For grace to have full effect in our lives, we must learn to understand righteousness. We have seen that there are two righteousness. One is based on self and the other on God. Grace reigns in our lives based on the second. Unfortunately, many Christians are interpreting grace by how good they have been but it is not based on our works. God’s righteousness only manifests in our lives only through faith.
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
Righteousness means that we have been moved into a position of right standing before God. This is based on what Christ has done and not on what our works. This happened when we invited Jesus to be our Savior. Our righteousness is not based on our actions. Grace cannot reign in our lives until we are able to understand this. Every Christian must come to a revelation that our right standing before God is based on what Jesus did and not on what we have done.
14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
Many people read these verses and describe the “free gift” as salvation. If you will read this in context it will become clear that is not what Paul is talking about. The “free gift” is righteousness!
17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
Paul linked grace and righteousness in this verse. We must develop a revelation of both to walk in the victory provided in Jesus’ redemptive work. Many people focus on grace. To move into the victorious life God has planned for us will require us to understand what that grace has done for us and how it changed us. Grace drew us to Christ and made us righteous when we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior!
I believe that the number one reason Christians are not experiencing victory is a lack of understanding in the area of righteousness. The blood of Jesus cleanses us and we have right standing (i.e., righteous) with God.
18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
We were made righteous by Jesus’ obedience. Our works could never accomplish this! Our righteousness before God was received by faith. It is much different than the perceived righteousness many Christians have that is based on their actions. This self-righteousness is worthless before God.
God does not evaluate any person according to their own self-righteousness. Our standing before Him will always be based solely on what Jesus did. If we come before God based on our works we will be rejected. Many Christians do this without even realizing they are. They approach God talking about their church attendance, how much they fasted, or even how many chapters they have read in the Bible. These things are important but God will not move in our lives based on them. His Spirit is only able to move in our lives because of the work of Christ Jesus!
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