THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD
THURSDAY 23 SEPTEMBER 2021
The righteousness of God came to mankind out of sheer generosity. God who is generous and rich in mercy, decided to put us in right standing with Himself, through His grace. So His righteousness is a pure gift. We didn't earn it. He got us out of the mess we were in and restored us to where He always wanted us to be. And He did it by means of Jesus Christ. In other words, the righteousness of God has been revealed in us through Christ Jesus, apart from the law.
Reference: Romans 1:17 New International Version (NIV) '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."'
The righteousness of God is a ministry from God; it is not man-made. Mankind did not contribute to it. It's purely divine, which means - its from God. The ministry is about God setting things right with us by sending Jesus to make things right for us, which we couldn't make happen. This is what 2 Corinthians 3:9 is talking about: "For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory" (ESV). There is substantial difference between both ministries and it's simple: The ministry of righteousness is superior to and more glorious than the ministry of condemnation. In other words, the ministry of righteousness outweighs the ministry of condemnation which produces negative feelings, wrath and death.
Remember that the ministry that brought condemnation was the old way or the old covenant engraved in letters on stone. But now, the ministry of righteousness made possible by our faith in Christ excels more in glory. Romans 3:22 clearly shows us that this righteousness is directly from God. It reads, "And this righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no distinction" (BSB). To all who believe the gospel, they must put their faith in Christ to possess and express this righteousness. So your belief in Christ is your personal efficacy and inward agency that grant you access to God's righteousness.
What does Paul mean by - just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith"? He is telling you how to apply this insight. The righteousness of God is the righteousness that works by faith from first to last. So you can review your faith walk and find out if you are living by faith or by sight. If you are not living by faith, your attention is no longer focused on God's righteousness and His perspective. You are now inserting your own righteousness which is probably by your efforts or works or through your own experience. Think about it: "For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed - a righteousness that is by faith from first to last..." That means, its a righteousness revealed through your faith walk from the start of your faith journey to the end of your Christian race.
The NLT made it simpler: "This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, "It is through faith that a righteous person has life" ( Romans 1:17 ). The expression: "from start to finish" means - throughout your Christian walk on earth. Till rapture, you are called to live by faith. This righteousness at work in you has the power to produce the right results for you, because you don't attempt to make things happen by yourself, but by exercising your faith in the finished work of Christ and depending on God's grace.
Therefore, when you hear that in the gospel, the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, it simply means that you're called to live a life of glory! Yes, life in Christ is meant to be glorious! So when you live or walk by faith, the righteousness of God is revealed in you more and more, because God is glorious, and for His righteousness to be revealed in you from faith to faith, it means that you've become an expression of God's glory. Psalm 97:6 reads, "The heavens declare His righteousness, And all the peoples have seen His glory." Did you grasp the expression? Its equally applicable to us, in the sense that when this righteousness is declared or revealed in us, people see the glory of God. Righteousness being revealed here doesn't mean that you are growing or increasing in the righteousness of God. It is a perfect gift (see Romans 5:17 NLT). So it means that your consistent faith walk causes or allows it to be seen clearly. Shalom!
Scripture Reading - Psalm 119:142; Isaiah 46:13; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Isaiah 51:8; Romans 3:21-22.
Exuberant Declaration: God is righteous within me and I'm established in His righteousness. My life is the demonstration of His love, mercy and grace and I'm overflowing with His glory. Through my faith in Christ, I'm sustained in the womb of God's Spirit since my new birth, and I'm carried along and led by Him in all things. Everything about God is splendid and majestic and His righteousness endures forever. Hallelujah!