Are You Good Enough?
In speaking of his brethren, the Jews, Paul wrote: “I bear them record that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” (Romans10:3f). Being zealous for God was not enough to save them. They needed to submit to “the righteousness of God“, and to stop trying to establish their own.
Unfortunately, what was true in Paul’s day is just as true today. All over the world, churches, synagogues, and mosques are filled with people every weekend who are zealous for God, but “not according to knowledge.” They are among the most ardent members of their religions, the ones who fast, tithe, pray and serve the most, in an effort to obtain favor and blessings from God. Sadly, they are seeking to establish their own righteousness based on their good, but imperfect, performance in keeping the laws of God. And the result of such misplaced efforts is guilt and condemnation.
You see, some things require perfection. How many times does a pilot have to fly his plane into a mountain before he is dead? The same number of times you get to break the Law before it condemns you to death. The Law is so perfect that it does not allow for any mistakes. It requires absolute adherence to all its demands. It pronounces a curse on any man who does not obey it perfectly. You can’t just be good; you must be perfect. “Therefore, by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified.”
But this is not the end of the story. God sent His Son into the world that we may live through Him. What we cannot obtain through the Law by our zeal and self-effort, we can receive by simple faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” (Rom. 1:16f)
The righteousness, which is according to the Law, says: “Do this, and this, and this, and live.” Unfortunately, we can’t. That standard is beyond our imperfect reach. But the righteousness of God, the righteousness which is received by faith, simply says: “Believe this, and be saved.”
Here is the good news. Jesus paid for all your sins on the cross. He was buried and on the third day He arose again, having obtained eternal forgiveness and salvation for all those who put their trust in Him. Do you believe this?
Child of God, you will never be able to merit God’s favor and blessings, but if you are trusting Jesus to save you, all is well. You don’t need to be good enough. You just need to believe in Jesus.