In yesterday’s post, we informed you that we will be talking about time management and organization this month. We also referenced 3 all-important truths we must keep before us whenever we consider practical topics. So today we want to discuss the first of these 3 truths: The source of our justification.
No doubt, many of you who read about my disorderly office yesterday were thinking: this woman could use some help organizing her home. I agree! I need to manage my time more efficiently and develop better organizational practices.
However, I also know about me that whenever I become aware of areas where I need to grow and change—stewardship of time being one of them—I’m susceptible to legalism. (If you’re not familiar with this word, here is a definition my husband uses: Legalism is seeking to achieve forgiveness from God and acceptance by God through obedience to God.)
Here’s how legalism can progress in my life using stewardship of time as an illustration: If I become a better time manager, I think God approves of me. I tend to approach the throne of grace with confidence. However, when I fritter away my time or give in to laziness, I can feel God disapproves. He’s not happy with me. And I often want to avoid approaching God’s throne until I get my act together. It happens subtly and can even go undetected in my life for awhile. But relating to God in this way is an egregious error.
We must remember that our justification is never based on our performance! We are justified through grace alone, by faith alone, in Christ alone. Therefore our acceptance before God does not depend on our performance. Or more specifically, we do not earn or forfeit our justification before God based on how we manage our time or how we organize our lives and homes.
So let’s preach the gospel to ourselves and experience the effect of the gospel by considering this quote by B. B. Warfield:
“There is nothing in us or done by us, at any stage of our earthly development, because of which we are acceptable to God. We must always be accepted for Christ’s sake, or we cannot be accepted at all. This is not true of only when we believe. It is just as true after we have believed. It will continue to be true as long as we live…. It is always on His ‘blood and righteousness’ alone that we can rest.”
Therefore how we manage our time has no bearings on the basis of our justification. Being organized does not contribute to our acceptance before God; it does not earn for us forgiveness from God. As believing sinners we are declared to be just—only and always because of Christ and his finished work.
All our pursuit of growth and change must be anchored in the justifying grace of God.