The Righteousness of Faith
by Manuel Vargas
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The Righteousness of Faith
Paul taught us how we came to BELIEVE in the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF FAITH from Romans 9:30-33 NKJV thru to Romans 10:1-10 NKJV. The reason Paul spent so much time in sharing this lesson of FAITH with the Subject of RIGHTEOUSNESS is to validate the assurance that we are SAVED and MADE RIGHTEOUS BY FAITH and not by the works of the Law. Why is this important? Because many Christians (especially me when I was young in the FAITH) had this mixed idea that now that we become Born-again we need to try to win over Godís Favor by doing acts of RIGHTEOUSNESS to please God. However, Paul never taught that in all his letters.
Paul taught that Godís RIGHTEOUSNESS is only obtained by FAITH for believers today. Paul wrote, what shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue RIGHTEOUSNESS, have attained to RIGHTEOUSNESS, even the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF FAITH. (v. 30)
But Israel, pursuing the law of Righteousness, has not attained to the law of Righteousness. (v. 31)
Why? Because they did not seek it BY FAITH, (Iím purposely stopping mid verse and skipping straight to the point) (v. 32a) (Romans 9:30-32a NKJV)
For they (Israel) being ignorant of Godís RIGHTEOUSNESS, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD. (Romans 10:3 NKJV)
For Christ is the end of the law for RIGHTEOUSNESS TO EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES. (Romans 10:4 NKJV)
Outlining these Verses
Paul spoke about 2 groups of people on the earth Israel and Gentiles. Whoever is not a Jew is a Gentileówhether youíre Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, or Indian or any other ethnicity. God has only 3 groups of people that HE acknowledges Jews, Gentiles and the Church of Jesus Christ which consist of Jews and Gentiles that were Born-again.
Israel who failed to tap into the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD in the Old Testament have missed it because they did not achieved it BY FAITH.
However, the Gentiles who were not looking for Godís RIGHTEOUSNESS were able to experience Godís RIGHTEOUSNESS BY FAITH, when they heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ and BELIEVED. Paul explained why? Because Israel is still seeking to establish their own way of obtaining Righteousness by the law;
1. They are ignorant of GODíS RIGHTEOUSNESS.
2. They have not submitted to GODíS RIGHTEOUSNESS when preached or taught.
Paul went on to explain that Jesus is the dividing factor between the Old Testament and the New Testament. Testament meansóGodís Covenant or Agreement that God made with mankind. The NEW AGREEMENT GOD has made with Mankind is that BY BELIEVING IN JESUS CHRIST as our Lord and Savior we obtain RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Paul capped it off by explaining the process of Salvation in detail. Paul said, for with the heart (Human spirit) one BELIEVES unto RIGHTEOUSNESS, and with the mouth confession is made unto Salvation. (Romans 10:10 NKJV)
Grace and Faith brought us the Gift of God
When the Gospel of Jesus Christ is clearly Preached or taught to us, and we understand that by GRACE we have been Saved through FAITH, and that not of ourselves; IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD, not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV)
We immediately encountered the GRACE and FAITH of GOD in our lives. Paul went on to explain more about what GOD actually did in our lives when we became Born-again. In the very next verse, Paul wrote, For we are HIS workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which GOD prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10 NKJV)
God re-created us Supernaturally BY HIS Divine GRACE when we BELIEVEDóso now that we are Born-again we are not taught by Paul to keep the 10 Commandments. NO!
Paul said it clearly to the Church of Corinth. Paul wrote, therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he (or she) is a NEW CREATION; old things have passed away; behold, all things have BECOME NEW. (2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV).
Now, that we are Born-again, now that we are Saved, now that we are New Creations and HIS workmanshipówe can now live in the RIGHTEOUSNESS that God instilled in usóBY the GIFT HE GAVE US BY GRACE AND FAITH. And we can now be led by the Holy Spirit to live a life of godliness.
Theology teaches that thereís two types of RIGHTEOUSNESS;
1. Positional Righteousness
2. Practical Righteousness
Positional Righteousness says, we have to be in Godís perfect will (Positionally) which they used a Scripture reference out of context (Romans 10:3 NKJV), where it says, for they (Israel) being ignorant of Godís RighteousnessÖwhich is not what Paul meant or was referring too.
And Practical Righteousness, which they used the second part of the verse, and seeking to establish their own RighteousnessÖwhich is not what Paul meant in Romans 10:3 NKJV.
Paul was explaining the RIGHTEOUSNESS in the Old Testamentóvs.óthe RIGHTEOUSNESS in the New Testament.
Secondly, Paul clearly said, both types were to be experienced BY FAITHónot BY WORKS (Romans 9:30-32 NKJV).
Thirdly, Paul capped it off on how New Believers who heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ were able to experience THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GODóBY Believing in their hearts (Humans spirits) and confessing with their mouths that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead and they would be SAVED (Born-again) (Romans 10:10 NKJV).
Therefore, it is all by GODíS Divine Ability that HE enabled us to tap into the RIGHTEOUSNESS HE PROVIDE through JESUS CHRIST. God provided Jesus as Our Savioró2000 years ago. God provided the Preacher by Anointing them to Preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Message of RIGHTEOUSNESS that we can obtain BY FAITH. When we heard the Message the Holy Spirit granted us Supernatural Revelation to Believe the Message. Then when we took a step of FAITH BY BELIEVING in our hearts and Confessing with our mouths that God Raised Jesus from the dead we became Saved (Born-again) and Obtained the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD.
We are RIGHTEOUS because of JESUS
We understand that we were sinners because Adam sinned. And since we sin occasionally after we became Born-again, we are more aware of the habit and practice of sin than the RIGHTEOUSNESS we have obtained BY FAITH. And when we miss it and sin, we usually remain in guilt, condemnation, and have emotional pity-parties for a couple of days until we hear a powerful message to lift us out of our depressing state.
I was always up-and-down. They call it being a yo-yo Christian. Well, we have to learn how to free ourselves by FAITHóBY BELIEVING IN THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD. You see, Paul did his best to shift our focus away from ourselves and to LOOK AT JESUS THE AUTHOR AND FINISHER OF OUR FAITH.
Paul wrote, for since by man (Adam) came death, by MAN (Jesus) also came the resurrection of the dead. (1 Corinthians 15:21 NKJV)
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be alive. (1 Corinthians 15:22 NKJV)
Paul clearly pointed out that we died spiritually because of Adamóand will eventually die physically. But we all can live spiritually by being Born-againóand be resurrected later after we physically die, (if Jesus doesnít Rapture us up before we physically die).
Paul continued to teach the Christians at Corinth that Jesus made us RIGHTEOUS. Paul wrote, for HE (GOD THE FATHER) made HIM (JESUS) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD in HIM. (2 Corinthians 5:21 NKJV)
In all of Paulís letters he tried his best to inform us of our New Experience we encountered with JESUS CHRIST BY BELIEVING IN THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD BY FAITH. And this new found FAITH is what enables us to live a new life in the Kingdom of God on earth and exercising the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD.
We need to make a daily Proclamations of these verses.
* We are RIGHTEOUS because Jesus made us the RIGHTEOUS.
* We have obtained the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD BY FAITH.
* It was Godís Grace that provided us with Salvation.
* Salvation is a Gift. Grace is a Gift. Faith is a Gift. Righteousness is a Gift. I received that Gift BY FAITH. Iím Saved BY FAITH. Iím RIGHTEOUS BY FAITH. Iím Godís workmanship BY FAITH. Iím forgiven BY FAITH. Iím a New Creation BY FAITH. Iím in the family of God BY FAITH. Iím Born-again BY FAITH. Thank you Heavenly Father, Thank you Jesus and Thank you Holy Spirit for entering my life and transforming it BY FAITH.
The more we proclaim these Truths the more God will begin to be real in our lives and then we wonít be conscious of sin, but more conscious of God and HIS Word being a living reality in our lives. Amen.
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