Righteousness and Holiness – by Tom Durst
May 10, 2015 3015
Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. – Hebrews 12:14 ESV
It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.—1 Corinthians 1:30 NIV
The first verse above tells us that unless we have holiness we will not see the Lord—a very high standard indeed. The second verse contains the good good news that Christ IS our wisdom, righteousness, holiness and redemption. In Christ we have perfect righteousness and holiness without a defect or flaw.
In our daily life we strive to live out what has been given to us freely. Because we are righteous and holy in Christ we desire to live righteously and in holiness.
However, our performance is never perfect and is NOT the basis of our salvation. We can walk in righteousness and holiness for many years out of gratitude for what has been given to us but we are not more righteous in God’s sight because of it.
Our perfect standing with God is never based upon how well we are doing but on how well Christ has done for us, which is freely credited to us. The Christian message is not DO so that God will accept you at some point when you’ve done it good enough. No, the gospel message is that all is DONE for you through the grace of God in the gift of His Son. Through faith (which is a gift of God) we reach out and accept this wonderful grace so that we can walk in it with freedom and joy.
I love the words of this old hymn:
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
– Edward Mote, 1797-1874
– Tom Durst (Used with permission from the Union With God Devotional Forum)