Have you ever noticed old thoughts keep recycling, played off as new?
Last week my husband and I watched one of the new fall television shows that exposes a wrong concept of a “righteous” man. We knew nothing about it except the title. In the pilot episode, Kevin, the protagonist, returns to his hometown and on the first night touches a meteor.
He subsequently meets a character only he can see and hear. This angel-protector reveals that he is one of the thirty-five righteous ones of his generation. In fact, he is the last righteous one of his generation and his mission is to save the world.
The first two episodes focused on how he’s not a good person and has difficulty accepting this mission from the “universe.”
What’s wrong with this picture?
Let’s start with the not so new concept that any human being can be righteous, or perfect, without defect, blameless. In a world where the concept of sin is politically incorrect, the idea that a human being is righteous may seem plausible.
Almost five hundred years ago, Martin Luther struggled with trying to be perfect for God. He finally realized that despite living the strictest lifestyle of his day, he could not attain perfection.
Luther had his “Aha Moment” when he understood something new—-that righteousness is ours through faith in Christ Jesus alone.
“For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” Romans 1:17
Today, as in Luther’s time, there are two approaches to salvation. One asserts that paradise—-nirvana or salvation—-can be obtained through one’s own efforts, while the other provides salvation only through the efforts of One.
Through the One? What about my efforts, my contributions? Today it’s all too easy to believe the messages that constantly bombard us. We can do anything if we just try hard enough, and nothing is impossible for us. We don’t need anyone else, certainly not a Savior.
“This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.” Romans 3:22
So, I’m not knocking “Kevin (Probably) Saves the World,” but it does offer Christians an opportunity to remember why we can number ourselves with the righteous and live a life of thanksgiving for the One who made it possible for us to do so.
Dear friend, have you ever struggled with the concept of faith versus works?