I want to be found in HIm, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. – Phil. 3:9
The righteousness that is by FAITH, is an ‘alien righteousness’ Luther said, it is a righteousness that God credits to us, while we are still sinners. Visually, it looks like this:
Many people see their sin as a huge, stinking, insurmountable pile that lays between them and God
The righteousness that is by FAITH sees Jesus not on the opposite side of that pile, but over here, on my side, right beside me facing the sin in my life.
I don’t have to get over my sins to come to God; Jesus got over them to come to me. my sins are still very real, but they are no barrier to Jesus in my life
FAITH means I surrender my do-it-myself versions of my life
FAITH means a naked, vulnerable, humble trust in Him rather than my own
ingenuity, strength and skillfulness
FAITH means a willful decision to stop being so willful and surrender to his love
FAITH means I believe in God more than I believe in myself
FAITH means that I trust that God is FOR me, that He is sovereignly, absolutely able to oversee my life without making any mistakes. It means that I learn to rest in the knowledge that He loves me more than I love myself and that absolutely nothing can ever separate me from His love; that He IS in complete control, that He never messes up, that in all things He is working – in the good things and in the bad things, he is working for good. Faith means that I surrender to His sovereign love with the confidence that He is working for good even in the worst things that happen to me, not in a religious way or a pretend way, but in a real way, these will in the end turn out to have been the best things for me. Because if any other set of circumstances would have been better, He would have brought them instead. faith means that I TRUST God in every circumstance of my life.
FAITH is the word we give to our choices to live in a world much larger than the one we can see and hear and touch. We LIVE by FAITH! We DO FAITH!
– you don’t become a marine by reading Tom Clancy books
– you don’t become a great cook by collecting recipes
– you don’t become a master carpenter by buying a lot of fancy tools
You actually have to start working wood, you have to actually start cutting stuff up in the kitchen, you have to actually go through 13 weeks of boot camp.
FAITH is taking the ‘Christ Elevator’ up to God. Religion is taking the stairs. Religion is the attempt to do the impossible: to get myself right with God – on my own meager resources all the while pretending to those around me that its working out really well.
FAITH, “the basis of faith”, is anything but passive. It is pressing on to lay hold of Christ; it is rigorous, adventurous and risk-taking. It doesn’t look like passivity, it looks like obedience (Rom. 1:5)