Have you ever considered the type of person that God justifies, that is, declares righteous? The scripture tells us that it is the UNGODLY. "But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who JUSTIFIES THE UNGODLY, his faith is reckoned as righteousness" (Rom. 4:5; NASV).
The context surrounding this passage speaks of the man, Abraham. Abraham did many ungodly things - such as giving his wife to another man, lying, etc. (see Genesis 20). But never did Abraham have to worry about where he stood before God. You see, although God may have approved or disapproved of the things that Abraham did, Abraham's acceptance before God was not based upon his performance, but rather upon his faith and trust in God. Even though Abraham was a sinner, as all of us are, when Abraham put his trust in God, God put something to his account that he did not have before, and that was righteousness.
You see, ABRAHAM WAS CREDITED AS RIGHTEOUS EVEN AT A MOMENT WHEN HE WAS UNGODLY. Justification is not the act of making righteous, but rather, declaring righteous a BELIEVER even though he is in a sinning state (1 Jn. 1:8).
Romans 4 further states, "The words 'he (Abraham) was accepted as righteous' were not written for him alone. They were written also for us who are to be accepted as righteous, who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from death. He was given over to die because of our sins, and was raised to life to put us right with God" (Rom. 4:23-25; TEV).
Do you see?! God is willing, because of Jesus' death upon the cross, to declare you forgiven, in right standing and righteous in His sight. God does this because He wants to and can legally do so because of Jesus' death for our sins.
Would you turn to Jesus today and simply reach out for His gift of righteous? Although a gift is not a gift if you have to pay for it. It is also true that A GIFT MUST BE RECEIVED in order to be yours. The Bible states that "those who receive the overflow of God's gracious love and the GIFT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS will rule...in life...through Jesus Christ!" (Rom. 5:17; The Simple English Bible).
I will state it once more. Justification is not the act of being made righteous by the things that you do, but rather, it is being declared righteous because Jesus' blood was shed for you. This gift of righteousness is yours (to those who receive it by faith) and gives you a right standing before God, even though in our daily lives we still make mistakes and sin (1 Jn. 1:8).
Can you see it? Jesus wants to be your personal Saviour and Lord. Have you ever considered what a saviour really is? If you were drowning in the ocean and I tossed you a book on "How to Swim," would I be your personal saviour? Of course not! If I got out of a boat and showed you how to swim, would I be your personal saviour? No, I would only be your example. You see, a saviour is someone who rescues you and takes you safely all the way to the shore. To trust Jesus as your personal Saviour means that you must trust Him to take you safely all the way to heaven or you have not trusted Him as your Saviour.
If you have never turned to Christ for the free gift of righteousness, do it now! Accept Jesus as your personal Saviour and follow Him as your Lord.
If you would like to know more, please contact us at WJoKrow@aol.com
Tract No. 28 by Don Krow