I often chuckle when I think of some of the phrases that the church world has produced over the years. You have all seen them. They are on T-shirts, lapel pins, ink pens, notebooks, hats, billboards, those signs outside of churches, and even the infamous bumper stickers. Now, I’m not making fun here, but let’s be honest, some of those bumper stickers have not exactly portrayed the believer as an appealing, thoughtful person. But even though many of those bumper stickers are just plain corny, there are many good ones out there. Some are simple and to the point like “Got Jesus?”. Some are very ironic like “Don’t be a bumper sticker Christian”. Others are just kind of funny like “Are you following JESUS this close?” or one of my favorites, “Honk if you love Jesus! (Text while driving if you want to meet Him)”.
For whatever reason, I haven’t ever personally had any of these bumper stickers on my car. I guess it has just never been my thing. Honestly, whether you do or not isn’t really the point here. I want to talk about one that I recently saw that said “Get Right or Get Left”. It is really a simple message. It is saying that you need to get right with God or get left behind when Jesus returns. Even though this message is quite simple, I am often amazed at how varied the perceptions are about what it means to be RIGHT.
There is a term used in the Bible called RIGHTEOUSNESS. I have often spoken about how amazing it is to have been justified, or made righteous, but do you know what that means? Unfortunately, the vast majority of believers today really don’t understand what that word represents and what it means for them. If that is you today, don’t fret. When we say that our Heavenly Father is righteous, it means that He is always right. When we say that God is just, we are saying that He always, in every situation, does the RIGHT thing or what should be done. What’s more, He does it lovingly, consistently, and without any partiality or prejudice. When we say that a man has been justified, we say that he has been put into a state approved by God, acceptable to God, or simply RIGHT with God. When I say that I am righteous, I am saying that I can stand before a just God without any sense of fear, guilt, or condemnation.
You may be asking yourself “How can I be right with God? There is nothing that I could ever do that would be good enough to get me there.” You know what? You are correct! There is absolutely NOTHING that you or I could ever do to be good enough to put us into a right standing with our Heavenly Father. In fact, the Word of God says that, in and of ourselves, we cannot ever be righteous. It says that the righteousness that we have to offer is just like a bunch of filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). My friend, it doesn’t matter if you keep God’s law to the very best of your ability, because your ability isn’t ever going to be good enough. That may sound harsh, but it’s true. The reason it is true is because who you are, what you do, or which family you come from is all insignificant when the Word clearly says that there are none righteous (Romans 3:10) and no amount of work on your part can change that.
There is GOOD NEWS, though! You don’t have to work to earn your righteousness because Jesus Christ did that for you. You see, you could never keep the law perfectly even if you wanted to, but Jesus could and DID! God knew that the law could never make anybody righteous because it was weak through our human flesh, so He sent His Son to win the war against sin for us (Romans 8:3). Since I know this, I can be like Paul and boldly say that I never want to be accused of having my own righteousness, but instead rest confidently in being a partaker of the righteousness which is of God by faith (Philippians 3:9). If you want this to be a reality for you today, simply receive it by faith according to Romans 10:9-10. But know that this is more than a bumper sticker. Getting right will not just be a way for you to avoid “getting left”. Allow it to radically transform your life and launch you down the road to God’s fullness today!
Today’s Word Study: Romans 10:1-10