A New Standing
“And they said to him, “The disciples of John fast often and offer prayers, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours eat and drink.” (Luke 5:33)
When the Pharisees challenged Jesus about His disciples apparent lack of spiritual performance, they revealed a fundamental misunderstanding;
They believed that their standing with God was earned by religious activity.
If they fasted and prayed a lot, surely God would see their pious performance, and God would approve of them, granting them right standing with Him.
Sadly, many Christians still live this way. They believe their standing with God depends on being in church every time the doors are open, praying and reading their bibles every day, and never doing any of the “bad stuff” that the pastor preaches against.
Don’t get me wrong, these are all commendable practices for the Christian.
We should be doing these things… but these activities do not earn us right standing with God.
FACT: You cannot earn right standing with God through following rituals, rules, or regulations.
See – When you came to Christ, you were not only forgiven, but the righteousness of Jesus Christ, right standing with God, was given to you that very instant!
2 Corinthians tells us:
For our sake He (God the Father) made Him (Christ the Son) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him (Christ) we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Cor 5:21)
In other words, we didn’t earn our standing with God by our good behavior; it was a FREE GIFT – the “much more” grace of God:
For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:17)
And it is by His much more grace that we are now empowered to live righteously, “reign in life” as Paul put it, through our relationship in Jesus Christ.
We can change the world, one life at a time…