Tag: righteousness

Righteousness by faith alone

Scripture reading for February 19th: Romans 9

Key Scriptures: Romans 9:30-33 “What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, as it is written, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame.””

Paul was a Jew and would have given his own life and salvation for that of his Jewish brothers and sisters. He understood the futility of trying to keep the law for righteousness. He had tried and failed and knew that his brethren had also failed. It was only by faith that righteousness could be obtained as a gift, not as wages earned. This was the stumbling stone, Jesus Christ–one descended from David perfectly kept God’s law and offered Himself as a sacrifice by giving His body and blood. Faith in Him alone would bring the gift of righteousness.

Romans 3:28-30 “For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes of Gentiles also, since God is One–Who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for revealing the way of faith and grace to obtain justification and righteousness. I believe in Jesus Christ and will not be put to shame! Open doors for me to proclaim the Good News of Your grace gift today.

Romans 4:3-5 “For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in Him Who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness. . . .”

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Dead to sin, alive to God!

Scripture reading for February 16th: Romans 6

Key Scriptures: Romans 6:11-14 “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.”

Paul was explaining the reality behind the sacrament of water baptism. In water baptism, the one being baptized is plunged under the water identifying with Jesus’ death and burial. The old carnal man has died with Jesus on the cross and was buried with Jesus. But as Jesus Christ did not stay in the grave, but was resurrected on the third day, so the baptismal candidate comes up out of the water a new man, out of death’s reach and freed from the grip of sin. Grace abounds through repentance and submission to Jesus Christ. But we still have a responsibility to choose daily to offer our bodies and its members to Christ as redeemed from death and alive in Him. Sin now has no dominion over us as a slave-master. We are dead to sin and no longer under law either. Grace is our new master through faith in Jesus!

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I thank You that you have told me to declare my old man as dead and buried. I was baptized in obedience and trust in my resurrection to a new life and eternal life with You. Help me each day to count my members dead to sin and alive to You for worship and service.

Jeremiah 31:33-34 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put My law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity and their sins I will remember no more.”

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Fully convinced!

Scripture reading for February 12th: Romans 4

Key Scriptures: Romans 4:19-24 “He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what He had promised. That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in Him Who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, Who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.”

Paul used the father of faith, Abraham as a teaching point on justification by faith alone. Abraham was counted righteous when he believed God’s promise of offspring and inheritance despite the condition of his body or Sarah’s womb. This was 430 years before the giving of the Law and before circumcision. Abraham simply believed that God was able to fulfil His promise no matter what he thought or his physical condition. Because of his faith, God gifted him ‘righteousness’. This was written down for the Jews and for Gentiles of every age. Through faith alone by grace alone we are justified–made just before God. We should be fully convinced that God will do what He has promised for He is totally faithful. We have an inheritance awaiting us!

Romans 4:13 “For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord, thank You for saving Jew and Gentile by faith and giving all promise of eternal inheritance in Your family! I am fully convinced You are faithful to Your promises and will share the Good News today with others! Grant me open doors and grace!

Genesis 15:5-6 “And He brought him outside and said, “look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then He said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” And he believed the Lord, and He counted it to him as righteousness.”

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Grace as a free gift!

Scripture reading for February 11th: Romans 3

Key Scriptures: Romans 3:21-26 “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it–the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, Whom God put forward as a propitiation by His blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in His divine forbearance He had passed over former sins. It was to show His righteousness at the present time, so that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”

God’s amazing wisdom and grace for righteousness was made available to Jew and Gentile. Although they were all sinners under God’s wrath, God provided redemption through His Son’s blood to all who would believe on Jesus Christ. God demonstrated his righteousness and divine forbearance-patience in delaying justified judgment–by justifying those who came to faith in Jesus. The Jews had the Law and Prophets that bore witness to God’s righteousness. They still could not keep it by their works. The Gentiles had their conscience where God’s Law was written and nature that declared God’s power and authority but they could not earn righteousness. But God gave freely to all who believe in Jesus the free gift of His grace!

Psalm 103:2-4 “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits, Who forgives all your iniquity, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy. . .”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the covering of Your blood over my sins and Your patience with me and other sinners. Give me grace today to patiently declare Your righteousness and amazing grace through Jesus to those You send me to.

Romans 3:10-12 “as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”” (Psalm 14:1-3)

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God’s amazing patience!

Scripture reading for October 21st: Jeremiah 50-51, 2nd Peter 3

Key Scriptures: 2nd Peter 3:9-13 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.”

Mankind is very short-sighted. They tend to live for each day and many worry about the future, but fail to prepare for it. Peter called the believers to patient endurance. The Lord is patient with each person, and He wants none to perish. The Day of the Lord’s return will come suddenly and bring everlasting destruction to the earth and the unsaved. But followers of Jesus are looking forward to a New Heaven and New Earth and eternal righteousness! It will happen suddenly too! Amen!

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, help me daily to see the big picture and Your amazing mercy and patience with the lost. Use me to help others see Your patience and prepare them for Your sudden return!

Jeremiah 51:6 “”Flee from the midst of Babylon; let every one save his life! Be not cut off in her punishment, for this is the time of the Lord’s vengeance, the repayment He is rendering her.””

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Repentance removes the veil!

Scripture reading for September 18th: 2nd Kings 21, 2nd Chronicles 33, Psalm 71, 2nd Corinthians 3

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 3:15-18 “Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord Who is Spirit.”

Paul explained that the Old Covenant Law came with a fading glory. Moses had to put a veil over his face so that the fading glory would not be visible to the Israelites. Their hearts were hard and the Law brought death. But now the New Covenant of eternal life through the Holy Spirit brings life and access for each believer into the Holy of Holies to behold Jesus. We have freedom to enter through the Spirit and Jesus’ blood covering our sins. The veil was torn from top to bottom when Jesus cried: “It is finished!” We are all being transformed by Jesus’ glory into His image by the Holy Spirit. Hallelujah!

Psalm 71:19 “Your righteousness, O God, reaches the high heavens. You Who have done great things, O God, Who is like You?”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for purchasing my freedom to enter Your presence and behold Your glory. Transform me today by the Holy Spirit into Your image. Let the glory increase to Your eternal glory!

2nd Chronicles 33:12-13 “And when he (Manasseh) was in distress, he entreated the favor of the Lord his God and he humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. He prayed to Him and God was moved by his entreaty and heard his plea and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.”

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The Gate of Righteousness!

Scripture reading for August 21st: Isaiah 11-13, Psalm 118, Matthew 27

Key Scriptures: Matthew 27:45-51 “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to Him to drink. But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save Him.” And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up His spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.”

The curtain that covered the Holy of Holies was thick and blocked the entrance to the mercy seat and cherubim that guarded it. As Jesus endured His darkest hours here on earth, He suffered death and the feeling of separation from God that it brings. He cried out in anguish to His Father, feeling forsaken and fulfilling prophesy. His final breath yielded up His spirit. The temple curtain (veil) ripped from top to bottom! Access to God was granted through Jesus’ broken body to the Holy of Holies! Amazing grace! His Righteousness is our gate!

Psalm 118:19-20 “Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your costly sacrifice, taking my place on Your cross. You opened the gate of righteousness and I thank You forever and ever!

Isaiah 12:2 “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and He has become my Salvation.”

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Walking in Love!

Scripture reading for June 10th:  Proverbs 14-15, Romans 14

Key Scriptures: Romans 14:15-19 “For is your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love.  By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died.  So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil.  For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.  Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men.  So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.”

Everything we do as believers should be motivated by love.  If we have a brother or sister that believes that something we are eating is defiled and harmful, we must be mindful of their beliefs and not cause them to stumble.  We should help them to see that God’s kingdom is not based on rules and regulations, but righteousness through faith in Christ Jesus.  As we rest in Christ Jesus and His righteousness, we can enjoy peace with God and the joy of sins forgiven.

Faith confession and prayer:  Lord Jesus, help me to walk in love towards my brothers and sisters today in all that I do and say.  I have kingdom joy and peace today from resting in Jesus Christ for my righteousness.

Proverbs 14:15-16 “The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps.  One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but  a fool is reckless and careless.”

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Faith counted as righteousness!

Scripture reading for May 27th:  2nd Samuel 24, 1st Chronicles 21, Romans 4

Key Scriptures:  Romans 4:3-7 “For what does the Scripture say?  “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.”  Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due.  And to the one who does not work but believes in Him Who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:  “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”  

Paul used both Abraham and David as models for followers of Jesus Christ.  As Abraham believed God’s promise of a coming son, God counted him as righteous through his obedient trust.  As David appealed to God for forgiveness after his sin against God, so God forgave him and covered his sins.  In the New Testament times, believers trust in the Son of David, Who offered His own body and blood to save us from the penalty and power of sin.  We are declared ‘righteous’ by faith.

2nd Samuel 24:10 “But David’s heart struck him after he had numbered the people.  And David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done.  But now, O Lord, please take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very foolishly.”  

Faith confession and prayer:  Lord, thank You for Your great mercy towards all of us sinners!  I believe on the Lord Jesus, Son of God, Son of David for justification from sin.  I will declare the ‘Good News’!

1st Chronicles 21:25-26 “So David paid Ornan 600 shekels of gold by weight for the site.  And David built there an altar to the Lord and presented burnt offerings and peace offerings and called on the Lord, and the Lord answered him with fire from heaven upon the altar of burnt offering.”  

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Righteous by faith!

Scripture reading for May 26th:  2nd Samuel 21-23, Psalm 18, Romans 3

Key Scriptures:  Romans 3:21-26  “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it–the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.  For there is no distinction:  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, Whom God put forward as a propitiation by His blood, to be received by faith.  This was to show God’s righteousness, because in His divine forbearance He had passed over former sins.  It was to show His righteousness at the present time, so that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”  

Paul was explaining to the Romans God’s plan to make His righteousness available to all people, Jews and Gentiles.  This righteousness came by faith in Jesus Christ, not in keeping the Law.  All men and women have sinned and no human effort or works can justify them.  But God’s plan was to provide redemption and covering (propitiation) for sins through His Son’s blood shed on the cross.  The shed blood satisfied God’s demand for justice–payment for sins.  God can now be the justifier of all who come by faith in His Son.  Praise the Lord!

Psalm 18:30; 2nd Samuel 22:31  “This God–His way is perfect; the Word of the Lord proves true; He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him.”  

Faith confession and prayer:  Lord Jesus, thank You for providing a covering and cleansing for my sins and all sins through faith in the blood of Jesus.  Help me to pass the Good News of this Gift to others today.

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