by Jennie Smith
Secondary Assistant Principal
When I first came on staff at Faith 17 years ago, we began working towards the process of accreditation. Next week, all the work will be celebrated when five professionals in the field of education visit our school and decide whether to recommend us for accreditation. Recently I was asked to explain accreditation and the only thought that came to mind at the time was “stamp of approval.” An organization comes in, looks at everything, and says, “Yes, this school is doing what it needs to do to educate young people.”
In the few days the team will be on campus, they will interview teachers, parents, and students. They will observe in our classrooms. They will spend time reading through our documentation: our handbooks, our manuals, pages and pages of paper. They will get to know our school from every angle and at the end of the week they will tell us what we are doing well and where we need to improve. Then they will make the recommendation for or against accreditation.
As this process of accreditation has been prominent in my thinking, I wondered: is God in the business of accreditation? When He looks at me, and sees all my documentation, do I measure up to His standard? Alone…there is no way! “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one” (Psalm 14:3). On my own, in my state of sinfulness, I am not accredited by the Lord; I cannot meet His standard.
But there is hope! “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8), and if we confess with our mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead we are saved (Romans 10:8). It is through this faith that we are accredited. Genesis 15:6 says “Abraham believed the Lord, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Paul brings that home by telling us in Romans 4:23-25 “The words ‘it was credited to him’ were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”
There is only one step in God’s process of accreditation and that is faith in Him alone. I only have to present one piece of documentation…the Lamb of God. I am so glad that when God looks at me, I already have his stamp of approval…not because of anything I’ve done, but because when He looks at me, He sees someone who did everything right: Christ himself.