Amen!" Every so often the men at our church pray for reformation and revival in our land and our world. Might God be merciful to us and grant these things. How marvelous would it be to see Christ's churches again preach the absolute Holiness of God, the total depravity of man, and then the great doctrine of justification by faith alone!
James continues: "Justification should and must again be a word that thrills the heart of believers, that is often on their tongues, always the object of their thanksgiving, the subject of their singing. This is my goal. I truly desire to see this awesome life-giving truth revived in the hearts of God's people again"
Again, AMEN! Dr. White states his heart's desire from the get-go: he wants Christian people to love this doctrine once more. So do I! I am thankful Elder James invested the time to write a work such as this, encouraging Christians like me.
Welp, that's all for now. You can expect more on Justification later.
Justfied by free grace alone, through faith alone,