The first three chapters of Romans make it clear that all men were guilty before God by the law or by their own conscience. But Romans 3:21-22 marks a turning point in the book “BUT NOW, the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed . . .even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe.” This is echoed in Romans 10:4 “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” Paul is declaring that man is free from the guilt of sin – based on faith, not on works. “Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1) (note: all italics mine)
So, if God has revealed His righteousness apart from the law and made it completely available to anyone who believes, what would keep us from receiving it? Simple. Not believing it!
You cannot receive what you do not believe.
For many Christians, a dark cloud of condemnation tends to loom menacingly in their minds. This is caused by pondering over their failures and reasoning “I am not worthy to receive freely from God.” Thoughts like these actually play into the hand of the enemy who is looking to steal (i.e., conceal) what God has revealed to us.
Don’t let the enemy conceal what God has revealed – righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ.
But since the righteousness of God apart from the law has been revealed, let’s make Grace clear! Knowledge is the key to dispelling condemnation that is caused by confusion about the source of our righteousness. “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord . . .” (2 Pe. 1:2) “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” (Jn. 8:32) Truths like the ones from Isaiah 54, Hebrews 10, and Ephesians 1 are just such truths – truths that will transform you through the renewing of your mind – so that you can prove how good God’s will is! (Rom. 12:2)
Here’s another powerful truth Pastor Brad shared in his most recent sermon:
It was by ONE MAN’S OBEDIENCE that many were made righteous.
When Adam sinned, it was by one man’s disobedience that sin entered the world, and death through sin. So, just as through one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.” (Rom 5:19)
What a powerful truth! Our righteousness is based upon the obedience of another – Jesus! Our own obedience has NO PART to play in our right-standing with God!!!
Am I the ONE that made me righteous? Am I the ONE Man who’s obedience brought justification to me? No, I am not the ONE! Jesus is that ONE! The righteousness we stand in is based on the work of ONE! And His work is done! There is ONE Man who made me right with God! Not me! It is solely based on the finished work of Christ!!!
When you feel a cloud of condemnation – say to yourself “wait a second, who’s obedience am I relying on?” Remind yourself: “It’s by Jesus’ obedience!”
This is why 2 Cor. 10:4-6 – principal verses in the New Testament concerning spiritual warfare give us a powerful glimpse into how to combat the attacks of the enemy: bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ! Don’t let thoughts about yourself and your obedience enter the equation! It doesn’t have anything to do with you! Just check – is Jesus still perfect?!? It is about faith in what the ONE has done!
Christianity is not about the obedience of many, it is about the obedience of ONE and the many that believe in Him and thereby have been made righteous!
Focusing on the obedience of Jesus drives out condemnation from our minds because it causes us to see ourselves how God sees us – righteous! Don’t let unbelief stop the flow of grace from happening in your life any longer! Focus on the obedience of Jesus! Before you pray for the sick, remind yourself of the obedience of the ONE! Before you pray for wisdom for an important decision, remind yourself of the obedience of the ONE! If you entertain a negative thought and feel condemnation creeping in, remind yourself of the obedience of the ONE!