The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
The Rightness of Relationship"
"He (Abraham) believed in the Lord, and He counted it to him for righteousness" (Genesis 15:6).
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1).
Why are human beings made right in God's sight - "justified" - by faith? The answer lies in God's personal and relational nature, and in the fact that human beings were originally created in His image. In His Gospel and epistles, the Apostle John often addresses this truth.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1).
"God is love" (I John 4:8).
"The Father loveth the Son… I love the Father… "Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, the same is He which baptizeth with the Holy Spirit" (John 3:35; 14:31; 1:33).
God justifies by grace through faith because trust and relationship are directly related. Sin entered the human race through Adam's turning away from the possibility of relationship with God. He trusted Eve and distrusted his Creator. "Because thou hast hearkened (literal Hebrew: "obeyed") unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree which I commanded thee, saying thou shalt not eat of it, cursed is the ground for thy sake" (Genesis 3:17). Adam became unrighteous by rejecting the reason for his existence, namely, to know and relate to God in living and personal relationship. Adam's offspring are all born with the same proclivity to "worship and serve the creature more than the Creator" (Romans 1:25). "In Adam all die" (I Corinthians 15:22). This is unrighteousness in its essence, that is, being "alienated from the life of God" (Ephesians 4:8). This results in countless thoughts, words, and deeds that reveal separation from God rather than loving communication with Him.
When we trust in the Lord Jesus, we become righteous in Him (I Corinthians 1:30). We are justified by being redeemed into living relationship with God. Justification through Christ's atonement legally exonerates us from our guilt before God. However, justification involves far more than simply make us righteous in our standing with Him. Believers also become righteous in the sense of actually being what God originally made us to be, namely, His spiritual temple wherein loving relationship between the Divine and the human takes place. God's grace in Christ birthed us into family relationship with Him as sons and daughters. We can walk with Him in the communion of the Holy Spirit. This is righteousness, or rather, the rightness of relationship with our Maker. And this is why faith serves as the means of justification. Nothing is more personal than trust, and God redeemed us for loving and living fellowship with Him by grace through faith…
"This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent."
Weekly Memory Verse
"How excellent is Thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Thy wings."