Can We Be Righteous in the Sight of God?
How Can Sinners Be Righteous?
Let’s face it. People are evil. Even the best of people do bad things. We all sin. It’s true. Not everyone sins by murdering or stealing or cheating, but everyone sins in one way or another. The Bible tells us we do in Romans 3:23. It says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” There is not one of us who is perfect. I am not perfect, and I hate to burst your bubble, but neither are you.
Those of us who are trying to live as Christians go around day by day, usually trying to do our best. Sure, we all have slip-ups where we just don’t feel like putting in the effort, or maybe, we just don’t feel like fighting that temptation. At those moments, we give in, but overall, we are trying to do our best. Even when we are trying, we still manage to sin. We are broken. We are unworthy. We are wicked. Even in our best of times, our lives look dirty compared to the holiness of God.
Sometimes I think about how we must look and sound to God. I would bet we resemble toddlers. We complain. We whine. We bicker. We won’t share. We want everything to go our way. Our prayers are selfish requests and complaints. We practically say, “Mine! Mine! Mine!” even when we are praying.
We're So Much Cuter When We're Sleeping!
We Never Outgrow the Toddler Stage.
I remember when my babies were toddlers, and I would be so tired at the end of the day. They wore me out with the constant questions and battles. Many days, I felt like all I heard was the word, “Mine.” Do you think that is how God feels at the end of the day? We must be so frustrating to Him, yet He loves us anyway, even more than I loved my little babies. I wonder if God watches us sleep and thinks, “She’s so sweet,” just like I used to do with my toddlers. They really were so much cuter when they were sleeping. In fact, to this day, there are many nights that I tell my kids, “I love you….I love you more when you’re sleeping!” It is amazing how we as mothers can feel such frustration for our kids and such love all at the same time. If we can do it, that means God can do it even better. So, even when we are frustrating, He loves us anyway.
The Bible Has the Answers We Need.
Should We Just Give Up and Keep Sinning?
The Bible tells us that we have to keep trying to live a holy life. In Romans 6:1-2, it says, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” So that’s our challenge. We will always sin. It’s a fact of life, and it is part of our very nature. However, we can not BE sin. We have to rise above that and keep trying. When we sin, we can’t wallow in it. Instead, we have to get up, apologize and try again.
So, if we are always sinning, is it possible to be righteous? I believe that it is, and I believe that God gives us the key to righteousness in Hebrews 11:4. It says, “By faith, Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts, and through it he being dead still speaks.”
In other words, Abel gave a better sacrifice than his brother, Cain, because of his faith. His faith was favorable to God, and God declared him righteous. Now, Abel still speaks to us because his story lives on through the Bible. If he had not been faithful enough to do what God asked of him, we would not have heard his story. Abel did not build a city or slay a giant or wear a crown, but we have still heard of him. He gave a sacrifice; something that everyone was supposed to do. Yet, we know of him because of his faith.
I Will See the Pearly Gates!
Are You Going to Heaven?
We may never do great things, but we can be great because of our faith. If we show faith to God, we can serve as an example to others. Our faith will get us through our Christian walk, but we never know what else our faith may do. We don’t know who we will affect by showing faith. God will declare us righteous if we just have faith in him. If we can walk in faith, how many other people can benefit from that? How can our stories help those around us?
Many times in church, the preacher will ask the people in the audience to raise their hands if they know they are going to heaven. He doesn’t say, “Think.” He says, “Know.” From what I’ve seen, usually less than half the audience will tentatively raise their hands, while looking around to make sure they aren’t being too presumptuous.
This isn’t how it should be! If you have obeyed the gospel through hearing, believing, repenting, confessing and being baptized and you are living in faith, then you should be able to declare boldly that you are going to heaven! God told you so! You can believe him. He tells the truth.
Say it with me, “I am going to heaven!” Louder. I couldn’t hear you. “I am going to heaven!” Now, your family or your co-workers think you’re crazy for blurting that out randomly, but that’s okay. At least they know where you are going.
If you have obeyed the gospel and are living by faith in God, you are righteous. Believe it. You are. Some days, it might not feel like it, but you are. Even on days when you are cuter when you’re sleeping, God still loves you. Stay faithful to Him, and you will get to live in heaven with Him some day. I’ll see you there.