Enjoy The Righteousness Of Christ.
Our standing as Christians is founded upon the Lord Jesus Christ alone. We say it, we hear it, and nodding affirmatively we agree that it is true. Yet, all too often we fail to grasp the implications of this fact.
All too often our actions and our attitudes, our feelings, our hopes and fears are motivated by something quite different. Instead of looking to Christ we look to ourselves. We imagine that if we could better overcome temptation we would be happier, if we could subdue our sin we would find more peace. We suspect that our interest in God’s love is hindered by our lack of faith and wonder if our conviction for sin has been deeply enough felt.
So we become pre-occupied with ourselves and measuring the successes and failures of what we do as Christians, instead of being pre-occupied with Christ, the foundation that never fails. We build our hope upon our reputations, until our reputations take a dive. We draw comfort from our Christian service then stumble upon the suspicion that much of it is self-promoting. We are encouraged by numbers and size until we glimpse how fickle are the little kingdoms we have built.
It is Christ that justifies, it is Jesus who makes peace in our soul. Our happiness and our assurance will never be complete if we base it upon anything we do in this world. When we look to ourselves to any degree we are looking away from the Lord. Our failures cannot breach our union with Christ any more than our successes can improve it. What I do, what I feel and what I say does not alter the Father’s free grace to me, the Son’s finished work for me, or the Spirit’s providential care of me.
Too many Christians are joyful or depressed in measure to how well or poorly they feel they have performed their Christian duties. Too many preachers use these feelings to badger and manipulate their flock. Christians who are required to scale the bar of sanctified behaviour are always watching the bar. They never lift their eyes from their own works, never enjoy the liberating peace of looking away to Christ.
Christ is the peace-maker of our souls; our happiness in this world, and in the next, depends upon Christ alone. Robert Hawker puts it nicely, "Beloved, if you will fetch your peace from anything in the world but Christ, you will fetch it from where it is not. None but Christ! none but Christ! While your own acts proclaim nothing but war, Christ alone and His blood proclaim nothing but peace."
God grant us freedom to enjoy the righteousness of Christ.
by Peter L Meney