Recently I read devotion by Dr. Robert Jeffress, who I have referenced a couple of times in the past in my devotions. The devotion really caused me to think about the blessing I have in knowing Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Here is a portion of that particular message and I hope it touches you in a powerful way as it did me.
(A second work that is completely of God is justification. Justification is the act by which God declares us not guilty on the basis of our faith in Christ. The moment you trust in Christ as your Savior, God sees you as completely sinless based on what Christ has done for you. Romans 5:1 says, “Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Let me illustrate it for you. Let’s say I take my wife to an exclusive restaurant. When we arrive, we see a little plaque on the maître d’s stand: Jackets Required. I say, “I did not realize I needed to have a jacket.” The maître d’ says, “I am sorry–you cannot come in unless you have a jacket. But we have made a provision: we keep a jacket for people who come in with the wrong clothes. If you would like, you can borrow it and enter the restaurant.” Out of pride, I can say, “I don’t want your jacket. If you do not want me the way I am, you can do without my business.” Or I can humble myself and accept the jacket so my wife and I can enjoy a delicious meal.
It is the same way in our relationship with God. None of us has the right spiritual clothes to get into heaven. Isaiah 64:6 says our good works are like filthy rags in God’s sight. But God has made a provision for us: He will wrap us in the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ, and we are welcome to enter heaven and enjoy a relationship with Him forever. You and I cannot do anything to be justified; it is something God does for us.)
Our salvation comes only because of the free and loving gift we receive in Jesus, who gave His life, so we would be reconciled to the Father and would be at peace with Him. We get absolutely no credit for this blessing, it is all God who gets the credit. Thanks be to God for His grace, mercy, and love that comes to us in Christ our crucified and risen Redeemer, by whom we receive a not guilty verdict. Pastor McCarty