SUNDAY February 21, 2021
Christ Our Righteousness
For He made Him [Christ] who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
2 Corinthians 5:21
To be made righteous is to be in a blameless, moral state before God. Hence, a person is made acceptable to God through Christ alone. He is our righteousness. Apart from faith in Christ, and apart from His righteousness, God cannot accept any person.
When people become religious, they often feel they have to do acts of contrition. In a Roman Catholic Church, I remember going to confession. The priest had me do acts of contrition by telling me to recite numerous “Hail Marys” or “Our Fathers.” There is a Catholic Cathedral in the center of Mexico City where people literally crawl for miles on their knees until they begin to bleed. These people do so as a penance to Mary––sad.
Now I believe with all my heart, these people are very sincere in what they are doing, but these acts of repentance are done in the wrong way. These people have not been taught, “the just shall live by faith.” Salvation is free!
Salvation does not cost a person anything, but it cost Jesus Christ everything––His life. Jesus took upon Himself every one of our sins when He died on the Cross. In true repentance, a person will confess their filthiness and sin and accept Christ as their Savior. By faith they believe and are made righteous before God––period.
Remember, when the two thieves were dying on crosses next to Jesus, one blasphemed Christ, but the other thief turned to Him and said: “Remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” This thief had faith in Christ. Jesus told Him: “Today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:39-43). Jesus did not say to him, “You have to get down from the cross and be baptized.” His salvation was received by faith. You can receive salvation in the last moments your life. Be sincere in your repentance before God, and you will be saved (Romans 10:13).
The happy sequence culminating in fellowship with God is penitence, pardon, and peace – the first we offer, the second we accept, and the third we inherit.
For more from Raul Ries, please visit SomebodyLovesYou.com!