Today, we delve into week four of the “10 Sentences to Change Your Life” message series. We pick up in Romans 4:5:
“And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness.”
This passage holds a remarkable truth for believers and one that Pastor Zach sums up so beautifully: “God is in the habit of welcoming and embracing the ungodly.”
When we take time to think about it, we all fall into the group of the ungodly. Ungodly simply means that we are living our lives opposite of God or living for something other than God. The only person in all of human history who lived a truly godly life was Jesus.
So what does it mean to be justified, and why does that matter so deeply to us? To be justified means that we are made right with God. We are accepted and embraced, or as Pastor Zach illustrated, we are welcomed into the VIP group.
Everyone is after justification, and every religion offers a way to get there. They will provide solutions that advise you on how to act and what to do and accomplish to be justified and in the “godly” group.
But, Christianity is the only religion that isn’t based on our own work and effort. Romans 4:5 confirms that as it speaks to “the one who does not work but trusts in him who justifies the ungodly.”
If Jesus was the only one to live a godly life, what does this mean for us and our justification?
As Pastor Zach eloquently stated, “Justification is for those who say to God, ‘I have nothing to contribute. Here’s what I have: simple trust that you know how to take me from an ungodly enemy to a justified friend.”
Then, like Abraham, our faith will be credited as righteousness.
The world will try and shout out directions for the path to justification, but God’s Word shows us that Jesus is the true path to justification. We don’t have to strive for it or work for it. It is freely offered to us through faith and trust in Jesus.
And when we truly believe, when we truly trust that Jesus justifies and that our faith gets credited as righteousness, we can experience true rest in the embrace of a loving heavenly Father. He welcomes us and accepts us with overwhelming grace.
So, our challenge this week is to rest.
When we rest, we are reminded that we cannot work for our salvation. It is only through faith in Jesus that we are saved.
Take time this week to rest, whether that’s reading, going for a hike, or listening to worship while doing the dishes, and relish in the fact that you don’t need to prove anything.
We can’t justify ourselves, but we can put our trust fully in the hands of the one who can: Jesus.