Ever thought that? Of course we all have.
The reason we have is because it is true. We never will be good enough. This is the premise for what Paul says next in showing how powerful the gospel is for the changing of lives:
“For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” (Romans 1 v 17)
Paul doesn’t explain what he means. Maybe he is assuming his readers know. He quotes Habakkuk 2:4 without citing his reference, they presumably know this Scripture.
God is righteous (Psalm 145:17) and He is a righteous covenant-keeper who is faithful to His people (Isaiah 42:6) but there is more! God does righteousness. God has made us right in His eyes. How? By faith.
The gospel is this: God removes the barrier of sin between us and Him and we are declared innocent by Him and for Him (we are justified). How? It is by the impact of the historical event of the cross and resurrection of Jesus in our lives. That impact is by faith remembering how Paul has told us to hold both obedience and faith side by side, distinct, but not separate, two sides of the same coin (1:5), that is the righteousness by faith.
It is everything, from first to last. He takes us into the story of Habakkuk ahead of writing of the coming wrath of God where God announces to the old prophet that judgment is coming through the invasion of the Babylonians. God says ‘don’t panic’ the righteous will survive by keeping faith with Him.
I’m not good enough to be a Christian! Yes that’s true.
It could never have been left to us to be good enough. God did more than enough.
We now live and will continue to live by faith in what God has done for us all. Amen.