For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!”
I took part in a discipleship program many years ago. Because it was so long ago, there are a lot of great things I learned that have long since vanished from my mind. However, there’s one thing our leader used to say that has always stuck with me, “Faith is only as good as its object.”
The Gospel is all about righteousness and faith. What’s so amazing about the Gospel though, is that the object of that faith and source of that righteousness has nothing to do with us! This is good news because not a single one of us, especially me, is ever perfectly righteous or has an unwavering faith. Truth be told, I’m terribly unrighteous and my faith often experiences periods of doubt and fear.
The Gospel speaks to the unrighteous and the doubting. It reveals the object of our faith: a God whose righteousness was lived out perfectly in His son, Jesus. Even more, Jesus gave his life as atonement for all of our unrighteousness. When we put our faith in Christ, his righteousness is granted to us. God sees Christ’s righteousness in us.
Are we always completely righteous and never without doubting faith? No, of course not. But when we put our faith in our perfectly righteous God, we realize that, “The righteous will live by faith,” is not a guilt-inducing statement meant to inspire more righteous works. If that is the result, it reveals the object of our faith as our own efforts. Rather, “The righteous will live by faith” is a truth that should allow us to breathe a sigh of relief and lean into a greater trust in the correct object of our faith: our righteous and loving God and the work of His Son.
It is Christ’s righteousness and his work in us that enables us to live by faith. We are able to take faltering steps out of doubt and fear when we keep our eyes fixed on the object of our faith: a gloriously righteous yet perfectly loving God. May this Lenten season be a time of greater focus of our faith on its wonderful object.
The GRC Children’s Ministry is also providing a family Lenten Devotional which is available here.
Note: Each day’s devotional is written by a different member of the GRC family.