I’m convinced that far too often we rely on our own obedience in the world for our salvation. What do I mean by this? Simply put I believe, largely due to example in my own life, that as humans our default mode is DIY (Do It Yourself). We tend to look at our problems, whether its our sin, our actions, the way we think or what we believe and see it as something that we can fix as long as we take the right precautions and steps. Note, this isn’t entirely wrong, we are called in the Bible to respond to God’s grace and mercy in our lives, however I think we tend to do this in a destructive way that shows immaturity rather than maturity.
In the scriptures we see that there is nothing we can do, to earn righteousness, or in our case be obedient enough. Look at what Paul says in Phillipians;
” . . . In order that I may gain Christ, 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, in righteousness from God that depends on faith-. . .” 3: 8-9
Paul acknowledges that he has previously (and continually because of his sinful nature) sought righteousness on his own through the law. This is us! Though our law looks different, we fall into this same trap. Paul calls out his own DIY faith by recognizing that he far too often trusts in his own knowledge and understanding of the law to live out a righteous obedient life.
What does Paul look to instead of the law for his righteousness? Christ. “. . . but that which comes through faith in Christ. . .” Paul identifies that it’s God who imputes Christ’s lifelong record of perfect obedience to the person who trusts in him for salvation; God thinks of Christ’s obedience as belonging to whoever believes in him. Therefore that person stands before God not as “guilty” but as “righteous”. You see our righteousness before Godhas has nothing to do with our DIY faith, but everything to do with Christ’s perfect obedience!
“For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous” Rom. 5: 19
Paul says that Christ has been “our righteousness” and that through him we are made righteous. Christ had to fulfill all righteousness to give us righteousness, because of our sinful nature. He did this by being perfectly obedient to God’s call in his life for our sake.
So we must ask ourselves, whose lifelong record of obedience would we rather rely on for our standing with God? Instead of looking at our life and seeing what we can do to fix ourselves, we need to look at what Christ has done for us. By living a perfectly obedient life and dying on the cross Christ has given us perfect righteousness and forgiven our sins. Therefore we are able to live a life that is obedient to him and his call on us, instead of relying on our own DIY faith.