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Archive for February 7th, 2021

God’s Perfection

MEDITATION:

Written by Erwin Lutzer, a contemporary pastor, teacher, and author.   This reflection is excerpted from his writing “The Gospel of Righteousness.”

The question before us, the question that goes to the heart of what we call the Gospel, is: How do we become as perfect as God? The great reformer Martin Luther grappled with the same question: How can a sinner receive the favor of a holy God who is just and hates sin? … To understand the Gospel, let’s begin by considering the phrase the righteousness of God, which troubled Luther greatly. If God were not so righteous, we would have a better chance to win His favor, but it is His righteousness that stands as a barrier between us and Him.

We can all identify with Luther’s dilemma. If God were not so holy—if He were more like us—then we might be able to meet His requirements. But the Bible, and even our own conscience, tells us that we are sinners, and we can’t reach the high standard of God’s righteousness by our own efforts. But Luther learned, as we must, that righteousness is not just an attribute of God, but there is also a “righteousness from God,” which is a gift given to those who believe on Christ. To put it plainly, in Christ God meets His own requirements for us. We have no righteousness of our own, so God gives us His own righteousness as a free gift. In other words, God demands righteousness, and through the death and resurrection of Christ, God supplies the righteousness that He demands! The blood of Christ covers our sins so that we can come into the presence of God. And when it is time for us to die, we are welcomed into Heaven as if we were Jesus because we are saved solely on the perfections of His merit and grace.

PRAYER:

Written by Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109), a Benedictine monk, abbot, philosopher and Christian theologian. He served as the archbishop of Canterbury from 1093-1109.

O Lord Jesus Christ, our redemption and our salvation, we praise you and give you thanks. Though we are unworthy of your benefits,  and cannot offer to you the devotion you deserve,  let your loving-kindness complete whatever our weakness tries to do.

Before you, O Lord, we lay all our desires, and whatever our heart rightly wishes, it is because of your gift. Help us love you as you command. Do not let your gift be unfruitful in us. Complete what you have begun, give what you have made us desire, convert our lukewarmness into fervent love of you; for the glory of your holy name. Amen.

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