Today’s reminder is from Justin Perdue, Pastor of Covenant Baptist Church in Asheville, NC.
We need to hear the gospel, the good news, every week because we forget it every week. The righteous are not those who trust in themselves. The righteous are not those who try to please God through their own efforts. The righteous are not those who strive to attain heaven through good works and obedience to the law.
The righteous are those who have actually stopped trying to please God on their own and have turned to Jesus Christ in faith to receive, not achieve, but to receive righteousness in him. Righteousness, by the way, that God gives freely. The foundation of the Christian life is not what we have done for God, but it’s what he in Christ has done for us.
The lifeblood of the Christian life is not what we do for Jesus; it’s what Jesus has done for us. The Christian life is not one of achieving on our own; it is a life of receiving everything that we need for eternal life and godliness from Jesus Christ. What is saving? How does our confession answer that question?
Saving faith focuses directly on Christ. This is 14.2 from the confession. I cite that so that you don’t assume that this is just my idea. The focus is directly on Christ, accepting, receiving, and resting in him alone for justification, sanctification, and eternal life by virtue of the covenant of grace.
Let’s unpack some of that. What is saving faith? I accept. I receive. I rest. Is there anything in that equation that you’re doing – that you’re accomplishing? No, you’re passive. You receive it; you rest; you trust in Christ alone. For what? Justification, absolutely, the declaration of righteousness, but also for sanctification that you will be conformed unto the image of Christ because his spirit is in you and you’ve been united to him, and he will see it through. For eternal life, meaning glorification and everything that you will ever need to stand before Christ at the end of history, not in fear, but knowing that you have been loved and accepted in the beloved by virtue of the covenant of grace, not works. It’s not contingent upon what we do; it is the gift of God on account of Christ alone.
Everyday Grace 035