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The Righteous Man Shall Live By Faith

January 13, 2020

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The Righteous Man  Shall Live By Faith

How easy it is  to be snookered  again and again.      We can be humming along  in our Christian life,  thankfully acknowledging sins  that we have  apparently overcome.      So,  we’ll think,  “Well,  I’m no longer  a party animal.      I’ve stopped drinking too much.      Stopped smoking, too.      Now  I really want to be fair  in all of my dealings  and not take advantage  of anyone,  and work hard  for the boss,  too.      I’ve even conquered  my dirty mouth problem.      Yup,  I’m sure glad  to finally be  on the right track.      And,  I’m a pretty good witness  of God’s grace  to everyone around me.      Boy,  I really want to be sure  I’m doing everything  the way God wants me to.”

How has this Christian  been snookered?      By imagining  his well-intentioned efforts  are pleasing  to God.      We all know  that God wants us  to stop sinning,  so  when we come to God,  we naturally  put forth  our best efforts  to be the kind of people  that make God happy.      Is that a problem?      It sure can be.

It definitely is a problem  when we feel  that  “our”  improvements in life  make us  more pleasing  in God’s sight.      The bottom line is  that we cannot justify  any  of our actions  or  “prove”  to God  that we are deserving  of His grace  and pleasure.      No matter how greatly  we improve our lives,  we are still sinners  through and through — down to our very core.

We might argue,  “Yah but,  I’m obeying  all of God’s laws  the very best  I can.      That’s got to count  for something!”

But,  it doesn’t.      Paul repeatedly addresses  this problem  throughout all  of his New Testament writings.      And,  Paul really understood  the problem,  because  he lived it.      Before Paul knew Christ,  he was very self-righteous.      He had the best  Jewish teachers — he lived strictly  by all  the laws of God — he was known  by all  as being very righteous.      He had no clue  what a sinner  he was.      When he realized  the wondrous beauty  of God’s love  in Christ Jesus,  he wrote in Galatians 3:10-11,

For as many as are  of the works  of the Law  are  under a curse;  for it is written,  “Cursed  is every one  who does not abide  by all things  written  in the book of the law,  to perform them.”     Now  that no one is justified  by the Law  before God  is evident;  for  “The righteous man  shall live by faith.”

Absolutely no one  is justified  by obeying  all the Law.      God is a perfectly just God.      He cannot justify  our outward actions,  when our hearts  and souls  are filthy  with sin.      He knows exactly  what is  in our hearts  and His holiness  cannot overlook it.      Therefore,  obedience to the law  cannot justify us.

How can we be justified?      More than anything else on earth,  we need to be justified  so we can  get into heaven.      God justifies us  through faith  in Christ Jesus.      Jesus is the one  who lived an absolutely perfect life.      By trusting only  in what Jesus has done  for us,  God washes us clean — sparkling clean.

Obedience to the law  is of no help  whatsoever.      Doing our best  will never  allow God  to say,  “Not guilty.”      That is why  Paul says  in Galatians 2:16,

A man  is not justified  by the works  of the Law  but through faith  in Christ Jesus.

So,  the real question is:   Do we have faith  in the sufficiency  of Christ Jesus  to take away  absolutely all our sins?      Are we giving God  the honor  of believing  in His holy  promise  of salvation  through faith alone?

As we do,  we say,  “Hallelujah!      Lord,  Your grace  has done the impossible  for us.      How awesome  is Your love  for sinners!”

Love,
Margaret

 

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A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and God of gods

 

Pray for our country.

 

This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

 

The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.
Psalm 18:30

 

Sing for joy in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming  to the upright.
Psalm 33:1

 

How blessed are those  who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Psalm 84:4

 

Just as a father has compassion  on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13

 

Oh give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:1

 

Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:3

 

Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that
I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12

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