Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Two types of Righteousness (Part 1)

Romans 10:5-10
Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.” But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’" (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”

There are two types of righteousness. The one we will explore in this post is the righteousness that is by the law, and the other is righteousness by faith.

The Righteousness that is by the Law.

There is only one way to achieve this kind of righteousness: It is perfect obedience to God's every word, in our thoughts, in what we say and in what we do. That's why Moses says: "The person who does these things will live by them."

To Be righteous in God's right (which means to ne right with God and to please him) by what we do, we need to never disobey him. We need to be absolutely perfect.

Problem: We all sin. We stuff up:

Romans 3:23
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"
God's standard is absolute perfection, and we cannot meet that because we all sin. This righteousness doesn't trust in Jesus to save, instead it trusts in ourselves - which would be OK if we could achieve it, but we cannot. It's the basis for all the world religions except for Christianity: That we need to do something to please God and get ourselves to heaven. It is one of Satan's favourite lies because it either puffs us up and blinds us with pride or makes us feel useless and worthless because (if we are honest with ourselves) we know that we cannot truly achieve perfection here.

This righteousness is always looking for what it can add to Jesus' work. It's something most Christians struggle with: How can I be better, how can I please God more? What we need to realise is that we cannot please God. Only Jesus can and if we put our faith in him then we are saved. From there we will obey God out of love and faith, not out of trying to buy our way into heaven.

No one can be saved by the righteousness that is by the law. Only Jesus was perfect, only faith in him can save.

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