Meeting an impossible demand
What hope do we have if we can never reach God's standards?
A few years ago, a bank in Florida refused to cash a cheque for an armless man because he could not provide a thumbprint. Steve Valdez said, "they looked at my prosthetic hands and the teller said, "Well, obviously you can't give us a thumbprint".
The bank made a demand that Steve had no chance to meet. No matter how hard he tried, Steve would never be able to give a thumbprint!
The demand you can't meet
Did you know that God makes a demand on us too? And like Steve Valdez, we have no chance of meeting that demand. Not because we lack the arms, but because we lack the "righteousness".
You see God demands us to be righteous. That is to be fully obedient to God, fully submissive to God, fully abandoned to God and fully in love with God.
The problem is that none of us measure up. This is what Paul is saying in Romans 3:20
"Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law"
What God has done about it
No one is righteous, therefore every one deserves to be turned away by God and to walk away empty handed from God's bank of blessing. And more than that, everyone deserves his wrath instead. However, God doesn't turn us away like the Bank in Florida turned Steve away.
What God demands of us, He himself provides for us.
Did you get that? What God demands of us, (i.e. righteousness), He himself provides for us (i.e. righteousness). Check it out in Romans 3:21-22a
"But now a righteousness from God, apart from the law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe."
Amazing! God demands righteousness, but none of us are righteous. So God sends Jesus to earth to provide the righteousness we need. All we have to do is believe in Jesus and we will be declared righteous by God.
What it means for you
When we're declared righteous, we don't suddenly become perfect. To put it in terms of Steve Valdez, it's like when God asks for our thumbprint, he sees Jesus' thumbprint instead. And we get the treatment he deserves, instead of what we really deserve.
Are you a believer in Jesus? If so you are eternally declared righteous by God. This is something you could never earn, provide or deserve.
God's gift of righteousness in Jesus; that's what I'm banking on for eternity. What about you?