Sunday, May 6, 2012
How Good People Lie
No one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the law--rather through the law we become conscious of sin...Righteousness from God comes through faith...--Romans 3:20-22
Over and over, God's Word tells us that only faith justifies, only faith saves. But that is not enough for us. We want to DO something. And doing good is healthy and pleasing to God...until the doing takes on more importance than the believing.
The tipping point comes when we equate doing good with being good, when we believe that our ability to follow the rules makes us right in God's eyes. This is where the Pharisees went wrong, and so do we.
The Jews had their law, but we have ours, too. Every time we say or hear "But he's a good person!" to justify salvation, we witness a lie. No one who tries to follow good behavior into God's lap of forgiveness will reach his goal. Neither Pharisaical law nor a pretty, shined up life lead to heaven.
God does not change. He does not flinch. He saved by faith then, and saves by faith now. Moses and Abraham believed, and were made righteous. We believe, and He does the same for us.
And because believing includes recognizing God's supremacy and perfection, faith leads to repentance, and all the pieces come together. The very last--the last--is the doing.
We can't change a faithless, but proper, life into a saved one any more than a broken vase can be made into a perfectly new one. We can only present our broken pieces to the Lord of all by faith, and let Him do what we cannot.