Author: Creflo Dollar
Are you a checklist Christian? Do you keep a running list of all the things that you’ve done hoping that you will obtain favor with God? Do you tithe, religiously attend church service and quote scriptures in order to prove that you’re righteous? If so, you may mistakenly believe that your checklist of good works will cause you to gain acceptance with the Father. I have good news for you! When you make Jesus the Lord of your life, you become the righteousness of God. It is through His shed blood that you have right standing with God, not through your own efforts so you can throw away your checklist!
Salvation is a free gift that is available to every person. The day you become born again God declares you righteous. To be righteous means to be in right-standing with God and able to stand before Him without a sense of guilt, condemnation or inferiority. Righteousness is something that is not earned; in other words it is something you do not work for. It is a privilege made available to you through and by the blood of Jesus who died on the cross for you. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Accepting Jesus into your heart is the best decision you will ever make. When you confess Him as your Lord and Savior, you are cleansed of all unrighteousness and are made a new creation in Him. When you sin, or miss the mark, repent and ask God to forgive you. He is faithful to do it every time you ask (1 John 1:9).
Along with righteousness also comes the gift of God’s grace. God’s grace is His unmerited favor and love. Unmerited means that you do not earn or deserve it; but God gives it to you anyway. If you want to walk in power and be an overcomer in this life, all you have to do is receive God’s grace and righteousness. You don’t have to sin if you don’t want to and God’s grace is available to help you overcome temptation when it comes.
Since righteousness is a free gift, why would anyone work to become righteous if they have already been declared so by God? Many times it is simply because they don’t understand that their efforts don’t change their status with God. Righteousness is something you receive by faith. Romans 10:3 says, “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” In these last days, Believers should be walking in the righteousness already established for them through Christ Jesus instead of trying to establish their own.
The problem with being a checklist Christian is that the person becomes so focused on his or her works that they forget to acknowledge Jesus and the righteousness that has already been given to them. Galatians 2:21 says, “…for if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die” (New Living Translation). When the person acknowledges that he or she has been made the righteousness of God, they are giving credit where credit is due—to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
No matter how many “goodie-goodie” things you do, they will not make you more or less righteous. No matter how long your checklist of works is, it alone, will not get you into Heaven. Joining the choir won’t make you righteous and neither will feeding the hungry or praying three times a day. God expects you to do what is right and appropriate. He does not expect you to be perfect. Just by being His child you are already acceptable in His eyes.
If you find that you are depending more on your checklist than you do God, it’s time to throw that list of works out the window. Understand that God loves you whether you have a list of good works or not. In fact, the good works that you seek to do should spring from the truth that you are the righteousness of God; righteous people do righteous things.
God loves you so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to take your sin upon Himself and die so that you would be able to be free from it forever. You now have a right to get answers to your prayers, ask forgiveness of your sins and be cleansed (1 John 1:9). If you haven’t accepted the free gift of salvation and are ready to do so, simply ask Jesus to come into your heart and accept it by faith!
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