Friday, January 22, 2010

Can Mortal Man be in the Right Before God?


“Can mortal man be in the right before God?” (Job 4:17)

There is a great chasm between sinful man and the holy God. We have dumbed down the reality of God’s holiness to make him like one of us. Our fear of God is so messed up and unclear that we have shrunk him down to be an ordinary being. God is not a big deal in our world. But the question “Can mortal man be in the right before God?” must still be answered.

“Can mortal man be in the right before God?” We know from the Scripture that through Adam all of us have inherited the title “sinner.” We have sinned against a holy God who is perfect and just (Rom. 3:23). There is no escaping this reality. The penalty rightfully should be instant death. If you are reading this post right now you have been extended great grace. But this question above addresses a deeper sort of grace. Being right before God means we too must be holy and blameless. Sin tainted humans can never stand in the presence of a holy God.

The comfort from Job is that the Lord in chapter one did declare Job a “blameless and upright man.” Job put his trust in the Lord without ever hearing of Christ. We are privileged beyond Job to have the rest of the story. We have been given the entire inspired word of God but like Job our hope and trust must be in God alone. So “Can mortal man be in the right before God?” YES!

God, the Father, sent his Son to die for sinners. He poured his punishment for sin on his Son. This is how God is both just and the justifier of those who repent and believe in Christ for salvation (Rom. 3:26). But to answer the question directly above Paul writes these words to Timothy, “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all” (1 Timothy 2:5-6). This is how mortal man can be in the right before God because of the God-man Jesus Christ. Christ is our mediator. C.J. Mahaney writes:

“No one else could do it. Only Jesus Christ, truly God and fully man, could be our substitute and make this sacrifice. Only Jesus could ever stand in this unique place and position. This One who lived the only perfect life also died a completely unique death as a ransom for our sin. He paid the price you and I owed to the innocent offended party, God our Creator and Judge” (Christ our Mediator, 45)

Jesus was the answer for Job. Jesus is the only answer for us as well. Our own wisdom, possessions, feelings and morality will not make us right before God. We must be declared right by the God of the universe. He is the One who justifies the ungodly. Don’t be duped by the world’s solutions to freedom. Don’t buy into the lie that living for yourself will satisfy you. The gospel of Christ is the answer and the question is of upmost significance: “Can mortal man be in the right before God?”

Grace upon grace,

JRL

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