“I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to esstablish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for all who believe.” – Romans 10:2-4
I don’t know about you guys, but reading Paul’s letters after a revelation of ‘grace’ illuminates them in a whole new way. ‘Righteousness’ and ‘grace’ appear everywhere, floating off the page. I love this passage.
Paul is talking about the Israelites, the Jews, but how many in the church today are zealous for God, yet still seeking to please him by not doing this or that, and telling others what they should and shouldn’t be doing. Teachers and preachers who think they are adding to the righteousness God has given them as a gift. Teachers and preachers who have not submitted to God’s righteousness and are seeking to establish their own.
We are righteous by faith.
Nothing we can do can add to the righteousness He has given us. And nothing we do can take it away.
Our righteousness is a gift from God – pure and simple.
I’ve had conversations with people recently who preach the ‘already but not yet’ theory. The ‘two righetousnesses.’ Positional and actual.
Yes, we are righteous in Christ positionally – but actually, there’s still a long way to go, and it’s up to us to get there, to say no to sin, to overcome sin ourselves.
But where does Paul talk about having two righteousnesses? Nowwhere. Never does Paul talk about positional and actual righteousness. He says we are righteous by faith.
There is no ‘already but not yet’.
Don’t be like the Jews of Paul’s day and seek to establish your own righteousness, because that is rejecting the righteousness that comes from God – rejecting Christ’s work on the cross.
Accept the gift of righteousness.
And, like Isaiah, be overwhelmed with joy at being draped in a robe of His righteousness, not your own! (Isaiah 61:10)