Can I be good enough to experience God’s favor of forgiveness? For many people the answer is, “I am not sure.” St. Paul consistently addresses this issue in his letter to the followers of Jesus in Rome: have faith in Jesus.
One of the debates of the early church was where did the people of Israel fit into God’s plan? Did God bypass the “chosen people” for Gentiles, the goyim? No, because God’s mercy is available to anyone. We can never be good enough to experience God’s favor. We simply accept it by faith, that is, trusting what God did in Christ on the cross as good enough.
Here is what St. Paul wrote,
“What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal.
Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone” (Romans 9:30-32).
But I have to do something! When we say this we have just stumbled over the stumbling stone named Jesus.
We are called not to strive but to believe. Humility is the first step to the God who is good enough for you and me.
Ronald Friesen © 2015