Romans 1:17, “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith.'”
I feel that Christianity has been so misunderstood and misconstrued that; there are just so many Christians going around either playing the “GRACE” card or plagued by their own efforts to earn righteousness with God.
“… If there was ever an age similar to our own, then it was the world that Martin Luther was born into… Cheap Grace!” (Dr Timothy George, THD).
Martin Luther (1483 -1546) was one of those who was plagued by his own unrighteousness and the fact that he could never be right in the eyes of a Holy God.
However, there came a day where he read Romans 1 and the Book of Galatians, and what he read not only freed him from his own “Demons” but, “… The doors of Paradise flung open…” He realised that all of his efforts to be holy before a holy God was not just in vain but IMPOSSIBLE!
How many of us are going around plagued by our own guilt and effort to make right with a Holy God who cannot tolerate sin at all? In fact, as the Psalm 5 says, “He hates all sin…”
The good news is that Jesus did it all. He paid the price and atoned for our sins and as the Book of Habakkuk, Romans, Ephesians, Galatians, and may other passages of Scripture tell us; God gives us the righteousness through faith; He justifies us and gives us His Holiness.
The verse in 1 Peter 1:15-16 can be very puzzling and intimidating for the Christian, that is; if we do not understand it in the light of what Jesus Christ accomplished on the cross of Calvary and the propitiation he made in our stead.
“… But as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.'”
There is Good News for us in the Bible. We can be seen as Holy before a very Holy God only if we would yield and accept the atonement and redemption of Jesus Christ; deny ourselves and follow Him!
Isaiah 6, among many other passages of Scripture, gives you and I a very clear image of the Holiness of God. It makes one shudder to see how Holy God really is and that no man can stand before Him in any sort of self-goodness. However, God condescended in the form of Hs incarnate Son, Jesus, and through Jesus; through faith; through grace, and through justification by faith, Jesus gives you and I a gift of Holiness before God so that we may have the signal privilege of communing with God.
Now, we can understand that one can only be Holy as God is Holy only through justification by faith alone.
Image Credit: David Ould.