Take time to read Romans 4 again and meditate upon it today. We are continuing our focus on the religion of perfectionism. In other words, a religion of perfectionism is having a religion that is dependent upon me being flawless and sinless.
God is holy and just. He demands obedience. The Bible is plain on that. I think many of us know that very well. But that is not the whole picture of the Bible. The God of the Bible, Old Testament and New Testament, is also a God of grace, mercy and lovingkindness. Here are some passages to help us remember other aspects of God’s nature and how it is connected to our salvation, joy and peace.
It is His goodness/kindness that should also lead us to repentance.
Or 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?
It is His grace that teaches us to live godly lives and do good works for God.
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
It is the blood of Jesus Christ that cleanses you from all sin today, not the list of good deeds you were able to check off today. It is the blood of Jesus that brings you near to God, not your ability to do it all by the book.
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
(1 John 1:7)
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
It is Jesus’ righteousness, not yours, that will save you.
Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.
…and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith (Philippians 3:9)
It is the peace of Jesus Christ freely given to you at the cross. In Jesus is the peace, not in your perfect law-keeping.
for He himself is our peace… (Ephesians 2:14)
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
More to come tomorrow, Lord willing.