“Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness
We need to stop trying to be good. Oh sure, to be a Christian means to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit and to live a holy life, but we need to be sure we don’t count on our personal goodness to give us a better standing before God. The way we act is just the natural outflow of who we already are in Christ… we just do it. Just like Abraham, our spiritual forefather, it was not because of his hard work that God accepted him, it was because he trusted in God’s promises. Trust God, believe in him, and you’ll be counted good (or righteous). Look for the reward God can give, not the reward for being a “do-gooder” 🙂
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Why did God send Jesus to die on the cross? Is it because He loves you? Well, sure, He does love you… we all know John 3:16. Did Jesus come because He loves the Father? Absolutely, that’s true as well… but there’s another aspect to the death of Jesus, God had to send Him to die because of who He is. See, all those people who lived before Jesus walked the earth, people in the Old Testament times, were not destroyed and punished for their sins… why not? Well, because God promised He would take care of it… so He had to. God is righteous, and so to prove His righteousness, He put forward Jesus as His solution to sin (even the sin of those Old Testament people). Jesus satisfies the requirements God made for Himself. This means God can still be JUST (punish sin) and JUSTIFIER (the one who saves us) at the same time. God is amazing… trust Him today!
do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.
“I don’t need to exercise today” “I can eat this junk food” “this cigarette won’t kill me…” and on and on and on. Just because something doesn’t have an immediately recognizable effect, doesn’t mean it does not add to the cumulative effect of our lives. “hey, why do I need to follow Jesus, my life is pretty good…” “I’m a Christian, I’m already going to heaven, why do I need to go to church?” Be careful, it is very easy to “presume on the riches of his kindness.” No, God has not sent a lightening bolt to punish the unrighteous… but that doesn’t mean he won’t. In fact, one day he is going to return, will we have repentant hearts that honor Jesus, or will all those years and years of ignoring God’s call to live a holy life reveal a big pile of “wrath” that we have been “storing up” for ourselves? Me personally, I’d rather have Jesus take that away. Jesus took the wrath we deserve on the cross, be sure you’re following Him, otherwise, it might just land on you.
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes
The good news of Jesus’ birth, life, death, resurrection, and assertion for our sins according to God’s word and His plan is powerful! That is what saves us, the truth of what God has done for us. All we need do is believe it, and we will be saved. Now, this belief is not simple intellectual assent or some kind of head-knowledge that we might want to call “belief,” it is much more. It is knowing it’s true to the extent that the belief changes your life, it makes you different. The gospel is the power of God for everyone who believes. That’s why, no matter what else we choose to do, we must always tell people about Jesus… He’s our only hope.
19 Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves to you? It is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ, and all for your upbuilding, beloved.
We don’t have to defend ourselves. The point of trying to show someone the truth is not to try and justify our choice to follow Jesus, it is in the hopes that they too will be saved. Sometimes I hear people arguing and it seems more like they are trying to convince themselves their position is true, that’s not a good reason to start a Facebook battle 😉 Look, God’s Word is absolutely true and there’re no mistakes in it. We don’t have to defend the Bible, as Spurgeon once said: “I’d sooner defend a lion.” I don’t have to try and convince people of my choice to follow Jesus, I honestly don’t care what people think about me, I just want people to come to know Him. That’s our motivation, seeking to create more worshippers of God by fulfilling our commission in the world… not our ego.