The stain of sin has given birth to every major religion in the history of the world. The deep yearning to be accepted by God is a core desire shared by
every person born on this earth. In countless ways, people have worked to feel that they are in some way worthy to be blessed by God or at least that
they are able to fall on His mercy in their unworthiness.
But God took it upon Himself to deal with the problem sin created. Knowing that people would never be able to solve the sin problem themselves, He provided
a foolproof plan that would bring anyone who received His provision by faith into a new life of complete liberty.
This divine plan for our total freedom was one of the biggest issues the Apostle Paul dealt with in his letters to the early churches. In the book of Romans,
he devotes more to this subject than to any other. Romans 1:16-17 reveals the foundation for what will follow in Paul’s letter to the Romans:
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.'”
“The just shall live by faith.” This statement from Habakkuk is repeated in Galatians and again in Hebrews.
The Contemporary English Bible translates verse 17 this way:
“The good news tells how God accepts everyone who has faith, but only those who have faith. It is just as the Scriptures say, ‘The people God accepts because
of their faith will live.'”
When we are justified and accepted by God, we are free to live by faith in God and His Word. So why is it that people continue to live distant from God
and with a nagging sense of condemnation? Why are so many true Christians still struggling to grow in faith?
When people are more in tune to their own failures than they are to God’s love for them, they focus on the wrong thing. They don’t realize that the finished
work of Jesus has completely delivered them from all that sin has done to keep them distant from Him.
The good news of Jesus reveals God’s plan to bring everyone into a position of right-standing with Him: accepted, clean, and forgiven. Through Jesus’ death
and resurrection, the Father revealed that sin’s power to rule over people has been destroyed.
Did Jesus deserve the consequences of sin? No, He did not. Yet He took sin upon Himself and was made sin in order that we could be made His righteousness.
Do we deserve His righteousness? No, we did nothing to deserve it. Just as Jesus received what He did not deserve, we now receive what we do not deserve. His love has made it freely available. We are now made His righteousness; blameless and pure by faith in Him.
God’s system is based on faith, not on works or personal effort. God is the first to give, first to bless, first to forgive, and first to love. All of
these benefits come to us for no other reason but that we turn to Him and believe.