The Special of the Day... From the Orange Moon Cafe...
"Acceptance With God: Achieved Or Received?"
Part 1 - Two Options
Two options exist regarding our being acceptable to God. We must either establish and maintain our own righteousness - perfectly. Or, we receive as a free gift the righteousness of Christ imputed to us by grace through faith.
"For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all" (James 2:10).
"It was imputed to him (Abraham) for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification" (Romans 4:22-25).
The entrance of sin into humanity brought the delusion of our own dedication, discipline, and performance becoming our default method in seeking to please and appease God. The indictment of Israel by the Apostle Paul refers to us us all: "they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God" (Romans 10:3). In some manner, every human being attempts to create their own rightness until and unless we respond to the other option, namely, being "accepted in the Beloved" through the righteousness of the Lord Jesus being placed on our account as the freest gift ever given (Ephesians 1:6). Only Christ can supply the perfection required for God to receive us, a perfection we will either achieve ourselves (impossible) or a perfection we receive through our Savior (imputed, i.e., placed on our account). Indeed, three times in Romans 5, Paul refers to our justification with God as a free gift. This constitutes our only hope for acceptance and rightness with our Heavenly Father. We either come through the perfect merit of Christ freely placed on our account. Or we do not come at all (John 14:6).
Perfection achieved, or perfection received. These are the only paths that lie before us. The former leads to utter futility and eternal judgment to come. The latter provides ultimate redemption and eternal life in Christ. Moreover, only received righteousness ultimately leads to realized righteousness in thought, attitude, word, and deed - "the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:11). Acceptance of our person by God through Christ leads to acceptability in our practice by God through Christ. Again, Paul illuminates us greatly regarding this blessed way of grace through faith, and we close with his testimony of righteousness as fruit rather than root...
"By the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me."
(I Corinthians 15:10)
Part 2: Grace and Righteousness
Weekly Memory Verse
His commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world.
(I John 5:3-4)
(I John 5:3-4)