Virtual bank account of righteousness?

By Dave Henning / January 12, 2022

“There is a danger that when Christians talk about being justified in God’s sight, we imagine righteousness as a kind of virtual bank account that someone transfers money into.  It makes salvation a mechanical or mercenary  process. . . .  Only when we are united with [Jesus] , through faith and the Holy Spirit, do we become a loved and accepted child of God.”- Timothy Keller

Timothy Keller concludes Chapter 2 of Hope in Times of Fear as he observes that throughout life we receive evaluations of our behavior and ourselves.  Certainly, we love getting good appraisals.  However, we never overcome the wounds that negative ones inflict.  Because we believe criticisms far more readily.  Also, we remember them far more vividly than praise.

Furthermore, in Pastor Keller’s ministry, he’s spoken to many people nearing death.  They express guilt and shame for thing’s they’ve done.  But, the author’s spoken to farm more people racked with regret for things they had not done.  Above all, we all live with this invisible weight.  We may believe that no one possesses the right to judge our standards.  Yet as the years mount, we realize we’ve failed to live up to even our own standards.

Since the moment we united by faith with the resurrected, living Christ, we know the verdict.  God accepts us in the beloved Son.

In conclusion, Pastor Keller notes that legends of the true king, like Robin Hood holding the forest for King Richard, still create enormous purchase.  Year after year of blockbuster films tell us this.  Plus, the English love their royals.  While in the United States we bestow king status on athletes and film stars.  C. S. Lewis once wrote that the need to crown someone and adore them remains strong.  Because “spiritual nature, like bodily nature, will be served.; deny it food and it will gobble up poison.”

So, if we choose not to serve Jesus, we must build our lives around and serve something.  Our spiritual nature must find something or someone to serve.  Let’s serve as freedom fighters for our once and future King.

Today’s question: Do you know people who view righteousness as a virtual bank account?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Shekinah glory presence of God”

About the author

Dave Henning

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