Torchbearers for Christ
Thursday, July 18, 2024
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The Book of Job in the Old Testament contains many interesting questions.  It certainly makes a worthwhile Bible study to explore some of these. Probably one of the most interesting questions, and one that is relevant to us all, is found in Job 9:2 where we read, “How can man be righteous before God?” Job 25:4 asks a similar question, “ can a man be pure who is born of woman?” Another translation puts it this way, “How can man be justified with God?”
Now in the original Greek language of the New Testament, the word “justified” means to “regard as innocent”.   In our Sunday School days we were taught that to be justified was to be regarded as “just as if I had never sinned”.   But how can this be possible? The Bible tells us repeatedly that all men and women have sinned and are guilty in the sight of a holy God. In Romans 3:9 we are told “There is none righteous, no not one”. The book of Romans also reminds us the penalty for our sins is death (6:23).
The situation is that God must retain His justice, but because of His extraordinary love for mankind He must find a way to remove our guilt and to bring us into an intimate relationship with Himself. If God were to deal with us on the grounds of His justice alone, none of us would survive. Psalm 130:3 asks the question, “If You, Lord kept a record of sins, Oh Lord, who would stand?” The answer is obvious, not one of us would stand. But the good news for sinners like you and me is found in the next verse, “But with You there is forgiveness , that You may be feared”.   A similar situation is recorded in 2 Samuel 14:14 where we are told, “For we must die and are as water spilt on the ground which cannot be gathered up again........but God has devised a means whereby His banished be not expelled from Him.”
What means has God devised for our salvation? We find the answer in some familiar and well loved verses in John’s Gospel 3:16-18. They read, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him shall not be condemned......”   So the answer to Job’s question, “How can a man be righteous before God? is found in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ who bore our sins in His own body on the tree (1 Peter 2:24).  God “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). What then must we do if we are to enjoy the assurance of salvation and a personal relationship with God? In Isaiah 55:7 we read, “Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord and He will have mercy on him, and to our God for He will abundantly pardon.”  God then asks us to maintain an attitude of Godly reverence for Him and a submission to His Word and His will.
Now we look at another vital question asked by Job. It is found in chapter 14:4 where he asks, “If a man die shall he live again?” The Lord Jesus provided us with the answer in John 5:28 where He said, “...the hour is coming in which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation.” Is there a life after this one?   Most definitely. In 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 Paul gives us this assurance about the life to come. He tells us that “The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” Nothing is more important for us all than that we should maintain a living, loving relationship with the Lord Jesus and so be ready for this momentous event. 
Now a brief reference to another question asked by Job in Job 1:10 where he queries, “Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” Now Job was a good man. God said of him, “....there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man who fears God and shuns evil.” But Job had a series of dreadful experiences. In one fateful day he lost all of his family and his possessions. Then he was afflicted with painful boils from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet. How did Job react to these calamities? He said, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Good people do suffer, but in spite of his miseries, Job could say, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust Him.” May God help us all to be “patient in trial, and faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12), and seek to remember that “all things work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28).
 This article was written by Pastor Geoffrey Davies. He is a frequent contributor to this column. He lives in Melbourne, Australia, where he pastored a church for over twenty-five years.  Since 1983 he has traveled widely, continuing his ministry of encouragement and Bible teaching.