and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith–(Philippians 3:9)
Hebrews 11, often referred to as “the hall of faith”, gives us the testimony of many of the Old Testament saints, each one proclaimed righteous before God. Were they perfect? Read through the scriptures and you will find that they were adulterers, murderers, liars, prostitutes – they were anything but perfect. So, how was it that they were called righteous? What warrants such high commendation? One thing alone made them worthy of God’s favor – their faith.
If there were a New Testament saints’ “hall of faith”, no doubt the Apostle Paul would be among the first to be mentioned. Paul was an imperfect man. Like you and me, he was a sinner saved by grace. He himself claimed that he was the chief of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). But, like the saints of old, Paul had great faith and God used him to accomplish great things.
There’s a reason I wanted us to look at the lives of the saints that have gone before us. As we study “What It Means To Be a Christian” I want us to realize that being a Christian doesn’t mean we’re going to be perfect. It doesn’t mean that we’re never going to fall short, or that we’re never going to sin again. But, here is a truth; through our faith in Christ, we have been endowed with His Great Power so that what we are not able to do on our own (be righteous), He is able to do in us.
God has called us to be holy, for He is holy. (1 Peter 1:16). We’re not there yet but we should not grow weary – one day – in the sweet by and by – we will be like Him! (1 John 3:2). Praise God.