And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand. - Malachi 2:13
When we come to the Lord in repentance and faith, our only confidence that we have is that God alone is faithful to His covenant promises. We don't deserve any mercy or grace because we have confessed our sins. Indeed, our confession is just the opposite! We confess that we deserve God's wrath and condemnation for our transgressions against His law (Rom 3:1). However, our confession of wrongdoing is not the cause of our salvation. In our criminal court system, even if a murderer confesses his crimes before the judge and jury, admitting his wrongdoing with sincere remorse and tears, the judge still must mete out justice upon the individual and sentence him to whatever punishment that the law dictates. Likewise, our sincere regrets and remorse cannot obtain for us mercy and grace (Mal 2:13).
The religious pleading of the flesh cannot compare to the groanings of the Spirit. Religion attempts to establish a righteousness by covering the altar of the Lord with something else besides Christ and His righteousness alone. However, the Spirit points us to Christ whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God (Rom 3:25).
Oh, how wonderful to know that we can have no doubts that we'll be received by God on Christ's merit alone. We don't need to add our tears to manipulate the Lord and convince Him to accept us. We don't need to gaze longingly into our hearts to determine if our faith is sincere enough. We simply rest in Christ and His righteousness. We come to an uncovered altar which is Christ alone. We come without any confidence in the sincerities of our convictions. We are hell deserving sinners pleading only the blood and merit of the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe in Him because we know that His blood was the actual payment for the sins of His people. And it is through His blood that God is just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus (Rom 3:26).
Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law ... Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. - Rom 3:27-28, Rom 4:4-5
I cannot tell you how thankful I am to know that I can have peace with God without having to reach the gates of heaven. I have nothing to boast in save Christ and His work for sinners like myself. I have nothing to rest in save Christ alone. And it's a good rest.
Rest well my friends,