Most of the time people like to evaluate others or themselves on the basis of their moral standards. However, the shortcoming of this approach is we are the one’s being judge and jury of ourselves. People say, “I’m a good person” and I would give a small amount of credibility to this statement for most people, I have met a lot of decent and very nice people, but this seems to suggest also that they believe there is a moral standard as well. Since most people do have some general sense of certain things being right and wrong they must ask as well “Ok, I have the feeling and sense that this is right and this is wrong. Now who set that standard ultimately?” Because if they individually set it, then the problem is that other people’s standards of good and evil will vary, sometimes greatly even, depending on the person. If though God sets a moral standard then why do we evaluate ourselves by ourselves or worse yet others? What if your boss called you in and told you to correct certain work related issues pertaining to production, performance, or behavior? Would you say to him, “well sir, thank you for the advice, but I feel like I’m doing a great job and I do my best, I believe sincerely enough you will see my sincerely and just overlook my shortcomings.” Likely the boss would say, “You don’t understand, I don’t see it that way. I’m the one making the evaluation and your not making the cut right now. Either comply or I will fire you” The truth is God has a standard and he will not grade on the curve or adapt His ways or evaluations on us no matter how sincere you are or how well you think your doing. He has two options for us as human beings: Plan A.) Keep the Law perfectly without sinning once. Plan B.) Allow Jesus Christ to credit his perfect track record to our failed one, and then surrender our lives to him and follow him.–Not perfectly, but faithfully. The only difference between the forgiven and the lost is that the lost are still trying to set their standards and make it into Heaven the way they think they should. The saved however will fail but are forgiven and keep trying to walk in obedience. Obedience is different than “good deeds” in the since that some think they can build a tower of good works to get into heaven, so it is purely a performance mindset that says, if I’m good enough God will love me and overlook my sin. Obedience, however, is in a way a good work but the Bible refers to it in better terms “fruit”. Fruit is a natural byproduct and not the result of trying harder or trying to be better.
Righteousness Through Faith
Romans 3:21-31 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished– 26 he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. 27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith. 28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law. 29 Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, 30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.