How can a person be seen as righteous before God?

How can a person be seen as righteous before God?

The dictionary defines righteous as “morally right or justifiable.” The question could be phrased what do I need to do to be seen by God as justified to be in his presence. Since God cannot tolerate sin, the question can further be asked, what can I do so that God sees me as someone who is sin-free? The answer is simple. You can’t–at least not in your own power.

The Bible makes it clear that human beings are not able to obtain through their own efforts the perfection required to stand before God. Paul, an apostle of Christ, in writing to the Church in Rome almost 2000 years ago, quoted from ancient scripture:

As it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.
All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”

Romans 3:10-12

 The only way anyone can be righteous or right-standing before God is by trusting in Jesus and the sacrifice he made for us on the cross.  When our sins are covered by this atoning sacrifice, the shed blood of Jesus, we are forgiven and are then accepted as righteous before God. Think of it this way, Jesus’ righteousness–His perfection– is applied to us and God then sees Jesus in us and not our sin. How can this happen? John, one of Jesus’ closest disciples spelled it out in one of his letters.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9

 If you would like to learn more about this process of being seen by God as righteous, then we encourage you to read our blogpost: How does one become a Christian?

 

 

 

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Is same-sex marriage a sin?  Why?

Is same-sex marriage a sin? Why?

Yes, same-sex marriage is a sin. 

 It goes against God’s created purpose for us as male and female and disobedience to God’s precepts and laws is sin. 

So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them. 

Genesis 1:27

The practice of homosexual relationships in any way, including marriage, is an abomination to God. In his letter to the church in Rome, the Apostle Paul explained it this way:

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

Romans 1:24-32

God created man and woman to enter into marriage so that they could be “fruitful and multiply” and fill the earth with future generations, i.e. children.  This is obviously impossible in a same-sex marriage. God in his infinite wisdom knows that children ideally need both a mother and a father to be properly and lovingly raised in a family. The family is also God’s basic building block for a joyful, safe, moral and just society.

 

 

How can God know our thoughts?  Are bad thoughts sin?

How can God know our thoughts? Are bad thoughts sin?

God is Omniscient which means he knows everything including your thoughts. The Psalmist David clearly tells us that God knows our thoughts and He can purify our thoughts if we allow Him.

You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.

Psalm 139:1-4

Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:23,24

Bad thoughts are difficult to control and can truly lead to sin if we ponder on them and allow them room to grow in our mind and actions. God has given every person a conscience from birth. It is the mind’s and soul’s warning system which enables a person to know what is right and wrong and discern between good and evil. So when a “bad” though enters your mind, dismiss it at once and it is not then a sin.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2

Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

Why is pornography such a bad thing?

Why is pornography such a bad thing?

 The Apostle Paul in Philippians 4:8 says, “whatever is true, whatever is right whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. Certainly, by any reasonable measure, pornography is not any of these things! Looking at pornographic material can lead to sins of the flesh, lust for desires and despicable abhorrent behavior. The Bible repeatedly warns us against such activity. First Corinthians 6:18-19 urges us to flee from sexual immorality and tells us that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. Our bodies and our minds are to be kept clean for a dwelling place of God’s Spirit.

It is a fact that pornography messes up one’s mind and becomes an addiction so powerful that can impact the lives of everyone around you. It ultimately prevents you from having normal intimate relationships as God designed in a marriage. Pornography is a temptation of Satan whose objective is to destroy you and your Christian faith. The good news is that God always provides a way out to flee from any temptation.

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

1 Corinthians 10:13

 So, if you are struggling with pornography, ask God to free you from your addiction to these impure images in the name of Jesus. Christ death on the cross and his resurrection provides forgiveness from sin, freedom from addiction and the promise of eternal life!  Seek Jesus and live!