Righteousness by Faith Alone
Open Your Bible
Romans 10:1-21, Joel 2:32, Galatians 3:7-14
If asked, “Does righteousness come through faith alone in Jesus?” I would have responded, “Absolutely!” But I didn’t live like this was true. For many Christians, we still live by the law when it comes to our righteousness. We want to have a good standing with God so we make sure we serve at the soup kitchen, join two Bible studies, and never raise our voice at our children. We tally up our good deeds and our ability to interpret Scripture insightfully so that people will be impressed with how righteous we are.
In seminary, a mentor revealed to me the dangers of my pursuit for righteousness on my own. She said I was not free in Jesus because I was a slave to doing all the right things to control my own right-standing with God—she wasn’t wrong. Since then, I have heard many accounts from faithful Christians who feel that God is angry with them if they don’t read their Bible every day. Or they wonder if they are wrong for not following or agreeing with the unspoken laws of their church community.
Even though I had walked with Jesus for a decade, I had not realized the chains of the law that were strangling the true freedom I could experience by trusting that my confession of faith in Jesus was truly enough. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13), and we receive the blessing of faith through Jesus to receive salvation and in addition, righteousness.
At the age of 23, I had a faith awakening. Yes, I had faith in Jesus all those years before. But now, I was experiencing the true freedom of righteousness that rested on Jesus becoming the curse of the law for me. It became a mission to let my troubled brothers and sisters in Christ know.
This is the message of faith that we proclaim: If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation.”
Now we no longer have to be put to shame by the law. I am free from the human standard for being a “good Christian.” And you are free from whatever binds you to performing the right services to be accepted and loved by God. You are right with God through Jesus.