Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified (Galatians 2:16). We are right with God, not because of what we do, but because of what He did for us! We are not saved by grace to live by works. Early in my Christian experience I learned a valuable lesson about trusting the grace of God in my life. Being a hard worker, I had a subtle belief buried deep within my soul that I must work to be accepted. As a young boy, I received affirmation mainly when I accomplished something. I carried this habit into my adult life. Righteousness is the ability to stand before a Holy God as though you had never sinned; to stand before Him without sin, condemnation, or inferiority.
As I began to walk with God, the familiar call of guilt and inferiority pulled me back into a works righteousness instead of a faith righteousness. I begin to read my Bible to be right with God instead of for spiritual nourishment. I would pray, not for fellowship, but to calm a overbearing conscience. I would fast a few meals, not to wait on God as much as to please Him. The Lord graciously revealed to me during that season that He loved me, and that Jesus had already done everything necessary to make me right with Him. He showed me that I must take all of my inferiority to Him, and that there was nothing more I could do to become righteous. Jesus paid my sin debt. Jesus cancelled my past, and gave me His standing before the Father. The Lord showed me that my righteousness was like filthy rags and that I could never do enough to be right with Him. I must accept by faith that He loves me, that He has forgiven and forgotten my past, and that I am now secure in Christ. My human efforts could never match what Jesus has already done to make me right with Him. Stop struggling in self-effort to be right with God! Accept the fact that the blood of Jesus gives you a righteousness that makes close fellowship possible. When you sin, confess what you did before the Father and ask for His grace to enable you to overcome the weakness of the flesh. We’re not saved by grace to live by works!