The Gift of Righteousness
Romans 5:17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!
It is through the abundance of Grace and the gift of Righteousness that we reign in life. Many a times we are afraid of this kind of teaching in the church. We are afraid that if we preach abundant grace then people will cast of restraint and live a lifestyle of sin.
I personally have never met a person who actually confessed to me that hearing of the goodness of God made them want to sin more. Although, I have heard the opposite. I have heard people testify about how the goodness of God led them to repentance and made them more aware of His love for them.
This is a great point of disagreement in the church world.
In a nutshell when you are hearing about the goodness of God and all that He has done for you, through His Son Jesus, you are more pronged to live a lifestyle that reflects Him instead of one that doesn't.
At the end of the day the proof is in the pooding. It all boils down to the fruit! What is your believing producing in your life? People who are under Grace actually live a holier lifestyle on accident than people who are purposefully setting out to do so in their own strength. The reason is because of perspective.
What you believe about the Father and His glorious gospel controls the outcome of your life as a believer. How you respond to Him, How well you listen to or hear from Him, etc. Many people do not realize that what they believe is what controls their future.
This verse actually declares unto us that when we hear of the abundance of Grace and the gift of righteousness we reign in life. Notice what it does not say: It doesn't say when we hear about sin, or the preaching of it, we reign in life. Yet, in most pulpits today what do you hear? Preaching on sin or preaching on Jesus and His righteousness that is a gift to be recieved?
To the amazement of many the scriptures actually teach us that whatever we are conscious of matters. Being conscious of all your sins might seem admirable but its detrimental to, but not limited to, your relationship with God. Which one would you deem as a stronger consciousness? One that is filled with rules and demands, wrongdoings and failures or one that is filled with love, mercy, goodness and the grace of God? Which one will produce more life?
Are you conscious of all your sins and failures? Or, are you conscious of His righteousness that is in you through Jesus our Lord? Another way to ask this is, are you more conscious of self, what you are doing right or wrong, or the finished works of Jesus and all that He has done on our behalf?
Let me say that we are all after the same thing...freedom. A life free from sin and one that honors the Lord. The conflict arises on how we arrive there. One leans toward behavior modification and the other is through heart transformation. Behavior modification leans on your own self effort and strength and works of the flesh, the other leans toward the working of the spirit of God and fruits of righteousness.
Being more conscious of self is a dead in road and always points you back to what you can do. You have to began looking away from yourself unto One greater than you...namely - Jesus the Lord.
In the book of Romans chapter 6 the apostle Paul actually addresses these type of concerns. He actually begins to point out that the form of doctrine that you listen to or pay attention to is what produces in your life. Verse 14-17 he begins to teach that being under grace is the way to being free from sin. This always begs the question from critics "Are you saying we can sin more"? Of course the answer is "Absolutely not!"
Are you listening to doctrine of sin unto death or of obedience unto righteousness? In other words are you listening to sermons or teachings that remind you of self or Jesus?
You and I are bankrupt and have nothing apart from Jesus. All the way to the cross and throughout His entire life Jesus lived a perfect sinless life. This was all for you and I. It is because of His obedience that you and I are made the Righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
Many questions are still to be answered concerning our current series Righteousness by Faith. Stay tuned for more. As the Lord allows our goal is to cover it all in detail.