HOW DO I GET RIGHT WITH GOD?
In order to get right with God, we must first understand what is wrong. The answer is sin. We are all born into this world with a sin nature because of Adam’s fall and we are all spiritually separated from God and need to be reconciled to Him. God tells us, “There is no one who does good, not even one (Psalm 13:3).” We have rebelled against God’s commands; we “like sheep, have gone astray (Isaiah 53:6).”
Scripture clearly tells us, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23).” If that is the case, then the question is: “How then can I be right with God or how can anyone be right with God?” Well, the only way that you and I can be right with God is by being righteous. Living in perfect conformity to God’s will, doing and thinking and behaving as God does, and imaging the Almighty in every way we can, think and do.
God said, “You must be holy for I am holy (1 Peter 1:16).” And the Psalmist said, “Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. He will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God his Savior (Psalm 24:3-5).”
A righteous person according to Psalm 15 is someone “whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart and has no slander in his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellow man, who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the Lord, who keeps his oath even when it hurts, who lends his money without usury, and does not accept a bribe against the innocent (v.1-5).”
HERE IS THE PROBLEM
No one is righteous. That’s why Paul says in Romans 3, “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one (v. 10-12).” So, we have a problem! Why? In order for us to be right with God we need to be righteous, but none of us is righteous, therefore no one can be right with God. Every part of us has been affected by sin so we cannot be righteous no matter how hard we try. The Bible says even, “All our best righteousness (works) are but filthy rags in the sight of God (Isaiah 64:6).”
THERE IS ONE WHO MAKES US RIGHT WITH GOD
So, the first step to being right with God is to know and believe that by yourself, you can never be right with God because you are not righteous. You and I are sinners and Scripture says, “For the wages of sin is death (6:23a)” or eternal separation from God. The second key step is to go to Jesus. In Christ, I am right with God; not in myself, not on the basis of my own righteousness, but on the basis of His righteousness. The good news of the gospel is this: “Without my deserving it at all, out of sheer grace, God grants and credits me the perfect satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ. It is as if I had never sinned nor been a sinner (read Romans 3:21-28; 4:22-25; 6:17-18; Titus 3:4-5; Eph. 4:24; Gal. 2:16-20; 2 Cor. 5:21). To be justified means that God declares us to be righteous. God justifies sinners freely by His grace, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus. Simply, God justify sinners through faith in Jesus Christ.
Does that not make you want to jump up with joy? That’s what makes us free. Jesus makes us right with God. Jesus and His righteousness alone and not anyone or anything else. That is the liberating truth of the gospel. What God demands; He Himself provides – He knew that we couldn’t do it by our own efforts.
Yes, God still demands righteousness – He hasn’t changed. God does not change, and God will not lower His standards. The righteousness which the law shows us is still the standard which God demands. The trouble is that no one can do it. But God sent Jesus, His eternal Son to fulfil all righteousness for us. And Jesus did it all. He paid the price that God required. Nothing more needs to be done and nothing else is necessary. The righteousness of God comes through faith in Jesus Christ, and it is for all who believe.
You see, you need to ask this question: “Am I right with God?” Why? If we don’t ask this question, you’ll never find Jesus. Because the only way that you and I can ever be right with God is through Jesus. Jesus, the one who alone is righteous, has made us right with God. All we need to do is to receive Him by faith with a believing heart. And you know what? The moment that you and I turn to Jesus in faith and receive Him into our hearts as our Lord and Savior, that’s the moment God declares us right with Him. That’s the moment God declares us justified – just as if I had never sinned.
ARE YOU READY TO GET RIGHT WITH GOD?
If you want to get right with God and want to begin an intimate relationship with God, you can do so right now by asking Him to come into your heart – to be the Lord of your life. Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door (of your heart) and knock. He who hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him (begin that relationship)……. (Rev. 3:20).”
If you believe in your heart and want to make this commitment but you are not sure how to put it in words, this may help:
“Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying for me a sinner and for the forgiveness of my sins and for offering me Your righteousness and Your resurrected life. I now accept by faith Your gift of salvation and I ask You to come into my heart and to be My Lord and Savior and my very best friend. Through Your Holy Spirit, teach me about Your love and grace and about the new life that You have given me. Please begin the work of making me into the person you want me to be. Amen.”
These words will not save you, there is nothing magical in them; anyone can repeat a sentence. It is when you believe with your heart and put your faith in Christ Jesus; that’s what saves you. There is no magic formula in what you say or how you say it but it’s your attitude and expression of your heart that really counts. If you truly believe in your heart and you prayed this prayer, the Spirit of God has come to dwell within you forever and you have begun the great adventure for which you were created as a child of God. Now you and I are brothers or sisters in Christ. Welcome to God’s family. Welcome to God’s body of believers.
– Righteousness simply means being right with God. In Romans 1:17 the gospel shows us how righteous God is in His plan for us to be saved, and also how we may be made fit for eternal life. By trusting Christ, our relationship with God is made right. “From first to last” God declares us to be righteous because of faith and faith alone. For it is written, “For in the gospel a righteousness of God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.”
Righteousness is also a lifestyle. It means living right as God intends. The Bible says in 1 John 2:29, “All who practice righteousness are God’s true children.” As you can see righteousness is a relationship and a lifestyle. It’s the only way to live, being right with God and having an intimate relationship with Him.