“BRETHREN, MY heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth. For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, that the man which doeth those things shall live by them”- Romans 10:1-5
LIGHT FOR NOW: Righteousness is Faith in Christ
Romans 4:25 says, “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification”; also Romans 5:18 says, “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”. Both texts convey same message, implying that it is in Christ’s resurrection that we have justification and righteousness. The word “justification” used in the above texts was translated from the Greek word “dikaiosis” It implies to “release or relieve from an obligation”, “an acquittal”. Hence, the recipient of this justification has no obligations to meet or fulfill anymore. He is no longer a debtor, because Jesus rose from the dead. Paul in our theme text was intelligently explaining in context the two kinds of righteousness. In verse 1, he used the word “brethren” which was translated from the Greek word “adelphos”, and it implies from the same womb; of the same lineage. When it is used, it does not always refer to believers; hence the context of its usage must always be taken into consideration. In verses 2 and 3, Paul further noted that Israel had a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge; they were ignorant of God’s righteousness and going about to establish their own righteousness. He clearly made a distinction by firstly talking about God’s righteousness and then mentioned their own righteousness, which he further explained in verse 5 as the righteousness of the law. Notice that he used the word “righteousness” for both God and man, implying that it came from two sources – one is from God while the other is from man.
A very important point to note here is the fact that Paul wasn’t discussing mere human conduct because he explained what he meant in verses 4 and 5: “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth. For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, that the man which doeth those things shall live by them”. The word “righteousness” was translated from the Greek word “dikaiosune” and it means that which is proper, that is, what is moral, acceptable and just. The phrase “the righteousness which is of the law” was translated from the Greek word “dikaiosune ten ek tou nomos” and it implies that righteousness that came out of the law. However, in verse 6, Paul explains the righteousness of God as one which is of faith (Greek: “dikaiosunei ek pistis”) In Genesis 15:6 the Bible says, “And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to for righteousness”. This is talking about Abraham; and this was the first place in the entire Bible that the words “believed”, “counted” and “righteousness” were used and they were all used for the first time together and in the same sentence. In essence, Abraham believed in the Lord and God described it as righteousness (Hebrew: “tsedaqah”), used for merit, good behavior and honesty. Thus Abraham’s faith was described as righteousness. This nature of God is what gives us the ability to stand before God and be accepted. With it, we can fellowship with Him, unafraid and unashamed; nothing and no one can condemn us anymore, because God has justified and acquitted us in Christ.
INSTRUCTION: Believe and be made righteous
PRAYER: I affirm that I am the righteousness of God in Christ having believed in the finished work of my Lord and savior, Amen.
QUOTE: Righteousness is not the absence of sin in a man but the presence of God in a man.
DAILY READING: MORNING: ROMANS CHAPTER 5; EVENING: ROMANS CHAPTER 10