His Gift. Our Response.
"For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ." (Romans 5:17, NLT)
Here’s a huge revelation – righteousness is God’s gift to us, not our gift to Him! He made us righteous, without any help from us. When God gives us His righteousness, we are acceptable to God and approved, not because of anything we’ve done to earn it, but because of His great love, mercy and grace. What a gift!
In light of His free gift of righteousness, certain things will be true:
Because God gave us the gift of righteousness, we will want to do righteous things, but we don’t obtain our righteous standing before God through our righteous deeds. Can you see the difference? We can never obtain righteousness by our good deeds, no matter how good, noble or sincere we are. Righteousness is a gift – it’s not earned.
Because God has given us the gift of righteousness, we have the ability to stand before Him without any sense of guilt, inferiority or condemnation as though sin has never existed. We are free to fellowship with God, pray and know He hears us, live in joy and peace and experience His grace and favor! What a blessed life.
Sometimes, we think it's almost too good to be true. Well, it is true! The Lord is so generous, kind and rich in love towards us.
His Gift: Righteousness, a gift from God.
Our Response: Righteous deeds are our response to God’s gift.
We receive the gift of righteousness through our faith in Jesus and then we respond to this gift with a desire to love Him, serve Him and please Him. If we ever get that backwards, we slip into a work-oriented faith and we subtly begin to trust in our own righteousness, our diligence, our prayer life, our Bible reading time, our serving hours, our giving, our sacrifice and our devotion to God as the basis for feeling righteous and worthy of His blessing. If we head down the works-road, then, when we don’t meet our own standard, we begin to feel unworthy, guilty, and condemned. We'll slip into a downward spiral of thinking that we don’t measure up and therefore could not possibly be blessed by God.
That must be why the Bible says this, “Thus David congratulates the man and pronounces a blessing on him to whom God credits righteousness apart from the works he does….” (Romans 4:6, AMP)
And this…“But now the righteousness of God has been revealed independently and altogether apart from the Law….” (Romans 3:21, AMP)
And this…“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit….” (Romans 14:17, NIV)
And this…“However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.” (Romans 4:5, NIV)
Isn’t it freeing to know that other than trusting Jesus, you don’t have anything to do with the righteousness God has given you!
Today, whether you’ve been a Christian your whole life or you are just beginning your faith journey, why not receive the free gift of righteousness that God has given us through Jesus Christ, and live a life free from guilt and condemnation – free to serve the Lord!
Say It: “Father, Your free gift of righteousness is a gift that is almost too good to be true. I thank You for this gift. I didn’t do anything to earn it – it’s all You. I trust in Jesus and I receive Your free gift of righteousness. Thank You for paying the price for my sins so that I could be free from guilt and condemnation as if I have never sinned. Righteousness is Your gift to me and I thank You for it! My response to Your gift is to love You more and to live a life that honors You. And, if and when I blow it, I thank You in advance that Your gift of righteousness still stands strong in my life and Your grace will be there to help me get up and keep on going! In Jesus’ Name. Amen."
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