On what basis did a righteous God find a way to reconcile an unrighteous man to himself?
How can you who have never done anything good claim to be righteous with God?
Is it possible that God will look beyond your wrongs and consider you as one of His own?
Over the ages, men and women have sought ways to reconcile with God.
Many have continued to devise means by which they could be righteous with God.
Some have resulted to doing what is good with the intention that their good deeds will outweigh all the wrongs they have done.
Is it possible that good deeds could make you righteous with God?
The answer is no. Because as you continue in your so called good works there is always something lacking.
There is none righteous. No not one.
We will not spend time discussing your good or bad today. But this post will help you understand how you can be righteous with God without efforts.
A question was asked in the book of Job…
How then can a man be righteous before God? Job 25:4
The following happens when you don’t know how to go about being righteous with God.
You try to do your best by ensuring your good deeds outweighs your bad.
You indulge in arms giving and helping others
As noble as these sounds it does not make you righteous with God.
Right standing with God is not about how good or bad you perform.
There was a time when it all depended on your performance. But now it is no longer dependent on your performance. But before we get to that in detail lets go back and see how it was in the beginning.
In Adam all died.
When God created Adam there was no distance between them.
Adam communed with God. There was fellowship between God and Adam. And everything was perfect.
Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! Genesis 1:31 KJV
Notice that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was part of the everything that was good.
But although the tree was good it is was not good for man.
That tree today is the knowledge of the law. Although it is good, it is not meant for you to know or keep. We will speak more on the law as we go on.
It was unfortunate that Adam was the target of Satan.
And this happened because Lucifer fell. Since Lucifer fell and couldn’t fight God, he devised a way to fight the image of God.
Adam was in the middle of the battle that began in heaven.
And there was only one thing the enemy could tempt man with. It was the knowledge of good and evil.
This resulted in the fall that caused a separation between God and man.
At this point, God couldn’t relate with Adam the way he had planned. And because creation started from him, you found yourself in the fallen state.
For as in Adam all die, 1 Corinthians 15:22.
There was no longer a way for a man to stand in the presence of God as at the beginning.
Righteousness in the old covenant.
Under the old covenant, your right standing with God is dependent on what you do.
The covenant was all about what you must do.
The fall in the garden resulted in man devising a way by which they would meet the requirements of God.
But all efforts failed. All endeavors by God to reconcile man to himself and show them how good He is was futile.
But to Israel, he says: “All day long I have stretched out My hands
To a disobedient and contrary people. Romans 10:21
It seemed a lost cause until God found Abraham the heathen patriarch. He became the heir of the promise through righteousness by faith.
Abraham heard the Gospel and believed God.
And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand,… Galatians 3:8 NKJV
Yes, the gospel was first preached in the book of Genesis to Abraham.
And because he believed God, Abraham became righteous.
“Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Romans 4:3
But the sad part was that his descendants did not believe what their father believed in the beginning.
They wanted to perform before God will bless them.
On several occasions, they saw miracles upon miracles.
It seemed at that time that the more miracles they saw the harder it was for them to believe God is good.
Hence the law.
Since they didn’t want the best of God without efforts…
God gave them another option to earn blessings based on their performance.
The people started devising means to have a right standing with God.
Yet all their efforts were futile because God will not share His glory with any man.
They continued to fail. But the promise but Abraham already had the promise.
His seed, Christ Jesus, will be the only means to be righteous with God.
And all through the writings of Moses, the prophets and the psalms, the sacrifice of Christ was hiding in shadows and types.
The purpose of the law.
Why, then, the Law [what was its purpose]? It was added [after the promise to Abraham, to reveal to people their guilt] because of transgressions [that is, to make people conscious of the sinfulness of sin], and [the Law] was ordained through angels and delivered to Israel by the hand of a mediator [Moses, the mediator between God and Israel, to be in effect] until the Seed would come to whom the promise had been made. Gal 3:19 Amp
The Law came in because of transgressions.
Also, it is important to know that before the Law came sin was not imputed to anyone.
For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Romans 5:13
Hence before the law, people made mistakes but God did not hold it against them.
This was the same blessing Abraham had. All his mistakes didn’t stand against him in the presence of God.
It didn’t matter what he did, what he believed was more important to God.
The same blessing is available to you through Christ Jesus today.
Like the scenario in the garden, God doesn’t want you to meddle with the Law.
The knowledge of the Law is not good for you.
If you persist in trying to perform by your righteous acts to be righteous with God it will end in frustration.
Abraham was the first man to enjoy the gift of righteousness and all he had to do was believe the gospel.
You have the gift of righteousness and can stand in the presence of God if you believe the same thing Abraham believed.
Abraham believed the Gospel. Do you believe the gospel?
The gospel is, in a nutshell, is – Christ died for your sins. You are forever righteous because He remains alive forever.
Christ is your righteousness.
Now he sits at the Father’s right hand as your high priest.
This is the gospel. His death assures the total forgiveness of sins once and for all and there is nothing that can separate you from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.
The just shall live by faith
So far we have established that it is not possible for you to be righteous with God by your performance.
Let’s consider the question in the book of Job again. How shall a man be righteous with God?
The answer is obvious that it is by faith.
This was the crux of Apostle Paul’s message…
“Now it is clear that no one is justified [that is, declared free of the guilt of sin and its penalty, and placed in right standing] before God by the Law, for “The righteous (the just, the upright) shall live by faith.” Galatians 3:11
“I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation [from His wrath and punishment] to everyone who believes [in Christ as Savior], to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to faith [disclosed in a way that awakens more faith]. As it is written and forever remains written, “The just and upright shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17
“But My righteous one [the one justified by faith] shall live by faith [respecting man’s relationship to God and trusting Him]; And if he draws back [shrinking in fear], My soul has no delight in him.” Hebrews 10:38.
It is of faith. You are righteous with God by faith. God made it so and nothing can change it.
The most interesting part of this is that it a gift. Did you hear that? It is a gift. All you have to do is to receive it by believing in Jesus Christ.
Your performance cannot earn you God’s love, approval or His righteousness.
Christ Jesus made it possible and fulfilled the promise that God made to Abraham.
There is only one way to be righteous with God and it is by receiving the gift of righteousness through Christ.
The righteousness of God is available in Christ Jesus.
It’s prevalent in all ages for people to seek the righteousness of God by their efforts.
But down through the ages man has not attained the pristine standard of God.
You have to believe the same gospel Abraham believed.
Abraham believed God and God declared him righteous.
Hence to answer the question “how shall a man be righteous with God”…
You have to believe the same gospel Abraham believed.
God was his righteousness. Christ is your righteousness. If you believe it then you are righteous with God.
It all depends on God. You cannot earn it by your performance and you cannot lose it by your short comings.