Essentials – Four

I can hardly believe that I have already written four of these devotions for you all, I hope and pray they have been beneficial.

If you like them, as always, share them, tweet them, “share” them on Facebook, join the email list, and any other thing you can think to do with them. I write them for myself, yes, because I enjoy them, but I also do them because I believe they can have a positive effect on your prayer and Bible Study. I hope they have been helpful to you.

Today’s text comes again from Romans.

If you have never read Romans, do so starting Monday – therein lies the necessary, rich, incredible teaching of Christian doctrine that is vital to the growth of a Christian. Paul explains grace, love, justice, wrath, mercy, justification, and almost every other Christian doctrine in his letter to the Roman church. Take the time to read it, and I promise you will take on a new, fuller view of God.

Turn in your copy of God’s word to Romans 3:23.

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

I want to zero in on two things in this passage: God’s glory is the expected standard, we have no hope in ourselves to achieve it.

All throughout the Old Testament (and if you read Romans this week, you will see in Romans), God calls His chosen elect to a certain standard. When He gave the law to Moses, God ordained certain standards to be known of His people. They could only wear certain fabrics, their sexuality was restricted (that still is the case, for good reason), and God gave them a plethora of other commands to obey. Needless to say, they repeatedly and often disobeyed and were put under discipline, and that too had provisions in the law.

God gave us a high, but nigh impossible, standard to follow. Why? Does He hate us? No, of course not. God knows what is best for His people and He wants what is best for His children, His elect, Christians, and when we follow those things, we receive His blessing, namely, holiness. We are to be holy as He is holy.

God makes us righteous not because of anything we did or could do, but because of God and His might. He commands us to be holy as He is holy. When we give our lives to Christ, God Himself imputes, gives us, His righteousness, and He makes it our very own. There is also another type of holiness and righteousness to which we are to ascribe, and that is righteousness we control – that holiness of staying away from sin.

However, we are not able to attain that kind of righteousness because it is impossible for us in our fleshly state, only Jesus lived, or could live, a sinless life.

In and of our own strength, we cannot have a hope to live righteously or in holiness.

However, there is one who came to set men free and make dead people live – Jesus.

He came to live a perfect, sinless life to pay the debt in our place, to be the sacrifice our sin required. He was the only one who could do that. We cannot hope to save ourselves, and we cannot hope to salvage our holiness alone, we need the spotless lamb who was slain, the one who bore our debt on Calvary to make us right with the Father.

Jesus wants to help us meet that standard we are called to meet, and He is the only one who can fulfill it in us by the renewing of our minds in Scripture and prayer. He is the only one, through the Holy Spirit, that can do that.

Submit to Him and, though you are hopeless of your own strength, let Jesus meet the standard for you, and then live giving Him your affections, devotion, thoughts, words, and actions.

 

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