1 Righteousness.

“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)

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2 thoughts on “1 Righteousness.

  1. Steve – I follow and love your blog. A comment asking for your opinion. We talk daily about righteousness, right? About how it’s a gift. Well, what all is contained/entailed/included in this “righteousness” we get from God by faith? I think many blog readers may think this gift is limited to a “Straight A Report Card” from God on how pure He says we are, how well we behave, etc. But, I envision this righteousness also including that there are no failures of any kind in my life, according to God. Be it my appearance, my personality, my vocational success, my relational success, et al. I envision God’s righteousness including ALL of the blessings of God which is ALL POSSIBLE SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS. Any negative thought that may seek to gain foothold in me can be cast out by the renewing of my mind by remembering the free gift of God’s righteousness and all it contains. Comments?

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    • That’s interesting. I’ve never thought about that before. I see it as a moral perfection. God knew we could not reach his standard of perfection ourselves, so he gave it to us as a free gift, through Christ living in us. Paul says the mystery of the gospel is Christ in us. We are no longer simply human, but partakers of the divine nature – we are as glorious and beautiful as God…in God’s eyes. Seeing ourselves like this is the challenge – but the more we renew our mind as you say, the more sin drips off of us like melting ice, so the more of our own beauty we see, the more we gaze on Jesus and The Spirit changes us to be like Him – with ever increasing glory – with ever inreasing perfection. We start with God’s glory, and become ever more glorious. I think Heaven will be like this – ever increasing beauty – imagine! Our sensors for beauty will explode!

      But I love what you are saying, and I think you are right. Thanks for your thoughts 🙂

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