But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Romans 4:5
You are probably familiar with many “rags to riches” stories. Often, these stories take place in the professional sports arena. A young man who grows up in abject poverty, often raised by a single mother in a rough neighborhood, works hard and breaks into the professional level of his chosen sport. He signs a big contract and lives happily ever after. Sometimes the “rags to riches” story is a little more literal. A homeless man living on the street owns little more than the clothes on his back. His clothes get torn and dirty, worn down to nothing more than rags. That man may have a talent that finally gets discovered, or he may happen upon an invention that pulls him out of poverty and into the wealth that he had once only dreamed of having. No longer are these people forced to wear the clothes of a pauper; they may now dress how they please because they have the money to do so.
Each person who is saved is a true “rags to riches” story, as well. Isaiah 64:6 says that all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. That means that no matter how good we are, or what good we do, it can never get us into Heaven. All those good things are worth nothing when compared to the righteousness of Jesus Christ. However, because of what He has done for us, our rags may be exchanged for His wealth. He takes our righteousness, which is also worth nothing, and puts His righteousness in its place. When we stand before God, He will not see our rags, but Christ’s riches. The songwriter said it well: “Dressed in His righteousness alone; faultless to stand before the throne.”
Knowing how we have been clothed in the righteousness of Christ ought to make us carefully consider our actions. James 1:27 says in part, “Pure religion before God and the Father is this…to keep himself unspotted from the world.” It is impossible to be perfect, even after we have been saved, but we should strive to live that way as closely as possible. God did so much for us when He took our filthy rags and clothed us in His righteousness; the least we could do is live for Him.
Read also: Romans 4:1-8
Quote of the day: "If you find yourself a bit irritated or overwhelmed, it’s a sign that you’re spending less time with God and more time with the world.”