Of Surpassing Importance

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 6
A few years ago a young Jew was in the employ of the United States legation at Oslo. He was a well-informed fellow and a very ready talker. Indeed, he loved to display his knowledge and ability.
One day in his boasting of his powers of speech he offered to mount a chair and make an impromptu address on any subject that might be chosen by those present.
After a pause one of his fellow-clerks, a thoroughgoing Christian, took up the young Jew's challenge.
"Very well," he said, "mount your chair and take this question for your subject: 'How should a man be just with God?' Job 9:2. That question is raised in your own Scriptures."
The effect of those words was remarkable. The boaster's whole appearance changed. His self-confidence forsook him. He shook his head. At last shamed and speechless, he gave up the attempt. The one thing of supreme importance to dying men and women he did not know and had not one word to answer.
Are you inclined to excuse this young Jew? Do you say that, being a Jew, and consequently rejecting even a part of the Bible, of course he had no answer to this question? But, consider: how few who call themselves Christians would be ready to answer that question at a moment's notice, or even to answer it at all! To know how others can be just or right with God one must needs be right with God oneself.
To be right with God is a matter of supreme importance. It matters little what you are, if you are not that. "All knowledge" of things that count in this life will avail you nothing if you remain in ignorance of this one thing that counts in eternity. The question of questions is: Are you right with God?
God's Word clearly shows the way. FIRST: justification before God cannot be earned. It cannot be deserved. If a soul be justified at all, it must be by the grace of God, and by that alone.
SECOND: the only means of having justification is through the redemption work accomplished by the Lord Jesus Christ, when He died on the cross. His atoning death, His resurrection, alone can meet the guilt of your sins and put you right with God.
THIRD: you can only be thus justified before God if and when you believe in Jesus. Then God reckons to your account the value of His Son's death and you are positively justified.
FOURTH: when you do believe in Jesus and are justified, that great blessing will reach you freely. God justifies not only without charge, but also without grudging.
These four statements emphasize a blessed portion from the Word of God: "Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus... that He might be just and the Justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." Romans 3:24, 26.
Trusting in Christ for yourself, definitely accepting Him as your Savior and Lord, you can say, "By faith in Jesus I am right with God."
You may not be counted great or learned in worldly wisdom; but this is the foundation of the answer you would give to the hope that is in you. This indeed is the one thing of surpassing importance.