There is a story told about the famous Cardinal Bellarmine, the great Catholic apologist who all his life fought the message of justification by an imputed righteousness alone. As he lay dying, he was brought the crucifixes and the merits of the saints to help give him assurance before death. But Bellarmine said, “Take it away. I think it’s safer to trust in the merits of Christ.”
For many people as they near the end of their lives, they look back and see how vain, how futile, how useless their deeds and their works are for earning salvation with a holy God, and thus how much they need the righteousness of Christ.
Yet the good news is that we don’t have to wait for the approach of death to have security in the Lord now. The whole covenant is based on the secure promises of God now, promises for us now, promises that can make our life better now.
Look up the following verses and answer the question asked with each one in the context of developing, keeping, and strengthening your covenant relationship with God:
Psalm 34:8 (How can you taste God’s goodness?)
Matthew 11:30 (What is it about what Christ has done for us that makes this yoke easy?)
Romans 5:1 (What does justification have to do with peace?)
Philippians 2:7-8 (What have you gained from Christ’s experience?)
|Prayerfully examine your life and ask yourself, what things am I doing that are strengthening my relationship with God, and what things are hurting it? What changes do I need to make?|