By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.(Hebrews 11:7)
A number of years ago our church leadership said I was godly enough to be put on the list of those who were allowed to serve communion. I was puzzled by it. Why did they think I was godly ? I was so aware of my many shortcomings …. and figured that being godly was to be on a spiritual plane higher than I was on.
Well, over the following years I have gotten a better idea about what it really means to be godly. Ironically, to understand what it means to be godly I needed a better understanding of what it means to be an idiot.
To explain how I can be both an idiot and godly, let me throw a Latin term at you : Simul justus et peccator. This means simultaneously righteous and a sinner.
Noah was called an heir of righteousness — even though he got drunk as a skunk.
And David was called a man after God’s own heart —- despite committing murder.
In today’s scripture verse, notice how Noah had faith first, and then righteousness was added. We go nuts if we try to do it backwards, and try to be righteous without first moving in faith. No wonder I struggled to see myself as godly as long as I was thinking it depended on my own futile efforts !
Now let’s look at a command from Paul :
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. (Ephesians 4:1)
Paul welcomes us to one of those wonderful Christian impossibilities :
On my own, no way I can obey the command to live worthily. But propelled by faith, I can now begin to live worthy of Christ. And then it’s not that I am Mr. Righteousness, but rather it is the righteousness of Jesus living in me !
Do you realize you need to live by faith instead of your own efforts ? Then — by the power of Jesus working in you — you are worthy of being called godly.
One thought on “Me, A Righteous Man ? Are You Kidding ?”
Thank you for this, Ken. It’s always a struggle to accept our righteousness in Christ when we are so aware of our shortcomings.