People have always sought to win God’s approval. This has led them to make promises, to broker deals, and to try to be better than others. In the end, all these attempts fail to secure what they seek.
The problem is sin. Even if people could live morally outstanding lives worthy of the praise of others, the result would be the same, “they fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). God is perfect, and anything less than his perfection does not secure his seal of approval.
This is why I need to look away from myself and what I do. Instead I look to Jesus alone for God’s seal of approval. He came to this earth to secure what was impossible for me to attain.
Jesus received the seal of God’s approval at his baptism (Matthew 3:17). He also received it before he went to his death on the cross (Matthew 17:5). In both instances God the Father declared, “This is my Son whom I love, with him I am well pleased.” With these words, God put his seal of approval on everything Jesus did to secure the perfect life I lacked. Jesus even went one step farther. He also went to his death on the cross. There he gave his life as the perfect payment for my sin. He provided what God the Father required—a sinless death. The Father, then, placed his final seal of approval on all Jesus did when he returned to heaven.
Through faith in Jesus I receive the benefit of his precious work. No longer do I seek God’s favor based on my merits. No longer am I driven by promises to do better in order to win God’s favor. I have God’s seal of approval because Jesus has secured it as my Savior and my Substitute.
As a result I live in peace. Life holds no fear – I am one with God. Death holds no terror – I will be raised from the dead. The Day of Judgment holds no anxiety – I will be declared an heir of heaven. All this is mine through Jesus. He has secured God’s seal of approval and placed it on me.