By Will Graham
You may be a churchgoer, yet missing out on the freedom that only Christ can offer. Perhaps you’ve never skipped a Sunday, but rather than living in His grace you’re fighting your way through life and trying to be “good enough” to reach heaven.
As I read through the initial verses of Romans 10, I realized that there is a short checklist to diagnose this spiritual issue. Check the questions below, and see where you land.
Do you have a zeal for God, but not truly know Him? In Romans 10:1-2, Paul states, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.”
Paul understands this mindset well. He had a zealous and learned passion for God and for truth. Of course, rather than his zeal driving him towards Jesus, it instead drove him to persecute the church. He had ‘head knowledge’ for God, but did not truly know Him.
Have you established your own standard of righteousness? Romans 10:3 says, “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.”
Those who do not find their righteousness in the finished work of the cross instead come up with their own moral code. Have you ever heard this as a rationale for getting into heaven? “I’m a good man. I’ve never killed anybody.” We shouldn’t be surprised by this attitude. It’s the same method the Pharisees employed centuries ago when they created a series of laws in order to produce their own righteousness—their own moral code—that would justify their entrance into heaven.
Do you understand and accept the finished work of the cross? In Romans 10:4 we read, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”
Many of us desperately try to live by the law (trying to follow all of the rules) and fail, but Paul says that “Christ is the end of the law.” First, Jesus is the “end” in the sense of completion. The law has been fulfilled through Christ. Second, the “end” also means the end of man’s hopeless search for righteousness (in other words, perfection or wholeness). Righteousness is found in Christ and in Him alone.
My friends, if you truly search your heart and come to a realization that you are not in the right place with Christ, I’d invite you read through the beautiful verses in Romans 10 that follow the ones on which we focused above. In them we read that we don’t need to go looking for righteousness in pop culture, media or the things of this world, but only to believe by faith in Christ’s provision.
In Romans 10:9, this is spelled out as clearly as possible: “… if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in church your whole life, or if the little measuring scale in your head says that you’ve done more good than bad. If you’ve never fully surrendered to Christ and accepted that freedom from the sin that ensnares us, I’d invite you to do that now. Break free!
And for those who have found the true freedom given to us by Jesus, please share that beautiful truth with those around you. You’ve been given a free gift. You have received a pardon. Pass it on!
Visit PeaceWithGod.net to surrender your life to Christ and find freedom in Him.
Will Graham is the Vice President and Associate Evangelist at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. For more information on the BGEA, visit https://billygraham.org. This article was reprinted with permission.