Scripture: Romans 4:4-5 (text)
and whose sins are covered;
8 blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”
9 Is this blessing then only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? For we say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness. 10 How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. 11 He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well, 12 and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
Scripture: Psalm 103
and justice for all who are oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his acts to the people of Israel.
8 The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
Paul makes it clear that what saves us is our belief in God. That's it.
We don't need to live perfect lives. We don't need to work hard to convince anyone that we are okay. We don't.
Our faith is simply enough.
Our faith should and does compel changes in our behaviour. BUT our behaviour is not what makes us right with God. I don't have to earn my way into heaven.
Do you not find that comforting?
I do for the most part, though I must admit, when I am struggling in life, I start to doubt myself. I again have this fear inside of me that says... perhaps you are just fooling yourself. Perhaps your faith isn't really real. Afterall...look how you struggle with saying the right thing, look how often you fail to just simply talk with God, look at... and all my failures and lacks start jumping out at me and condemning me.
But it's not my actions that count. My actions are most certainly influenced by the Lord's presence in my life, but oh..I am so comforted to know that I don' t need perfection (though it's my aim/calling) to be right with God.
Chuck Swindoll's thoughts
If we were declared 99.9% righteous, some verses would have to be rewritten. Like Isaiah 1:18 , which might read: "come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord, though your sins are as scarlet, they will be light pink."
NONSENSE! the promise of sins forgiven is all or nothing."
When Jesus died he said "it is finished". He did the running, he finished the race, we need to trust God, and believe in the saving work of Jesus Christ.
if you'd like to know more, just ask, I'll gladly talk with you about it all. :)