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  • Writer's pictureJack Selcher

Are You Right with the LORD?

Jesus on the cross with bystanders around him

Strained relationships with others stress me. A fellow pastor was upset with me about fifteen years ago. He didn’t tell me, but others did. I don’t know how I offended him. When I saw him at a meeting, his body language confirmed it. I didn’t know how I could make things right with him.

Out of nowhere, the LORD provided the opportunity in less than an hour. Before we participated in Communion during our meeting, the leader made an unusual request. He asked us to go to anyone we didn’t have a healthy relationship with to mend it before we participated in Communion.

With great fear, I went to that pastor. I told him I knew I had offended him and that it wasn’t intentional. I asked if he would forgive me. He said that all was forgiven. I was right with him again.

Later, as a gift, I gave him the first medal I won in a Master’s track and field competition. He said, “I could never have won this.” It was a bonding moment.

Many people would be far better off if a strained relationship with God stressed them. They aren’t right with the LORD, but it doesn’t bother them. Such people are unlikely to have any interest in a blog like this. If you are reading this, I am probably not talking about you.

I studied all biblical references in the New Living Translation that contained the words “right with the LORD.”

“Right with the LORD” is found only in the Old Testament. It is used 30 times, 29 of them in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. It is used once in Ezekiel 45:17.

It is invariably used after describing an animal sacrifice and the necessary purification that resulted from it. Sin required death. The LORD allowed an animal to die as a substitute for the sinners' death. The death of the sacrifice purified the sinners. That made them right with the LORD, and He forgave their sin.

For example, “Then you must bring to the Lord as the penalty for your sin a female from the flock, either a sheep or a goat. This is a sin offering with which the priest will purify you from your sin, making you right with the Lord” (Leviticus 5:6 NLT).

How the LORD purified sinners is further explained in Leviticus 17:1 NLT, “For the life of the body is in its blood. I have given you the blood on the altar to purify you, making you right with the Lord. It is the blood, given in exchange for a life, that makes purification possible.” These sacrifices are a shadow of the substance Jesus’ sacrificial death represents.

We see the same truth in Acts 10:36 and Romans 5:1. Jesus is the sacrifice that purifies people and makes them right with God and forgiven. “This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel—that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all” (Acts 10:36 NLT).

Romans 5:1 NLT highlights the necessity of faith in the ones to be purified, “Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.” Christians trust completely in the adequacy of Jesus Christ as God’s provision for their sins.

Faith was just as important in the Old Testament even though it isn’t mentioned in any verses containing the words “right with the LORD.” Sinners who followed the LORD’s prescription for cleansing believed they were purified, right with the LORD, and forgiven because the LORD said they were. They didn’t feel morally and spiritually cleaner because an animal had died, but God said it was so.

Jesus summed up how we are right with God when He said, “The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!” (Mark 1:15 NLT). Are you right with the LORD?  #freechristiandiscipleshipresources #freeevangelismresources #freechristianleadershipresources 

See free spiritual growth resources for Christians at

God has equipped and empowered me to write His Power for Your Weakness—260 Steps Toward Spiritual Strength. It’s a free devotional, evangelism, and discipleship resource. Pastors have used it in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia to lead more than 2,400 people to faith in Christ and teach the basics of Christianity to 3,753 people. I invite you to check it out. 

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