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What do Christians mean when they say they have "a right standing before God?

Many believe that in order to have a right standing before God they must live a spotless sinless life before Him. This is unattainable because man is a sinner, and even after they are saved they have all the potential of sinning against God and others. The way a Christian lives is their "state or condition" before God, not their "standing." Many are confused about that.

When a poor sinner trusts Christ as their Saviour, they receive a "gift of righteousness" (Romans 5:17). This brings them into a perfect "standing" before God. This never varies, it is the same for all believers. "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." Romans 4:5. When God "justifies" a believing sinner, He declares them to be absolutely free from all charges of sin and they are right before Him. This makes us "accepted [and not by] in the beloved." (Ephesians 1:6). This is what Paul meant in Philippians 3:9, "And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:"

This is what is meant by a right standing before God. He justified us by grace alone. "That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life." Titus 3:7. There is no merit or help by us, whatsoever. We trust Christ and He clotheth us with a robe of righteousness. "I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness,..." Isaiah 61:10. This is the only way a poor sinner can stand before God.

Dear reader, what about you? Are your trying to do what you cannot do, i.e., make yourself right with God? Christ died to set you right with God. It is not your condition before God that saves, it is your position. In Christ saved, in Adam lost. Which are you?

All comments and questions to: Harold Smith

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Updated March 7th, 2014 by Sandra Felix