Have you ever just taken a moment to examine nature? Have you ever just stopped and admired the beauty of God’s creation? To see the mysterious wonders behind it all? Whether it be at a beach, in some mountain range, or even just your own backyard, God’s beautiful creation is everywhere. It can be anything, from your friends to any sort of landscape (i.e. flowers, deserts, oceans, swamps) to other creatures (domestic and wild; they are all created by our Maker). Now, what does this have to do with anything? Sure, we can praise God for this beauty, but there’s more to it than just beauty. Why was the universe created?
Isaiah 43:7 tells us how the universe was created to glorify God. The sun, water, land, plants and vegetation, the moon, fish and birds, animals of all sorts, humans, these are all things God created in Genesis chapter one to glorify Himself. To be created for something such as “glorifying God” is wonderful in itself. However, there is one thing that is in this world that does anything but glorify God. That is sin. Sin dishonors God. Many of us fail to even realize that sin is even about God. But it is. In more ways than one.
When we sin, we exchange His glory for something else (adultery, idolatry, slander, hate). We begin to think that these things are more important than glorifying the God who created us.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” – Romans 3:23
Paul says in Romans that we have ALL sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Not just some of us, but all of us. We all exchange His glory for something we deem “more important”. We ALL trade it away. The problem with sin is that is makes us unholy and unrighteous before God, yet we are commanded to live righteously. With sin in our lives, we cannot enter Heaven.
The Bible talks about us living righteously, but what is righteousness? How would you define it in your own words? Webster defines righteous as “morally right or justifiable”. God’s righteousness is “a right standing” in regards to your position, or in other words, being qualified or accepted. So if the Bible tells us to have righteous living, how do we do that when we are all under sin (Romans 3:9-10)? In other words, what do we stand on when we have to give an account of our lives to the righteous Judge; will they hold up? We may all be sinners, BUT God has offered a way for us to be righteous before Him (Romans 3:21).
God knew that we wouldn’t be good enough to enter into Heaven because of sin. He needed something to save us from it, to wipe it away, to give us a perfect record so we CAN enter Heaven. He needed to sacrifice something. He sent his one and only son to die on the cross for us so that we may be washed clean and all of our sins taken away. Jesus was sent as a sacrifice of atonement. Through this faith in Christ, we are given a positon of “right-standing”. We don’t have to fear if we are good enough and worry about doing enough good deeds to make it to Heaven. We can stand confidently in the throne room of God, knowing that we are righteous because we stand on Christ our Savior who imparted His righteousness to us.
To learn more about living righteously before Christ, check out Painesville Assembly of God’s podcast on: “A Study In Romans Part 5: Jesus, Our Righteousness” by Lead Pastor, Aaron Taylor.