Sunday, January 22, 2023

Grace Reveals: A Righteousness apart from performance and works

“Now, brothers, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all who are sanctified. Acts 20:32 MEV

 We've begun a new series studying what the Grace of God has revealed to mankind. Grace that offers salvation has appeared to all men. We want to see what Grace reveals rather than what religious tradition proclaims.  

So far we have seen that Grace reveals a Loving Father who sent us His only Son. Grace reveals a Savior greater than any and all sins we as believers have committed or ever will commit. Grace is revealing a loving God, that He is always Good. 

 However, the religious traditions of man preach and teach that God is sometimes good and sometimes bad. That He is loving but also angry depending on man's actions. This is not good news but bad news and sad news intertwined with some good news. Brothers and sisters, this is not the Gospel message.

 Let's look at another truth Grace reveals to us. His Grace reveals a Righteousness that is apart from our works and any performance on our part. Grace reveals a Righteousness that can never be earned or achieved. Grace reveals a Righteousness that can never be removed or lost or forfeited. 

 21 God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21 MEV

21 For God took the sinless Christ and poured into him our sins. Then, in exchange, he poured God’s goodness into us! 2 Corinthians 5:21 TLB

 Jesus became something He never was; lost, spiritually separated, and unrighteous, so that we who believe would become something we've never been; Righteous, accepted, approved, in right standing, and spiritually alive in Him. This is the Good news of the Gospel. This is the message all believers need.

 Grace reveals a Righteousness that is ours because of Jesus. As believers, we aren't coming to God in our own righteousness but in Christ's Righteousness. Our relationship with our Father is based upon Jesus' Righteousness, not ours. 

 In this perfect work of the Cross, this perfect Redemptive work, Christ did something no one thought possible. Jesus completed the Great exchange. He took our filthy, wanting righteousness and sin and exchanged it with His perfect Righteousness and sinless spotless life. He took our unrighteousness and gave us His very own Righteousness. We now possess and walk in Jesus' Righteousness. We who believed therefore are just as Righteous as Jesus! 

 What is another aspect of this Gift of Righteousness? That is this a Righteousness apart from works and performance. Paul speaks of the difference between  Righteousness and salvation rooted in Grace versus earned righteousness in Romans 11. Look at this passage in another translation;

 So then at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace. But if it is by works, then is it no longer by grace; otherwise work would no longer be work. Romans 11:5-6 MEV 

 Righteousness is a Gift. It is right standing with God. It is also divine acceptance and approval. Whenever you hear ministers, read Christian books or publications, or follow an internet blog site, that proclaims there are things you must do in order to gain acceptance or approval with God know you are not hearing the Gospel.

 If the message you hear tells you that you can do more things to gain acceptance and approval from God then you've just entered a works and performance program and have left Grace behind. Hear this loud and clear, the only way anyone has acceptance and approval from the Father is because of Jesus' perfect work and nothing else. If we could do something to attain divine acceptance or gain more approval then what do we need Jesus for? 

 Righteousness is a Gift we receive not a work we achieve. It is a free gift that we receive by Faith alone. It is never earned or achieved by any actions or performance on our part. It is not attained by engaging in any form of spiritual discipline. It is a Gift that is only received by Faith.

 One final aspect of this great Gift of Righteousness. This gift is so powerful it also deals with all of our sins. Because of Righteousness, we have the gift of non-imputation of sin. 

   4 Now to the one who works, his wages are not credited as a gift, but as an obligation. 5 But to the one who does not work, but entrusts himself to the one who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness. 6 So also David speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: 7 "Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and who sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account." Romans 4:4-8 Mounce  

 Here is some Good News Gospel truth. God is not imputing our sins to our account any longer. God is not taking inventory of our sins. Jesus has already paid the full price for all our sins. His precious Blood has cleansed all our sins past, present, and future. We are forgiven and Righteous forever.

 Righteousness is a Gift. Righteousness is that Gift whereby we can stand before God without any sense of shame, guilt, or inferiority. It's that Gift where we are completely free from any and all condemnation. It's that Gift where our sins are never again to be imputed or charged to our account. It's a Gift that is completely free and can only be received and never achieved.

 In summation, God's Grace reveals to us a perfect gift of Righteousness. In order to walk in the fullness of this gift we must fully receive of it. Lay hold of it by Faith and walk in it boldly without compromise. If you have trusted in Christ you are Righteous,  just as Righteous as Jesus!

Image by rsand24 from Pixabay 

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