Romans 10:10 - "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness......."
Romans 5:17 - "For if by one man's offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ."
Paul makes two significant statements about righteousness:
1. With the heart man believes unto righteousness.
2. When we receive Jesus and we are born again, we receive "the gift of righteousness."
RIGHTEOUSNESS IS A GIFT
Too often we have associated righteousness with "good works." The Bible teaches good works and right conduct, but all of our good works and right conduct will never make us righteous. If good works made us righteous, we wouldn't need Jesus.
Another fallacy about righteousness is that we've thought we had to grow into some kind of "high spiritual state" to be righteous. We can grow in the Lord and we can develop spiritually, but we cannot grow in righteousness. We will never be any more righteous than we are right now!
2 Corinthians 5:17,21 - "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. For he hath made him (God has made Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him."
Matthew 6:33 -- "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."
In Christ we become new creatures. In Him we become the righteousness of God when we are born again (verse 21).
This righteousness we are told to seek is not right behavior, but RIGHT STANDING before God, which comes to us as a gift when we receive salvation.
Romans 4:5 -- "But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness."
We are not righteous because of how morally upright we are.
We are not righteous because we exercise self-control.
We are not righteous because we read 10 chapters of the Bible daily.
We are not righteous because we feel righteous.
JESUS' FINISHED WORK ON THE CROSS
We are the righteousness of God in Christ solely because the sacrifice of Jesus made us so. When we believe this, our faith is accounted for righteousness.
If we are righteous by our deeds, we don't need faith. We also don't need faith to know that we are sinful. But we do need faith to believe and declare that we are the righteousness of God in Christ, in the midst of our struggles with temptation and sin.
At the cross, Jesus didn't just remove our sins, He also gave us His righteousness so that today, we can come boldly before the throne of God and receive freely everything that He died to give us!
I seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, not my own righteousness, and "all these things shall be added to me."
I am righteous only because of the blood and finished work of Jesus at the cross.
ALBERT FINCH MINISTRY
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