I want to share an excerpt from today’s “My Utmost For His Highest” by Oswald Chambers:
I am not saved by believing— I simply realize I am saved by believing. And it is not repentance that saves me— repentance is only the sign that I realize what God has done through Christ Jesus. The danger here is putting the emphasis on the effect, instead of on the cause. Is it my obedience, consecration, and dedication that make me right with God? It is never that! I am made right with God because, prior to all of that, Christ died. When I turn to God and by belief accept what God reveals, the miraculous atonement by the Cross of Christ instantly places me into a right relationship with God. And as a result of the supernatural miracle of God’s grace I stand justified, not because I am sorry for my sin, or because I have repented, but because of what Jesus has done.
I chose to share this because I don’t know how many times I’ve heard Christians say that people need to “get right with God”. In their judgmental opinion the person needs to, in their words, “repent of their sins”. I’ve even had Christians, who were total strangers, say this to me when they’ve heard about my own situation.
The truth is I’ve never really liked the statement “get right with God”. When a person says it they are presupposing that they somehow know how a person’s relationship with God stands. They base their judgment on what they see in the person’s life that they don’t agree with or understand, usually assuming that they themselves are “right”. Yet just about every Christian could find some area of their lives where they need to “get right” themselves.
Personally I like what Chambers says when he writes: “I stand justified, not because I am sorry for my sin, or because I have repented, but because of what Jesus has done.” Many times I’ve seen people fake repentance or guilt in order to fit in with other Christians. Likewise, I know many Christians like myself who profess their faith in God who are, despite their own demons and issues, are trying hard to live according to God’s will. They go to church, read the Bible, pray, do devotions, attend Bible study, listen to Christian music, share their faith or any number of things that “good Christians do” trying to grow in their faith. However, I also know Christians who do these things same things simply because they are expected of them when in fact all they’re doing is going through the motions.
Romans 5:10 says “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.” Regardless of what others say about me and my situation, no matter what their opinion or judgment of me is, I know that through my faith in Christ I am justified. It requires no penance on my part other than my profession of faith, and it costs me nothing. The cost for me was paid long ago.