Scripture: Rom 3
27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the "law" that requires faith. 28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from observing the law. 29 Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, 30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.
Observation: Being good, and doing good, isn’t good enough.
Application: I’ve heard a lot of people say that they believed they would get to heaven because they had lived a fairly good life, they had never done anything terrible to anyone like killed or raped, they had done their best and generally lived a good life and so they believe they will get to heaven because of that. This is common belief I think, good people go to heaven, bad people go to hell. If you live a good life you’re rewarded, and if you don’t you’ll be punished.
This is not the teaching of the Christian Gospel however; we are all guilty of breaking God’s law. Apart from the law there is no condemnation, what does that mean though? It means that the law of God is given to us to show us our imperfections, to show us our sin, and our need for a savior, it’s there to help us realize our need of Jesus. No one has lived up to the full law of God, and no one who is being honest about their lives will ever be able to, I think. We often use the Ten Commandments as a standard, but you know, there are actually many other commandments within the Holy Scriptures than just those ten. The Ten Commandments are a summarized list that try to encapsulate the heart of the law. Jesus shortened it even more for us
Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
But even this very short list is more difficult to obey at all times than you might think at first. How many days can we say that every action and every thought that we’ve had has been in total harmony with loving God and our neighbor?
So it’s not our obedience, (although God desires obedience) its not our goodness, (although God desires us to be good), its not anything we can do, or any checklist that we can mark off that makes us worthy of heaven and eternal communion with The Father. We are saved only by taking on the righteousness and purity of Christ Jesus who is God’s own sinless Son. Only His righteous sacrifice is able to make us worthy, we can not boast of it ourselves, it’s all about Him.
And it’s only through Faith in Him that we can claim his righteousness as our own. It’s only by our turning our lives, our eternal lives, over to him and putting on that faith in a real way that makes us able to stand boldly before the throne of The Most High.
Personally, I’m so glad, that my eternal soul is not secured by me living a perfect life. I’ve tried before, and I’m lousy at living perfectly. I make mistakes, I say things I shouldn’t say, I think things I shouldn’t think, I do things I shouldn’t do. Oh I want to be good, and I try to be good, but then I end up doing those things I don’t want to do, and not doing those things that I know I should, and that I want to do. My heart is willing, but the sinful carnal side of me is weak. Every now and then I’m able to do something that may be seen by God as good, and I am grateful that I’m able to do a few good things, but even those few good things are only made real in my life because of The Great God who has taken up residence in my heart.
So I Praise the Almighty today because He didn’t leave it up to me, but all I have to do is have Faith in Him, and trust in Christ and I can know that I’m going to be ok.
Prayer: Glorious God,
You are The Ruler of the Universe, and Creator of all things! You are perfect and just and full of forgiveness and love. I ask for grace when I have failed to live as you would have me to, I ask for strength to grow more into the likeness of Your Son Jesus, and that you increase my faith when I have times of struggle and doubt. Grant us all an ever increasing dependence upon you and a growing knowledge of your presence in our lives.
Yield: I put down the scoreboard, and pick up the cross.