For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ.

Romans 3: 23, 24

 

I am not God, and this is the most striking example of this fact. I am sinful. I allow, even encourage at times, my mind to dwell on all manner of things that are clearly not in alignment with God’s will for me or for anyone else. For example, I am fearful or concerned; so, I contemplate all of the worst possible outcomes. I encounter disagreement or difference of opinion, and I assert my will over others in a way that damages our relationship. There are more ways in which my disregard for God and abandonment of the truth of His Word are expressed in my sinful ways; I will just stop the listing here.

 

My righteousness is nothing. It is flawed, failed, and bankrupt. There is nothing holy about this person, and there is no hope, within myself, of ever reaching that place of god-like purity. So, love, peace, mercy, and grace are foreign to me. However, that is not the state of existence that God desires for His people. God pursues us and He is a relentless suitor. God presents His truth to us in ways that can speak to anyone who is willing to listen. God has come to live with us, and Jesus gifted all of us with the image of who God is, with a permanent solution to our sin caused separation from God, and with a judge who finds His own people innocent.

 

With Christ all is changed. In Christ, I do not need to find my own resources in order to live in a manner that is god-like in its perfection; for He is now my righteousness. This does not mean that I can think and do as I might please. In fact, the Spirit of Christ who dwells within me makes that sort of thing very difficult and painful. He continually points me toward the peace that comes from following God’s will in all of the details of life. Although the damage that my past has caused, that my sinful disobedience to God creates, and that living in this world brings about is very real; I can have unending hope. For Christ has redeemed me from it all. He is my salvation, and because of Him and as a result of His infinite grace I now live in the reality of God’s glory.