I recently saw an advertisement on the Internet that raised the rhetorical question, "How do you stack up against your peers?" The issue involved an earthly pursuit, but it reminded me of a far greater spiritual matter of eternal consequence.
"Great is the mystery of godliness. God was manifest in the flesh… This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (I Timothy 3:16; Matthew 3:17).
The Lord Jesus Christ serves as God's standard for human beings. We are either just like Him in nature, character, and way, or we are unacceptable according to the Divine measure for what humanity should be. Christ is our peer. How do we "stack up" against Him? The Psalmist answers our inquiry: "Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity" (Psalm 62:9). Whatever our attainment, be it low or high in earthly measure, we find ourselves less than nothing when weighed in the balance with the Lord Jesus. Thus, we are without hope to be what God requires, unless some other way of peerage exists.
It does. "He hath made us accepted in the Beloved" (Ephesians 1:6). Unto a race of beings "lighter than vanity," God tips the scales completely in the favor of all who believe. He imparts and imputes the merits of His Son to our account as a completely free gift of His grace. Christ becomes for us in God's sight what we cannot be for ourselves. His peerage becomes our possession. "To as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name" (John 1:12). We do not stack up against Him, but rather stand with and within Him as by grace we are "made the righteousness of God in Him" (II Corinthians 5:21). This is the Gospel, whereby our Peer becomes our propitiation, peace, and provider. "Ye are complete in Him" (Colossians 2:10).
From the moment of our conception and forevermore, we must be just like the Lord Jesus if we are to independently attain to God's standard for humanity. We must perfectly stack up against our Peer. Or, we must receive the gift of grace whereby Christ's righteous merits constitute us as being "found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith" (Philippians 3:9). Perfection achieved, in and of ourselves. Or Perfection, Christ's perfection, applied in and through our Savior. Utter futility. Or undeserved favor. These are the options, the former way being wide, broad, and destructive, the latter leading to life eternal. We must be just like our Peer, an impossibility, or our Peer must freely justify us, a certainty if we trust the Lord Jesus.
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."
"For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by One, Jesus Christ). Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of One the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous."
Weekly Memory Verse
One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple" (Psalm 27:4)