I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” – Romans 1:16-17 (NIV)
Our culture has slowly moved toward a scientific approach to solve most of our problems. If you can’t observe it, measure it and repeat it then it must not be true. Faith for this culture is more seeing first and then believing, which really isn’t faith at all. On the other hand, there are many sciences that are based in postulations and theories without any observable evidence, and yet unquestioned belief is the accepted norm. Sounds like faith to me.
The Good News is evidence of what we have not seen. I have never seen God face to face. I have never seen the glory of heaven with my naked eyes. I have never watched the forces of good wage war against evil in the spiritual realms like Elisha and his servant. But I believe in the Good News of Jesus Christ crucified and risen to life. I believe this because I have seen and heard the truth in so many ways, they cannot be recounted here. I believe because of the witness that speaks to my heart in ways that science never will. A voice that overcomes my fears, my weaknesses and my doubts to keep me rooted in the truth of God’s will and word.
It is easy to get mixed up about this. We can try to apply science to the Bible or our understanding of the Bible. We can seek more help from psychology than the Wonderful Counselor. We can get fixated on having a system of do’s and don’ts that we can control and twist, creating a customized religion that makes us right all the time. But righteousness comes to us through faith. It is not something we can control or cajole. It is given to us as we give ourselves to Him. Religion is a burden while faith allows us to cast our burdens down and trust God with them.
I used to be concerned about making a “scientific” argument for the validity of scripture. I will leave that to the theologians and experts. I am more concerned with my life being evidence of God’s existence than having arguments about the age of the earth. If that is your calling, pursue it passionately and with integrity, but for me it is a distraction. I want to live a life that reflects the truth I believe. I want the Good News of the Gospel to transform my unrighteousness into righteousness. Every day.
Lord, help me to be faithful. May Your truth define me and transform me. Let Your righteousness rule my heart and mind and be evidence to the world around me that You are God. Amen
6 responses to “The Right Kind of Righteousness: Faith in the Good News”
Thanks Chris I needed that. I too want the light of God to shine bright in my heart, for everyone to see. Sometimes when my life feels unbalanced I struggle with my faith because I am focusing on my crumbling life. When in fact it is God who puts me back together again. This is a regular situation for me and I grow tired from it.
Most people struggle with this, but not enough are honest about it. Maturity is dealing with the reality of your situation instead of putting on appearances. Thank you for being honest. Just remember that you are not in this alone and gain strength from your brothers and sisters in Christ.
Great post again Chris! I am smiling at not having to work at righteousness, about it not being right all the time, but something that He imputes to us as we love and trust Him. What an awesome God! And righteous too!
God bless you and your family as you live out your faith in Him!
It is interesting that the absence of the pressure to perform actually produces a stronger desire to live right than rules and boundaries.
God is good.
Reasoning. Yes, that is a process I naturally tend to overdo! There is so much evidence all around us for the existence and power of our great God. No doubt, though, the greatest evidence is His power to give me peace amid turmoil and uncertainty, and to trade all of my “filthy rags” for His lovely garment of righteousness. Like you said, God is good. 🙂
Thanks Sheila. His power to transform is amazing!