I always intended to write a book on righteousness by faith.
I have been acutely conscious of the Seventh-day Adventist mission to bring the
saving righteousness of Christ to the world. This has been a great motivating
power in my many years of teaching and public ministry. With every passing year
I have committed myself all the more to the understanding and teaching of this
truth that holds the key to Godís final message to the world. The conversions
to Christ and the commitment to the gospel commission that have resulted have
provided me as a teacher with lasting satisfaction.
I have written this book with a solemn feeling of
responsibility for those who have been in my classes. A number of my fellow
teachers and former students over the years have frequently raised the question:
What is it going to take to carry the everlasting gospel of Revelation 14 to all
the world in our generation? I cannot help believing that the answer centers in
the saving righteousness of Jesus Christ.
I confess to a great sense of inadequacy, since each chapter
requires a volume by itself to do justice to the subject. This book is not an
exhaustive treatise on the subject. There have been conspicuous other works on
the same theme. But the various aspects raised in the respective chapters I
consider are of real importance. As for other aspects not dealt with, I can only
request of my readers to believe that I do not write in ignorance of them. There
is much more that could be written, for the truth of righteousness by faith is
I am certain that no subject has been more often proclaimed
from desk and pulpit. We have all listened to numerous presentations on the
subject. So there is the possibility of thinking we are merely going over the
same ground. But many professed Christians do not understand righteousness by
faith in a practical sense, especially the doctrine and experience of
sanctification and the work of the Holy Spirit.
It is hoped that this book may not lack a wide interest and
appeal, that it may help quicken the sense of the churchís mission. Of our
need to be renewed and filled with the Holy Spirit it would be superfluous to
speak. For are not many of Godís people, and especially the young people,
already becoming aware of the need of a revival based on the whole truth of
Christ our Righteousness? In a study of this kind the pivot is Jesus Christ.
Everything centers in Him, the Saviour and Lord who would possess all our
hearts. We must never forget that we are to live by faith in the One who is
"the author and the finisher of our faith."
The theological and practical aspects of the subject blend
with, or overlap, each other. In dealing to some degree with the theological
aspect, I am not insensible to the need to involve my readers in this
truth. I would like to believe that in the following pages I have done something
to bridge the gulf between the theology of righteousness by faith and the
experience of it. This great truth is not something to quibble about. It is the
way of salvation. I desire to involve the reader personally in Christ, the
"Lord our Righteousness." It is not my purpose to raise theological
issues. Theoretical unbelief has never been manís problem when confronted with
this truth. The chief obstacle is personalóa practical unbelief known only to
the individual. Such a great truth, if it is to have saving power, must not be
cast into a theoretical mold.
I have sought to address the hearts of my readers with the
urgency of the claims of Jesus Christ, to make it incumbent to apply these
claims to their lives. As you value your soul before God, I request that you
study this work with a calm, intelligent, and open mind. I send it forth with
the prayer that by His Spirit, God will deign to use it as a means of awakening
some and inspiring others to enter more fully into Godís salvation unlimited.
This book pleads for a personal living relationship with
Christ through His Holy Spirit. The book has come from much travail of soul and
with many prayers that Christ will be more than a name, more than a theological
idea, but a power equal to all our needs and our temptations, and our need to be
I venture just one more remark. In our pursuit of life in
Christ, I pray that the reader will find how true is the experience promised to
us in the wonderful words of the apostle Paul: "But of him are ye in Christ
Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification,
and redemption" (1 Cor. 1:30).