Open to me the gates of righteousness,As I thought about it I felt an evil spirit trying to speak to me and bring me down. It was saying, "You'll never enter the gates to the Lord because you are unrighteous." I even thought of the verse in Romans which say, "There are none who are righteous, not even one." (Rom 3.10) As I thought on it, I wanted to enter the gate of God into his presence but I wondered if my unrighteousness was holding me back.
that I may enter through them
and give thanks to the LORD.
This is the gate of the LORD;
the righteous shall enter through it.
I thank you that you have answered me
and have become my salvation.
(Psalm 118:19-21 ESV)
Then a wonderful thing happened. Jesus spoke to me and reminded me that my righteousness before God is not determined by my action. I am righteous in God's sight because when God looks upon me he sees me covered in the death of Christ, and included in his resurrection through faith. In that moment at work the Lord brought to mind the verse in Galatians 3:6 which declares that Abraham's faith was credited to him as righteousness. And now, through the grace given me to believe, my faith in Christ is what has placed me in a righteous standing before God.
I CAN enter the gate of the Lord because I am RIGHTEOUS in Jesus Christ. My faith in Christ puts me into the wonderful, protective, guiding, leading company of a Heavenly Father!