Friday, August 29, 2008

Righteousness by Faith

What happens while you await sanctification? Yes, sanctification is a life-long process. Perhaps I'm fusing both justification and sanctification into one big term: righteousness by faith. Do you do right things even when you don't want to? If you do them is it righteousness by works or is it buying time till these right things happen naturally? If you don't do the sanctified act or thought, are you suddenly unsaved? If you really are experiencing bona fide righteousness by faith, are you even conscious of it? If you focus too much on yourself and what you are or are not doing, is your focus on the wrong person? If you focus on Jesus as much as you can, do you also need to monitor your actions? If you are monitoring your actions and they are either missing the mark or are hitting the mark more and more, how do you know that it's the genuine article and not wishful thinking?

Righteousness by faith is a gift of God. You can try to find it by engaging in various activities or spiritual exercises. They are not a guarantee that you will receive the gift of justification by faith, but it's better than not doing anything at all. One can engage in bible reading & payer. One can focus on the person of Jesus and visualize him on the cross and in the different stages of his life. One can attend religious services in a Christian church that one finds helpful. One can surrender one's will (power to choose) to Christ and ask him to grant you the gift of surrender. One can do all these things and yet not be guaranteed the gift of righteousness by faith.

Perhaps salvation itself arrives mysteriously. When you are living your life or trying to live it, this elusive gift may arrive much to your surprise.

Some folks can say "I accept Christ. I want his gift of eternal life. I repent of my sins. I want something more than this world can give me." They may be sincere and perhaps that is all they need to "come to Christ." However, others may have other experiences or other baggage that gets in the way and these wonderful phrases are simply that--phrases.

In the final analysis, one can only come to Jesus time after time and tell him that if he wants to save you, he has to "take your heart because you are unable to give it to him of your own accord."

No comments: