Faith Is Accounted For Righteousness

“But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,” – Rom. 4:5

The person who’s faith is accounted for righteousness is the person who does not lean on his or her own works, but rather, who relies solely on God.

God is the one who justifies the sinner, not the sinner’s actions or accomplishments.

It’s not based on us, but Him.

Of Him

For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in theLord.” – 1 Cor. 1:26-31

But of Him: Jesus is wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.

Jesus alone gets the glory.

Righteousness & Peace Have Kissed

SONY DSC

“Mercy (hesed) & truth have met together; Righteousness & peace have kissed.” – Psa. 85:10

Where did they meet? In Christ Jesus.

These four virtues, once lost with Adam, are now found in Jesus. All the attributes of God rest perfectly in Him. They lovingly kiss.

When did they kiss? When He poured out His life on Calvary.

We are all guilty. The Law requires justice (TRUTH/RIGHTEOUSNESS). But the Judge wants us to be free (MERCY/PEACE). So He punishes sin (in the person of His Son) and releases the sinner. It is the only way God can judge us and save us at the same time. It is the only way God can be both Just & the Justifier (Rom. 3:26).

Why? Because He loves you so.

“This is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us & sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” – 1 John 4:10

Sound too good to be true, but it gets even better: it’s a free gift. All you have to do is accept it in FAITH Rom. 10:9). You can’t earn it. If you could, it would become “payment for services rendered” (Rom. 4:4).  It is HILARIOUSLY WRONG to think we have anything to do with our own salvation. God could never, ever (ever ever ever) be “in debted” to Man (Rom. 11:35).

Its called Good News for a reason!

I can’t believe in a God that would condone genocide

cake

I can’t believe in a God that would allow all the atrocities going on in the world! This is a common objection to the faith that I hear a lot. Ironically this objection goes hand in hand with another common objection: I can’t believe in a God that would condone genocide by wiping out entire civilizations in the Old Testament!

This is having their cake and eating it too.

On that second one: I wonder if modern objectors know WHO it is they are defending? They are pleading the case of the Canaanites; murderous savages who sacrificed their own children to the brass god Moloch (Jer. 32:35, Deut. 12:31). Ancient historian Plutarch (and Rashi also) gives us the horrific detail that the high priest had a drum he would play during sacrifices so parents wouldn’t have to hear the screams of their own children being melted. Make no mistake: these were vile, evil people.

The genocide condoned in the Old Testament was not God being a hot-tempered capricious maniac. It wasn’t like on one random Tuesday God picked out a calm innocent farming village and slaughtered them for no reason whatsoever. It was His judgment for their wickedness.

So, here we have God stepping in and stopping an atrocity in the world – which satisfies objector #1, but triggers objector #2. However, if God doesn’t step in to stop a wicked civilization and thereby allows it to continue – appeases objector #2, but triggers objector #1.

This circular puzzle is really not the problem.

These objectors are basically saying that THEY are more just & compassionate than God. If they had the reigns, things would be so much better. That’s quite a bit of confidence. Also, it places them above God. I seem to remember an angel that wanted to do the same thing.

God is God and we are not. Whatever God does or doesn’t do is perfectly and absolutely just. We put our complete trust in Him. The closer one gets to Him, the smaller these objections become.

The Nerve

Jeremiah 3:4,6
Jeremiah 3:4,6

Just the other day, I came home from work and discovered that my dog, Annie, decided she would turn her nice bed into tiny little pieces and then spread it all over the room. She also thought it would be fun to chew up a laundry basket and then shred some paper while she was at it. Hey, once you start, why not go all in.

Needless to say, this was not the homecoming I was looking forward to.

I had gone out of my way, to make a nice, comfortable space for Annie. She had the entire garage actually. It was equipped with a super-nice dog bed, multiple chew-toys, and treats. In her mind, however, the chew-toys and treats did not look as appetizing as her bed, a laundry basket, and a bunch of paper. I can only surmise that in her mind, I had left her alone, abandoned her without revisions, and couldn’t care less how she was doing.

Here’s the kicker: just moments later, she was begging for some pizza that I was eating. I looked at her and actually said out loud, “You’ve got to be kidding me. After how bad you’ve been today, you expect a treat from me? Are you out of your dog-mind?!” (What? You talk to your dog like a human too, right?)

Lately I’ve been studying Jeremiah. This situation made me think of Jeremiah 3:4 & 5. This is Jeremiah speaking for God to the Israelites: “Have you not just called to me: ‘My Father, my friend from my youth, will you always be angry? Will your wrath continue forever?’ This is how you talk, but you do all the evil you can.”

Are we constantly complaining to God? Why did this happen? Why did that happen? Yet, we do all the mischief that we can. We try to get away with as much as we can! Then we have the nerve to ask God for His favor. God has got to be saying, “You’re kidding, right? Look at the mess you’re making! Can you not just love Me and follow My Son’s example? I have not abandoned you. The rules I gave you are for your benefit. They are meant to free you, not to enslave you. Don’t you realize that I love you? Don’t you realize that I am coming back soon!”

Truth be told, I did share my pizza with Annie.

Even after she went against my commands. Even after she did whatever she wanted. Even after she created a big mess. I couldn’t resist her.

I love her, even when she’s very bad… which is a lot.

May God’s Love be with you