Act 20:32 And now, brethren, I commend (commit, entrust) you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up (edify), and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. Last week we talked about six reasons why a Believer should not live in sin, and how Biblical grace delivers from sin. This week, we will examine how we are declared righteous by God’s grace. Let’s get into the Word.
Rom 3:24 - Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Titus 3:7 - That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. We see from these two verses that we are justified, or declared righteous, by God’s grace. What is righteousness? The Greek word for justified - Dikaioo - means: to render, show, declare, pronounce, or regard one to be just, innocent, free, or righteous. By God’s grace, through faith upon Jesus, we are rendered just; declared innocent; pronounced free; and regarded righteous. This is our inheritance from God. Our righteousness is of Him (Isa 54:17).
E.W. Kenyon wrote: “Righteousness means the ability to stand in God's presence without the sense of guilt, condemnation, or inferiority; as though sin had never happened, as Adam did before he ever transgressed.” What a wonderful truth.
Some Biblical facts about righteousness:
1. Righteousness is a gift. Rom 3:24 - Being justified freely by his grace… . Rom 5:17 - … they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. Righteousness is a free gift. It cannot be earned, but only humbly received. It causes us to reign in life!
2. Righteousness is received by faith: Philp 3:8-9 …that I may win Christ, and be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith. Rom 4:3 - For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. See also Rom 4:21-5:1.
3. Righteousness cannot be by works: Gal 2:21 - I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. Read carefully Romans 9:30-10:4. If one tries to work for righteousness, they cannot have it. If one simply receives it by faith in Jesus Christ, it is theirs. This cannot be more clear. Hebrews tells us we must labor to enter into our Sabbath rest, and cease from our own works. That rest is Jesus Christ.
4. We must awaken to righteousness: 1Co 15:34 - “Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.” We must wake up to God's righteousness! Paul said it is shameful for us to not have the knowledge of God's righteousness! We must wake up, and come to a full understanding of our righteousness in Christ Jesus. This is where victory in the Christian life lies. This is where peace and acceptance with God lies. This is where joy lies. Until we awaken to this truth, that we are righteous with God's own righteousness - we will never have the relationship with The Father that He desires, and that He gave His Son to have with us. We must continually acknowledge every good thing in us in Christ Jesus (Phm 1:6).
5. Jesus has become our very righteousness: We have been made (to become, to come into existence) the righteousness of God in Christ (2Cor 5:21). It was God’s plan for Jesus to become our very righteousness; our very wisdom; our very sanctification; our very redemption (1Cor 1:30). Christians are new creations in Christ, which, according to God, are created in righteousness and true holiness (Eph 4:24). If it was just man talking, I would say, “Impossible”. However, this is God’s eternal Word. These are the facts of our redemption. It sounds too good to be true; yet it is true. You see, God removed every barrier that hindered our perfect reconciliation and relationship with Him. This is His plan, not mans. In Christ, our sins are removed. In Christ, we are made righteous. In Christ, we have perfect relationship with The Father. This is amazing grace.
In Closing: Matt 5:6 - Blessed (supremely blest, fortunate, well off, & happy) are they which do hunger (crave, famished,) and thirst after righteousness (justification): for they shall be filled (gorged, filled to abundance, satisfied). If you long for, hunger, and thirst for righteousness, you will only be filled with it by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. God gives good gifts, and one of those gifts is righteousness. Receive His righteousness today!