We can be righteous through faith, not works. The Bible tells us,
No one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are. But now God has shown us a way to be made right with Him without keeping the requirements of the law…We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ” (Romans 3:20-22).
God’s law is a reflection of His perfect standard. Just as we recognize a bent line when we place it next to a straight line; in a similar way, the law shows us how far from perfect we really are.
In the just courtroom of heaven, before God the righteous and just judge, we stand. We will not be able to plead innocent because we are not innocent of sin. The verdict, instead is Guilty. We will suffer as a natural consequence of the wrong we did, but happy is the person who is forgiven.
God inspired the prophet David to write,
“Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him” (Psalm 32:1-2).
Before I received God’s forgiveness, I clearly remember struggling as if I were climbing a mountain with a heavy backpack. When I repented and placed my faith in Jesus, I felt so light, so free, so clean, so forgiven. I danced and ran for joy!
Jesus Christ removed the barrier between God and me. Out of His matchless love for me, God placed my debt of sin on Jesus who willingly paid the price.
I would like to share a story with you that clarifies this event. Once there was a rich king. He was also the lawgiver and supreme judge of his kingdom. One day, his beloved son committed serous violations of the law. The penalty for those violations amounted to paying a very large fine which his son did not have. The king was a just judge and did not want to violate his own laws, so he ordered his son to pay this fine. The son was terrified because he knew that according to the law of his kingdom, if he did not pay this fine, he would have to go to prison for a long time.
The son realized his mistakes and repented with all his heart for breaking the laws. To save him, his father, the king, decided to pay the fine from his own personal finances. Humbly and joyfully, the son accepted his father’s gift. Out of his gratitude and love for his father, the son dedicated the rest of his life to serving his father and his kingdom.
There are similarities between this story and our relationship with God. God personally paid the price that we owed for violating His laws. It is up to us to joyfully accept that payment.