The search for God begins at conversion. Until people are converted, they are not seeking after God. In fact, the normal image that we find in the Scriptures about our natural fallen state is not that we are searching every nook and cranny of the universe to find some clue to the existence of God. Rather, we are fugitives. We are fleeing from God, just as Adam and Eve fled from the presence of God in paradise (Genesis 3:8). Because of their sin, they hid. They tried to evade the presence of God. And now, while mankind certainly desires God’s benefits—peace, security, forgiveness—we don’t desire God Himself.
So I ask: Do you love the biblical Christ? Or is the Christ you love merely a cultural Christ? A Christ who never exercises judgment? A Christ who doesn’t call you to commit your life to Him? A Christ who doesn’t call you to repent of your sins? Maybe your view is of a Jesus who is gentle, meek, and mild. He exists to solve all your problems, to answer all your requests, and to provide health and wealth.
What we are called to do is come to the real Christ. Jesus is a real, historical person with a real mission, and He performed a real act of redemption. And it is Jesus—His person and His work—that must be the object of our saving faith.
In today’s reading of Romans, Paul excludes one of the grounds of assurance; namely, resting your case on doing the works of the law: “now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law” (Romans 3:21). Paul lets you know that you can never live a life that’s good enough to satisfy the demands of a righteous, just, and holy God.
The good news Paul is proclaiming here is that there is a righteousness that is revealed that God makes available to us by faith. It comes from God. He is the giver of it, but it is not His own inherent, internal righteousness. It’s the righteousness of Christ that God gives to those who put their trust in Him. God credits it to their account. The only righteousness by which we can ever satisfy God’s demands is not our own righteousness but the righteousness of Christ that has been revealed.
How do you see the biblical Christ working in your life?