To the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.
What is the most important verse in the Bible? Maybe for you, the most important verse in the Bible is one you memorized as a child. Maybe it is one that your mom or dad taught to you. Perhaps it is a verse that helped you through a particularly difficult time in your life. But I think you would agree that if you had to select the single most important verse in the Bible, it ought to be a verse that answers the most important question in life, which is: How can a person have a right relationship with God?
That is the question Job asked thousands of years ago: “How can a man be in the right before God?” (Job 9:2). The answer to that question not only affects your life now, but it affects your eternity as well. Where do we go to find the answer to that question? How can a person have a right relationship with God? How can we know for sure that our sins are forgiven and that we will be welcomed into Heaven rather than turned away? This week, we are going to look at the verse of Scripture that I think most clearly answers that question.
The Apostle Paul wrote the book of Romans to a group of Jewish and Gentile believers, and the main message of the book of Romans is that the righteousness of God is available to anyone who trusts in Christ for salvation. Romans 1:16-17 says, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘But the righteous man shall live by faith.’” In the first three chapters of Romans, Paul explained that nobody is in a right standing with God. There is not one righteous person among us.
You may say, “What about the pagan who has never heard the name of Jesus Christ? Surely he gets a pass and is allowed into Heaven.” No, Paul said, not the pagan. He is condemned by God. Then surely the moralist, the person who lives by a good moral code, is exempt from Hell. He gets into Heaven, doesn’t he? No, Paul said. The moralist is condemned. What about the sincere follower of religion? He is allowed into Heaven, isn’t he? No, Paul said, not the religious person. There is none righteous among us. Romans 3:23 says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
If religion will not impress God, if morality will not get us into Heaven, and if ignorance is not an excuse, then how do we have a right relationship with God? That brings us to the most important verse in the Bible–Romans 4:5. In this verse, Paul said, “To the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.”
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Most Important Verse In The Bible” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2018.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. (www.lockman.org)