A common cry of the typical heart is “How do I really believe and trust that I am approved of?” There have been so many actions and reactions that shape our lens of inadequacy that the possibility of approval seems distant, at best. The “reality” of grace seems limited as applied to our situation. “Yeah, but, you don’t know my story . . .”
We can’t convince ourselves of the abundance of grace in any kind of mental exercise. Left to our own devices, we will certainly default back to the blurred vision of our distorted lens. We have to get a new lens. We have to get a new us.
Same reference as I used Wednesday; Romans 5:17 – “For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.”
The “free gift of righteousness” is a free gift of a new us. Righteousness isn’t a position, it’s an identity. It isn’t temporal, it’s Eternal. It’s the new us.
Righteous means acceptable to God. Not a place we can get of our own effort. That’s why the passage quoted specifies that the place with God we all desire and require is through Jesus Christ. He paid the price that we can be acceptable.
It’s free and it’s finished. Jesus doesn’t have to give us our righteousness over and over again, each time we mess up. He did it once and it’s sufficient. Once we receive the gift, we’re different . . . our identity has changed as far as He’s concerned. We’re in right standing. We’re righteous.
So when we mess up and start focusing on the thing we did, we are calling Him a liar. We are agreeing with the accusations of the Accuser who uses the law in an attempt to demand death. We only survive the accusation by agreeing with the Life afforded us by the Redeemer.
Righteousness has to take its place as a permanent reality in our vision of ourselves. We have to receive the Truth of the sufficiency of His sacrifice if we are to have any hope of stepping off of the treadmill of performance. Grace comes through our identity. Our identity dictates that our position is in right standing with God; we are sons. Sons don’t beg, they receive.