THIS YEAR, LIVE BY THE BEATITUDES (4)

‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness…’
MATTHEW 5:6

This beatitude corrects two mistakes we make when it comes to salvation. The first: that it’s all about believing. The second: that it’s all about behaving. Actually, it’s about both. The new birth brings:

1) A position of righteousness. If you stacked up all your good works until they were as big as a mountain, you’d still come up short of the payment required to get into heaven. That’s true before you become a Christian, and it’s true after you become one. If you saw the movie The Passion of the Christ and thought, ‘Why did He have to die such a death?’ here’s the answer: ‘God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God’ (2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV). The moment you accept Jesus as your Saviour you become ‘righteous’ in God’s eyes. Awesome!

2) A condition of righteousness. ‘…Count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God…’ (Romans 6:11 NIV). Salvation is not just a position of righteousness you hold before God, but a condition of righteousness you live out before others every day. How do you do that? By valuing God’s will more than your own (Proverbs 3:5). By seeking to display the character qualities of Christ as described in Scripture: ‘…Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…’ (Galatians 5:22-23 NAS). You say, ‘That’s a tall order!’ Yes, but we are not left to do it alone: ‘…As the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him’ (2 Corinthians 3:18 TLB).

written by Bob Gass