Grace and Righteousness
"For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ." (Romans 5:17, NKJV)
Let’s look at one more shout-out from God’s Word! As I've mentioned in previous posts, if we want God’s power to reign in life, it’s available! If you’re a mom, dad, student, athlete, business owner, single person, sales executive, homeschooler, politician, fighting a faith battle, a preacher or just a fired up Christian—God wants you to reign in life and He tells us how to do it in Romans 5:17. He tells us to receive two specific things - abundant grace and the gift of righteousness.
Abundance of Grace: There are a lot of ways to look at grace. We could examine saving grace, serving grace or standing grace and how these graces impact our lives so we can reign. In general, when we receive (take, claim, obtain, possess) God’s grace, He causes us to be “highly favored.” His grace, His loving-kindness, is a benefit and reward. God’s grace is given to us as a favor, which we receive without any merit of our own. God’s grace keeps, strengthens and increases us in Christian faith. God’s grace is freely given to those who believe and is ultimately defined as the sum of earthly blessings! We can access an abundance of grace by faith according to Romans, “…through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:2, NKJV)
What does that mean? It means that by faith (what we believe in our hearts and acknowledge with our mouths) we simply receive/take the free gift of God’s favor, blessing, reward, strength and benefit in the areas of our lives where we need to reign! God is so good and that is one heck of an exclamation point!
Gift of Righteousness: God’s gift of righteousness is one of the most profound and generous gifts God has given us. It’s the Mother Lode! To receive God’s gift of righteousness is to become as righteous as He is! To be righteous is the character or quality of being right or just. It is used to denote an attribute of God—the righteousness of God—and that gracious gift of God to men whereby all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ are brought into right relationship with God. This righteousness is unattainable by obedience to any law, or by any merit of man’s own, or any other condition than faith in Christ.
When we believe in Jesus and receive (take, claim, obtain) the gift of righteousness, God legally justifies us in Heaven’s court! Because of the finished work of Jesus on the cross, He declares that we are not guilty. This is a declaration that heaven will never repeal. Listen to this definition of “justification”—the act of God removing from the believing sinner, his guilt and the penalty incurred by that guilt, and bestowing a positive righteousness, Christ Jesus Himself in Whom the believer stands, not only innocent and uncondemned, but actually righteous in point of law for time and for eternity. The words justify, justification, righteous, righteousness, as used of man in his relation to God, have a legal, judicial basis.
God’s gift of righteousness is free. We cannot earn it. We can only receive it through believing in Jesus and His finished work on the cross on our behalf. What a gift!
I love these statements. Two are by a historic figure and one, by a modern-day preacher of righteousness:
“What awful presumption to imagine that there is any work good enough to pacify God, when to pacify God required the invaluable price of the death and blood of His own and only Son?” (Martin Luther)
“If my salvation was so difficult to accomplish that it necessitated the death of Christ, then all my works, all the righteousness of the Law, are good for nothing. How can I buy for a penny what cost a million dollars?” (Martin Luther)
“The Law condemns the best of us—righteousness justifies the worst of us.” (Joseph Prince)
God’s exclamation point is simply this: When we receive abundant grace and the gift of righteousness we will reign in life! Let’s declare it today…
Say It: “Father, I thank You for the ability to reign in life. Today, because of Jesus and His finished work on the cross, I receive (I take, claim and possess) the abundant grace You so freely give. I am living under Your unmerited favor. I am a recipient of Your goodness, benefits and rewards. I thank You for the inner strength and ability You give me by grace. I receive (I take, claim and possess) Your free gift of righteousness. I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. You have declared that I am justified. It’s ‘just as if I had never sinned.’ I believe it and I receive it. I am free from guilt, condemnation and inferiority. I am free to worship You Lord. I am free to live a life that honors You. I thank and praise You today for your amazing gifts and the power to reign in life! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
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