Tag Archive: righteous


PART 3 – IS GOD UNFAIR?

YOU DON’T WANT FAIR

What of those who don’t hear of Christ? Is God unfair?

No, because God’s word says, “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one” (Rom 3:10-12).

The text shows that mankind is innately unrighteous, without understanding and disinterested in God. Therefore, just as God would not have been unfair if He had never sent Jesus and given us the gospel in the first place, He is not unfair to any who do not get to hear the gospel now.

We can be thankful that God is not fair with regard us in our sin, because, if He was we would be forever separated from Him and without hope.

ALREADY INDICTED

In fact, God has already made Himself plain to everyone through creation, but our indictment is that we refused to acknowledge Him.

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse” (Rom 1:18-20).

GOD CHOOSES THE BLAMELESS OF HEART

“I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings” (Jer 17:10).

“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jer 29:13).

“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him” (2 Chron 16:9).

BLAMELESS BY FAITH

So, how is it that God chooses those who seek him with all of their heart if we have established that mankind is innately disinterested in God and that none seek after Him?

God can overcome our disinterest by initiating contact with us. And, He did this by sending His Son to die on the cross for our sins and by sending this message into all the world so that the message would interest people and lead them to hopefully believe. And, where people respond by faith in His message, He is pleased and He credits them with righteousness, just as Abraham was credited when he believed.

GOOD NEWS

So, because none of us are blameless in our thoughts and actions, being righteous by works is impossible. Furthermore, we have emotional and intellectual obstacles in our hearts that prevent us from coming to faith in God, therefore righteousness by faith is impossible. However, God’s word is able to overcome these obstacles and allow us to believe with our hearts.

Where God’s message to you is believed, He credits righteousness. Have you allowed God’s message of love and His offer of forgiveness a chance in your life?

PART 1 – HIDING FROM IMPENDING JUDGMENT

PART 2 – GOD’S WRATH ABIDES

 

Good News – No More a Sinner!

Once a week I have the wonderful opportunity to teach a group of 11-12 year olds about God and the Bible and what Christianity is really about. Recently, I challenged their views on how God sees each of them and I believe God blessed many with a fresh realization of the GOOD NEWS!

Photo: rgbstock

I started the class by asking them why Jesus came. Quickly, and somewhat expectedly, I got the answer, “To die for our sins.” I agreed, but wanted to expand on this truth. The verse that came to my mind was 2 Cor. 5:21, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” and I wrote it on the board. I then explained its meaning and, although everyone seemed satisfied, I wanted to see if they really understood what it meant to them individually. So, just as we had agreed upon in previous sessions, I had them again recognize that we have all sinned and still often do sin. And, that in fact, we had all probably fallen into sin a number of times over recent days.

Sinner or Righteous

Then, I wrote two headings on the board, RIGHTEOUS and SINNERS. I asked if Jesus were to return today and separate the RIGHTEOUS from the SINNERS, would they know what group they belong to. It seemed without a blink that each put themselves in the group of SINNERS. Now, I am sure that among them there were some not yet born again and that answer would be true for them. However, the believers among them also classified themselves as SINNERS. It seemed, both groups needed to hear the GOOD NEWS again. The SINNERS for salvation and the RIGHTEOUS (who called themselves SINNERS) for realization of what they had received in Christ.

Good News!

Undoubtedly, the focus that the Christians in the group had was on their behavior rather than on their pardon for sin and new identity in Christ. And, the non-believers probably had a blurred grasp of the GOOD NEWS. Using the above verse I again explained the good news, only in this instance I took the time to show them what the verse really meant to them PERSONALLY. I showed that Jesus who hadn’t sinned actually became SIN, that all of our personal sin and that of the world was put upon Him. And, that He did this, so that we could be called RIGHTEOUS and not SINNERS anymore. That’s GOOD NEWS!!!

Three Men Crucified

Then, to bring it home, I spoke of the three men who had been crucified (Jesus being one of them) and how the whole message of the GOOD NEWS for mankind is seen played out through what happened. In the middle was Jesus, having been charged as a criminal along with the other two criminals. Yet, we know that Jesus hadn’t ever sinned. One of the criminals scoffed at Jesus, not realizing who He was. The other one, realizing who Jesus was, turned to Him and said, “Remember me when YOU come into your kingdom.” We agreed that he had been a bad man, a SINNER, as he even said of himself. And yet, despite this, Jesus said to him, “Today you will be with Me in paradise.”

Identity Changed

What happened at the cross then was that three died. One, a criminal, a SINNER, and he died a SINNER. In the middle was Jesus who was RIGHTEOUS, but who was made to be SIN and He died as a SINNER. Then on Jesus’ other side was another criminal, also a SINNER, who recognized that through Jesus, God was offering pardon for sin and a new life. Through faith in Jesus he was made RIGHTEOUS.

Will Good People Go To Heaven

The general idea that most of the 11-12 year olds seem to have had is that although we all do wrong, “good people” will go to heaven. This is typical of how many people think. Yet, “good people” are also SINNERS and as such don’t qualify. What everyone does qualify for is God’s wrath. Not wanting to pour this out on us, God instead poured it out on Jesus, so that we could be freed. The response of these two criminals (with Jesus in the middle), in a way, represent everyone.

It seems that entrenched into many church members is the idea that as Christians we are SINNERS, but the message of Christianity is that through believing (realizing and receiving) who Jesus is, and what He did for us, we are made RIGHTEOUS.

Rob Morley

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