I don’t think I will ever fully understand what I have received through faith. Romans 3:22 says, This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. This one statement summarizes the greatest spiritual mystery. I am made righteous—that is totally, completely blameless, as righteous as Jesus Christ—simply because of my faith.
It is the great exchange. I bring to God all my unrighteousness, all my attemptsto be righteous (which only adds to my unrighteousness—thinking I’vedone something righteous), and simply believe in Jesus’ power to overcomeall that’s so wrong with me and I am made righteous.
Righteousness is not so much about acts of righteousness on my part; rather it’sall about faith. So much of my life has been spent trying to figure out the rulesof righteousness. God is not about rules. He is about relationship. Relationshiphas always been central to righteousness. Even in the garden, long ago when Adamand Eve were created righteous, maintaining righteousness was about relationship.
Relationship with God would have saved the day for Adam and Eve and the restof us. The problem wasn’t that Satan was in the garden; the problem wasthat they tried to find righteousness apart from relationship with God. Why didEve eat? She wanted knowledge. She wanted to be more like God. She was deceivedby Satan into believing that somehow eating from a tree forbidden by God mightbring her closer to God. Why did Adam eat? He doubted God’s Word. He hadbeen told that if you eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, you willdie and here Eve stood before him alive. He decided to eat, clearly aware thathe was not obeying God.
How could this scene in the garden have played out differently? Eve could havelistened to Satan and thanked him for his input, but waited to talk to God andAdam before she impulsively ate of the fruit. Adam could have recognized thatthere was a problem and rather than eating the fruit Eve offered to him, grabbedher and run to God to ask His help with this dreadful event. We all know thatis not what happened. They did not turn to God. Why not? They did not believe.They did not believe and they became unrighteous and the bearers of unrighteousnessto all generations after them. Sin started with unbelief and righteousness beginswith belief.
The impossible dream of righteousness is made possible by God through belief.It’s hard to believe how hard it is for some to believe. God sent the Lawto help us realize that we could never become righteous through our acts. Beliefis all that is necessary. Never underestimate the power of belief in your lifefor righteousness and so much more. Belief it is the great exchange!