In many Churches, we hear about salvation – going to heaven.
But in very few places do we hear that the Gospel is about the Righteousness of God.
Romans 1 “16 For I am not ashamed of the Good News of Christ, because it is the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first, and also for the Greek. 17 For in it is revealed God’s righteousness from faith to faith. As it is written, “But the righteous shall live by faith.”
We hear that we are made right with God. We hear that we have a “right standing” with God. Some call it a “positional righteousness”. It’s as if believers are still “sinners” with a “righteous name tag”.
But Paul said that in the Gospel, we see the Righteousness of God given to us by faith.
This is not just a position or being made right with God. It’s not just a right standing.
In the Old Testament, God would never share His glory with any man.
But in the New Covenant, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, who is the fullness of God.
The Righteousness of God is fully displayed in Jesus Christ who never sinned.
And when we believe in Christ, we are also made equally as perfect as Christ.
Colossians 2 “9 For in him all the fullness of the Deity dwells bodily, 10 and in him you are made full”
Jesus became sin on the cross so that we who believe in Him become the RIGHTEOUSNESS of GOD.
2nd Corinthians 5 “21 For him (Jesus) who knew no sin he (God) made to be sin on our behalf; so that in him (Jesus) we might become the righteousness of God.”
Under the Law, nobody is righteous. The unbeliever is condemned by his sins.
But the believer is made righteous freely by grace.
God has given us His glory and righteousness as a free gift.
Romans 3 ” 19 Now we know that whatever things the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be closed, and all the world may be brought under the judgment of God. 20 Because by the works of the law, no flesh will be justified in his sight; for through the law comes the knowledge of sin. 21 But now apart from the law, a righteousness of God has been revealed, being testified by the law and the prophets; 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ to all and on all those who believe. For there is no distinction, 23 for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God; 24 being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; 25 whom God sent to be an atoning sacrifice, through faith in his blood, for a demonstration of his righteousness through the passing over of prior sins, in God’s forbearance; 26 to demonstrate his righteousness at this present time; that he might himself be just, and the justifier of him who has faith in Jesus.“
Romans 4 ” to him who doesn’t work, but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness. 6 Even as David also pronounces blessing on the man to whom God counts righteousness apart from works, 7 “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the man whom the Lord will by no means charge with sin…. to whom it will be accounted, who believe in him who raised Jesus, our Lord, from the dead, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses, and was raised for our justification.”
Jesus Christ did all the work. He died for our sins and was raised to make us believers righteous without our works. We received the FREE GIFT of God’s righteousness by faith.
Romans 5 “Being therefore justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; 2 through whom we also have our access by faith into this grace in which we stand. We rejoice in hope of the glory of God…..17 For if by the trespass of the one, death reigned through the one; so much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ. 18 So then as through one trespass, all men were condemned; even so through one act of righteousness, all men were justified to life. 19 For as through the one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the one, many will be made righteous.“
We are righteous by faith in Christ’s perfect obedience.
As believers, we are perfect, righteous, holy, blameless and spotless without doing a single work. There is no judgment for the believer. God has made us AS RIGHTEOUS AS HIMSELF freely as a gift.
This is why we will be raised from the dead to live in heaven forever just like Jesus.
Galatians 5 “5 For we, through the Spirit, by faith wait for the hope of righteousness. “
Philippians 3 “9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith, 10 that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed to his death, 11 if by any means I may attain to the resurrection from the dead…. 20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from where we also wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will change the body of our humiliation to be conformed to the body of his glory, according to the working by which he is able even to subject all things to himself.”
We have the glory of Jesus Christ in us!
2nd Corinthians 4 “7 But we have this treasure in clay vessels, that the exceeding greatness of the power may be of God, and not from ourselves.”
Ephesians 1 “19 and what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to that working of the strength of his might 20 which he worked in Christ, when he raised him from the dead and made him to sit at his right hand in the heavenly places”
So then, we can now live righteously because we are already righteous in Christ. We can do good deeds because we are already righteous and perfect in Christ.
Romans 6 “8 But if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him; 9 knowing that Christ, being raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over him! 10 For the death that he died, he died to sin one time; but the life that he lives, he lives to God. 11 Thus consider yourselves also to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 Therefore don’t let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 Also, do not present your members to sin as instruments of unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin will not have dominion over you. For you are not under law, but under grace. 15 What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under law, but under grace? May it never be! 16 Don’t you know that when you present yourselves as servants and obey someone, you are the servants of whomever you obey; whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that, whereas you were bondservants of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were delivered. 18 Being made free from sin, you became bondservants of righteousness. 19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh, for as you presented your members as servants to uncleanness and to wickedness upon wickedness, even so now present your members as servants to righteousness for sanctification.“
1st Peter 2 “24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live to righteousness. You were healed by his wounds. 25 For you were going astray like sheep; but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”
Even if we stumble, we are still righteous because Christ is righteous.
The more we look to Jesus and His FREE GIFT of Righteousness….eventually, we as believers will walk in righteousness and love like Jesus Himself.
1st John 2 “My little children, I write these things to you so that you may not sin. If anyone sins, we have a Counselor with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous…29 If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.”