Do You Have Right Standing Before God?
Behold the most important question you could ever ask yourself, “Do I have right standing with God?” The easy part of our task is the simplicity of the question. It is a “yes” or “no” response. The difficult part of our task is to determine if one has the right answer.
Life is simple. You are born. You live. You die. That is how most people perceive their existence. Although most people are convinced, they did not create nor birth themselves, they are even more convinced someone else did not create them. That is a problem. There is more to our creation and our existence than most people realize. There is also the issue of what happens to you after you die. In other words, does living have consequences beyond the grave?
Here it is in a paragraph. God created you, body and soul. You were born to the parents God chose for you. You were born in the place God ordained. He made you either a male or a female. He knows the number of your days. You will not live one moment past your appointment with death. During your life, you will be confronted with a worldview that should trouble you. What does this troubling worldview look like?
God created man (Gen 1–2). Man was tempted into sinful disobedience by the devil (Gen 3). Man fell from the garden paradise. Man continued sinning against God (Rom 3:23). God warned man about continuing disobedience against Him. Man persisted. God issued the law for man to see God’s holiness and man’s wickedness (Ex 20; Dt 5). Man persisted in sin, even more so. God warned man that he was responsible for his sinful actions (2 Cor 5:10). Man did not believe God, even when God sent messengers again and again. Man died and went to the judgment seat of God (Rev 20:11), and he was found guilty of crimes against the Almighty. God, who is just, judged man with an eternal sentence in hell (Mt 25:41, 46; Jude 7; Rev 20:14–15).
Therefore, because all have sinned, no one has right standing before God (Jn 3:18). This is the plight of man (Rom 3:10–12). Man is without excuse. He is also without wisdom or ability to remedy his disposition (Rom 8:7). If a man feels his disconnect with God, he may create a religion that appeases his angst (Gen 11). Man’s religion is not sufficient to appease God, however.
For you to have right standing with God, it must be God who provides the remedy (2 Cor 5:18–20; Eph 2:8–9). The reason for this is twofold. First, whoever saves a man gets the honor and glory for this work. Second, only God has the wisdom and power to accomplish this noble deed.
Right standing also has legal requirements. If the law demands the meeting of certain requirements, then they must be met. The error of man is his belief that God grades on a curve. God does not judge in this manner, nor does He accept anything less than perfection. So, our question is enhanced, “Have I kept God’s law and its requirements to perfection?” One must be quite delusional if there is any hesitation in rendering oneself guilty.
The wisdom of God presents God’s way (Jn 14:6; 1 Cor 1:24). Repent of your sins and trust Christ as Savior (Acts 17:30). What does this mean? Repentance is changing your mind about your status and the direction you are headed on the wide way leading to destruction (Mt 7:13). It is recognizing you are not good in God’s sight (Rom 3:10–12). It is acknowledging God’s rejection of your works to merit right standing with Him (Is 64:6; Rom 4:5). The only work God ever accepted, to remedy the plight of man, was the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross (Acts 17:31). Here is the wisdom of God.
Christ, who is the Son of God, came into the world and became a man (Jn 1:14). He was named Jesus because He would save His people from their sins (Mt 1:21). He avoided the sin of Adam, by being conceived of the Holy Spirit, in the Virgin Mary (Is 7:14; Mt 1:20). He was impeccable, that is, without sin because He is God, and it is impossible for God to sin (Heb 4:15).
Christ came to die on the cross (Rom 5:8). It was God’s design for the payment of the penalty of sin (Rom 6:23). Jesus paid for the sins of all who come under His precious blood (1 Pet 1:18–19). The blood of the covenant is for all who enter into the eternal agreement between God the Father and God the Son (Mt 26:28). Those who receive Christ (Jn 1:12–13), being born again of the Spirit (Jn 3:1–8; 1 Pet 1:3), believe in His name (Acts 10:43; 1 Jn 3:23). They trust in His finished work to cancel out their debt of sin (Col 2:14).
The Holy Spirit has come to convince the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (Jn 16:8). Without the work of the Holy Spirit, no one can understand God’s resolution for man’s problem (1 Cor 2:14–15). By analogy, it is as if someone came to you and announced you had won a lottery prize. You might object, “But I did not play the lottery.” God established the game. Jesus bought the ticket and won, willing to you the benefits upon His death. God credited your bank account, paying off all your debts in the process, and then came and told you what He did. You did not have a choice. It was an act of mercy and grace on God’s part.
When the revelation of what God has done for you takes hold, your response is recognizable. It is gratitude (1 Thess 5:17–18). It is love for Christ (1 Jn 4:19). It is worship to the Father (Jn 4:24). It is joy in the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22–23). Someone has done the best thing in the world for you. He has made you believe it because He put His Spirit in you (Mt 3:11; Acts 2:38; 10:45). You have ample proof because of the ongoing transformation of your new life (Rom 15:16; Gal 2:20; 1 Thess 5:23; 2 Thess 2:13; 1 Pet 1:2).
Christians have received the indwelling Holy Spirit (Jn 14:17; Rom 8:9, 11) This is the difference between those who have right standing with God and those who do not have right standing. God’s indwelling Spirit confirms to your spirit that you are a child of God (1 Jn 3:1). Therefore, if you have right standing with God, you know it with blessed assurance (1 Jn 5:11–13).
Because the Holy Spirit never leaves nor forsakes the believer in Jesus (Heb 13:5), the assurance of right standing remains throughout the Christian’s life (Heb 12:2). This is not a feeling. It is a knowledge given, through illumination, by the Holy Spirit (Phil 1:6). It is affirmed by the Holy Scriptures, which explain salvation to us. Without the Spirit, however, the Scriptures cannot be understood accurately, nor are they believed by people (Jn 5:42; 8:47; 10:26).
God tells His chosen and adopted child a great many things in the Bible. All that is written in Holy Writ is true (Ps 119:160; Jn 17:17). The child of God has no problem believing the Bible because the Bible proves itself true over and over again. The Bible tells us Christ Jesus has permanent right standing with God (Ps 110:1; Dan 4:3; Mt 28:18; Acts 17:31; 1 Tim 6:15; 2 Tim 4:1). In fact, God the Father has crowned God the Son with glory, and He has given Him the name above every other name (Eph 1:21; Phil 2:9). Because we have the Spirit of Christ, we gladly bow the knee and confess with our tongues that Jesus Christ is Lord (Rom 10:9; Phil 2:11). It is our Christian joy to do so.
The Bible explains how our right standing with God works. Christ became man, in order to represent us (1 Tim 2:5). Whereas God had accepted temporary sacrifices for sin, there needed to be a permanent sacrifice for God’s people to receive eternal salvation. Christ, the righteous one, accomplished the task. He opened the veil of separation between God and man when His body was pierced through.
Christ Jesus is able to say, “Come to Me. I give you eternal life.” On the way to Him, we are arrested by the law, “What right you have to travel on this narrow way? What permission has been granted to you that you might dwell in this country?” The Christian’s reply is simply, “I have this visa document. It is called, ‘the Bible.’ I have been given the password that grants me full access and full rights to citizenship in this new country.” The law replies, “How did you attain this document and these rights?” The Christian replies, “By the grace given to me, by virtue of the King.”
Without the Spirit and the Word (Jn 6:63), the law will eventually arrest you and imprison you for trespassing and other crimes against God. You will know you have been arrested by the law on the day of your death (Heb 9:27) and the day of your resurrection from the dead (Jn 5:28–29).
Death puts an end to your crime spree. Your appearance before the Judge will be swift. The crimes you have committed in thought, word, and deed have all been perfectly recorded in a database called, “omniscience.” On the day of your death, you will know you never had right standing with God. You are already condemned (Jn 3:18), and all that remains is your sentencing for eternal incarceration in fiery hell.
Finally, let us talk about today. Christ is the only way of salvation (Jn 14:6). Christ is truth. Christ is the life. If you have Him (Jn 3:36), then rejoice, and again I say, “rejoice!” If you do not have Him, then you must reconcile your unbelief. There is no other way for you to be saved from eternal damnation.
As a productive step in the right direction, go to the Bible, open it to the Gospel of John. Pray before you read. Ask God to open your eyes, to give you understanding, and to give you the faith you need to be saved. Cry out, “Have mercy on me a sinner.” For there is no other hope for you to have right standing before God than union with Christ Jesus (1 Cor 1:30; Col 1:27).
David E. Norczyk
May 15, 2021