“The righteous will live by faith.” (Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38)
This familiar phrase is a central theme in Scripture. It was birthed as an Old Testament promise. It was provided as a New Testament fulfillment. Jesus came to make the promise a reality in our lives.
If you ask any Christian, “Are your sins forgiven?” They will not hesitate… “Absolutely! Jesus’ death has bought my forgiveness.”
But if you ask any Christian, “Are you righteous?” You will likely get hesitation. Stammering. Maybe even a confused look.
But the same Jesus Who died for our sins to purchase our forgiveness ALSO died to make us righteous. Just as we are forgiven by His sacrifice we are made righteous by that same sacrifice. Forgiveness IS God’s provision through our Savior. But so is righteousness. They are both part of the “package” that He came to offer us. They are both part of His completed work on the cross.
We seldom struggle to have faith to believe for our forgiveness. Be we often struggle to have the faith to believe for our righteousness. We tend to treat them differently. We tend to treat them as separate experiences. Separate works of God.
But the truth is that Jesus came to deal with the totality of our condition by the totality of His provision. His gift of salvation is not just so we can feel less guilty about our sins (by forgiving us) but to make us utterly like Himself. He is holy. Righteous. Pure in Heart. Perfect in love.
And that is what He has provided to us.
Completely. In totality.
He is not holding anything in reserve. He is not diligently working to gradually fix our issues throughout the course of our lives. Through the one work of Jesus (through His death, burial, resurrection and ascension) God has already provided everything needed for us to be just like Him.
Through one sacrifice (by the perfect Savior) He has taken away all that is bad… and provided all that is good. It is His gracious gift to us. Undeserved. Unmerited.
We used to be “dead in our trespasses and sins,” “sons of disobedience,” and “by nature, children (deserving) of wrath,” but through one act of His own rich mercy (through Christ’s work), He made us “alive together with Christ.” (see Ephesians 2:1-5) He made us holy. Blameless. NEW Creations.
That is who we are because of Jesus. That is what He made us (completely) when we believed in Jesus and accepted His work. That is what we have because of Jesus.
It is ours. But we must choose to live in what we are. And in what we have. And we do that by living by faith. Walking it out – each and every moment of every day.
Constantly reminding ourselves (by faith) of who we are and what we have because of the complete and completed work of our Savior!