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Of God

Why is it so important to receive our righteousness from God? In Romans 10, God makes a big deal out of the difference between receiving His righteousness and establishing our own righteousness. Wouldn't it make sense for God to tell us to pursue a life of right standing and good relationship as an act of obedience on our part? The answer according to revelation is a resounding "No!" but why? If God is perfectly good then in order to have a right relationship with God there must be no blemish on my record, and even the pattern of my thoughts must be perfection. On my very best days I would be concerned if my relationship with God depended on that amount of excellence. The truth is, I know that the necessity of that level of goodness is the way it must be. Not only that, I want it to be the truth!

What I mean is, I want God to be the opposite of evil, and so far opposed to evil that He can't even be in the same room with it! Well, metaphorically speaking. Of course, if I think selfishly then I may feel like I should have the ability to do whatever I want and still be "embraced" by God, but if I seriously consider the existence of evil compared to my idea of the hope of eternity... I really want God to be perfect and good. I want Him to be completely victorious at some point and I want a good God who will judge all evil. I want that to be the case even if my own life is 99.99% good because I've seen evil and if there is 0.01% of evil in eternity then that would mess it up.

At the same time I also want a God who is not a bully but will provide a way for me to retain my humanity while giving me the ability to enjoy that eternity of good. Not only that, I want to know Him so that I can trust Him, I want to know Him now so that I can stop worrying about what happens next for me, and I want to know that my hope for that eternity is secure. That is a lot to ask!

This is where the beautiful dream intersects with the bountiful provision of Jesus.

There can only be one way for me to have everything I want and for God to be everything I hope at the same time. I must submit to receive the righteousness of God. My act of submission is a confession that He is good, and I cannot achieve perfection on my own. The act of receiving acknowledges that the Christ event was and is God's provision of hope and security. There must be no other way because He is perfect and good. The result of that transaction is that my salvation has become anchored in something that God has already accomplished. The only work on my end is to submit and receive. If I have to earn it then my security is dependent upon my perfection. If it is gracefully given by God and received through faith then the impact on my immediate life is confidence. License to follow my desires may have given me a sense of freedom for a moment, but liberty in Christ has provided an eternal life of freedom.

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