A Moment Of Clarity Amid The Fog
Read Romans Chapter 4
Ro 4:1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter? 2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. 3 What does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” 4 Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. 5 However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.
I never intend to give a mistaken impression that I have it all together. I most assuredly do not. Just this morning, I awakened with a gloomy thought – “What if I am just playing the game? What if I am not really a child of God? Perhaps I have sought Him and spent a lifetime in vain hope?” As I look at those written words on this page, I can easily see how silly my thoughts were. But that’s how our enemy works. He has seen to it that our lives have been filled with false ideas about God, salvation, and hope. Therefore, our minds will sometimes go back and retrieve some of those false ideas. When that happens, we must immediately go into God’s word and rediscover the truth upon which we base our lives and our hope.
That’s exactly what I did today. As I opened my bible, my prayer was, “Lord, forgive me for those thoughts, those doubts. As one of Your weakest children, show me some passages which will alleviate my apprehensions once again, as You have many times before.” Also as usual, He answered that prayer. It wasn’t by chance that Romans chapter 4 was on my schedule for study today. The verse which God emphasized to me was verse 5.
Ro 4:5 However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.
Please note something in this verse that is a simple truth, but one which we often overlook. “God justifies the wicked.” He does not justify the sinless. All of us sin, because we are not yet in our perfect state of sanctification. But we are justified – not because we are sinless, but because we have accepted Christ’s sinlessness as our only hope for justification.
When we think of the wicked, we most often think of those who are living their lives without any regard to God and His precepts. We think of all the people who do not give God any thought before they say, think, or act. But doesn’t the “wicked” include more than just those people? Yes, it does. It includes you and me – well, I know it includes me. My wickedness is ever before me, as the Psalmist said.
Ps 51:3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
Every Christian should know that he is a transgressor. If that were not the case, he would not have sought God and Christ as the remedy for his sinfulness. Every Christian should know that he cannot work for his salvation. Every Christian should know that his only hope is trust in Jesus Christ and the Father. Our Savior justifies the wicked who seek Him. That promise is stated over and over in the New Testament. God’s word is the only sure thing which exists. It is as sure as God Himself.
When our minds go back into that false belief that our sinfulness is just too much for God to swallow, this is one of many passages which should bring us back into the reality of who we are in Christ. Our God justifies any and all men and women who turn to Jesus Christ for their salvation. He is the One who has lived a sinless life so that we, the wicked, can be justified.
A final note – there are times when our finite minds do not have the ability to think clearly. One of those times is in the dark of night. Another is when we first awaken. We are not thinking clearly at those times. But there are also times during the day when we are not thinking clearly. When is that? It is anytime when our minds tell us something which is contrary to God’s word and His promises. The only time we can trust our way of thinking is when our thoughts are in harmony with our Savior’s written word.
Prayer: Lord, how wonderful You are!! You justify the wicked, of which I am the poster child. Thank You for Your truth, which stands firm against any and all thoughts which set themselves up in contradiction to Your word. Give all SSA men and women reading this the ability to stand firm in Your promises, which never, never, never can fail.