Often, people who have been in church awhile use language that is unfamiliar to non-believers and new believers alike. Sometimes, even the Christians who use those words don’t understand their full meaning or importance. In this series, we will try to better understand words used in the Christian faith and their application for believers in our new teaching series called Churchy Words.
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We encourage you to spend some time with God this week and go a bit deeper on this topic. Please consider these study questions for further reflection:
The Law in the Old Testament points to what is required of us to be found righteous before God; it makes us aware of our sin and our failure, but doesn't actually make us righteous at all. We deserve judgement, rejection, and condemnation for our sin and we can never work hard enough, or do enough good things, to be made right with God. Do you try to 'do' so that God will be pleased with you?
The Gospel message of the New Testament is that God loved us so much that Jesus came to earth to live as a human, live the perfectly righteous life we could not, fulfilled every law that we couldn't, and gives us the free gift of salvation from our sin when we have faith in him. He justifies us, or makes us in right standing before him, so that we don't have to face the punishment for our failure. It means that God has done EVERYTHING on our behalf so we can have a relationship with him without sin coming between us. Do you live your life knowing that there is nothing you HAVE to do to be found righteous before God? Are you living in that freedom?
When we walk by faith in God, believing who he is and what he says, then we can rely on his perfection to cover our imperfection. When we walk by faith, we are able to recognize that our sin has been paid for and we are heirs with Christ because of what he has done for us. When we walk by faith, we realize our justification has been made complete because of everything that God has done and that we play no part in it besides accepting the free gift of grace from God. What is your response to God when you realize all these things?
Additional scripture to explore: Romans 3:10-12, 19-25; Romans 4:2-8; Romans 8:16-17, 29-30; Ephesians 2:8-9