“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jews first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith” – (Romans 1:16-17)
LIGHT FOR NOW: Righteousness is Faith in Christ
There’s no word in the Bible, in theology or in the body of Christ which is less understood and appreciated as the word righteousness. Yet in it are all the yearnings of mankind wrapped. It is in this state that all that man lost in the Garden of Eden is restored. It is what comes to us at salvation and what readily cripples the old sin consciousness that had robbed us of our place in God. The word righteousness according to our theme text was translated from the Greek word “dikaiosune” and it implies that condition of being acceptable to God, to attain a state approved of God, integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness. The word righteousness appears 92 times in the New Testament books and only Apostle Paul used it 64 times out of its 79 times usages in the epistles. It therefore shows that the word righteousness was mostly used in the Pauline epistles; mostly in the book of Romans – 36 times. Hence, to have a depth of understanding of the concept of righteousness, one must extensively study the book of Romans. In verse 17 of our theme text where Paul talked about “faith to faith”, he was simply referring to two dispensations, that is, when righteousness was a promise; “afore” (before Jesus came), it was by faith; and when it was fulfilled(by His resurrection), after He rose from the dead; today it is also by faith. This speaks of the two kinds of faith – faith in the promise and faith in the fulfillment of the same. Paul used a similar phrase in 2 Corinthians 3:18 “from glory to glory”. And here he was discussing two kinds of glory; the glory of the Old Testament (covenant) which was in Moses, that faded away; and the glory of the new covenant, which is in Christ.
Paul further explains the righteousness of God in Romans 4: “Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works… for the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith… And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; who was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification” (Romans 4:6, 13, 22-25). In verse 6, the word “without” was translated from the Greek word “choris” which implies apart from the law, that is, you will not find this kind of righteousness in the law. So the righteousness of God has no works involved at all; it is gotten by faith in Christ. At no time was the righteousness of God a function of works, it has always been by faith hence Paul kept using the word “imputed” (Greek: “logizomai”) which implies “counted” or “reckoned”. According to Paul’s explanation in our earlier referenced text of the scripture, what God imputed for Abraham was righteousness through faith. Righteousness is the nature of God imparted to our Spirit at salvation, which enables us to stand in God’s presence without fear or any sense of inferiority or condemnation. It is a free gift from God; and one cannot grow or increase in righteousness but can grow in the consciousness of it. Righteousness is not the absence of sin in a man but the presence of God in a man. “I do not frustrate the grace of God for if righteousness could come by the law then Christ died in vain” (Galatians 2:21)
INSTRUCTION: Never frustrate the grace of God.
PRAYER: I affirm that I was born with God’s nature of righteousness. I am a son of God with His same quality of life- GLORY!
QUOTE: Righteousness is not the absence of sin in a man but the presence of God in a man.
DAILY READING: MORNING: GALATIANS CHAPTER 2; EVENING: GALATIANS CHAPTER 3