Sunday, January 1, 2012
"The Righteousness of Faith" Part 2 - Finally!
I know it seemed as if I totally forgot about the continuation of this but there are days when you can only blog about what's on your heart at that moment, not to mention my office computer went out for a bit and part 2 just happened to be on that computer. However, I like to think that part 2 was meant for this season of a new year! Enjoy!!
Through the coming of Christ Jesus, He put and end to the law of righteousness for everyone who believes. The law was never intended as a substitute for a relationship with God, but as a means of leading Israel toward their Savior. In Galatians 3:19, Paul writes:
What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. In other words, God had a starting point and an ending point for the law, and the ending point was the death and resurrection of the Messiah and Savior, Jesus Christ. Paul continued in verses 21-26:
Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. But the Scripture has confined all under sin that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
The law, like the entire Old Testament, teaches us who God is. It also teaches us how He raised up a people through whom the Savior would come to take away their sins – not only the sins of God’s people Israel, but the sins of the whole world. For Israel, the law was a teacher; to help them understand the difference between sin and righteousness and the need for redemption. It guided them until the promised Messiah came, through whom God would bless all the nations. However, the law could not give Israel either righteousness or salvation. It could only tell them they were guilty and sinners in need of a Savior. Now that the Savior Jesus Christ has come, we’re told that He has put an end to the law of righteousness to everyone who believes. It’s because of His sacrifice we no longer have to be bond by things that neither profits us into righteousness or salvation but we can live in the grace of God through faith knowing that one greater than the law has come to redeem us back to God Himself. Therefore, in knowing this we believe we are saved once we confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus Christ, and believe in our hearts that God has raised Him from the dead.
Yet, there are some who still debate that this confession and heart rooted belief is too simple and not all that is required. Perhaps this issue is being debated because of the lack of knowledge and understanding of what this confession and believing is really entails. If you read Matthew 5, Jesus lays the foundation for us to see what our confession and believing is really about through what is called the “Beatitudes and the Similitude’s” (“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven...etc), then He proceeds with how He did not come to destroy the law are the Prophets but to fulfill it, He then establishes what He means by these sayings with every example He gives in parables throughout the bible, and although it seems a lot to take in, (this hold concept of walking as Christ) yet, they are just simple guidelines; guidelines that are founded on love, faith, and salvation, so that those looking at us would see our good works and glorify God which is our Father in heaven. However, the key is in believing the word of God within our heart; because whatever is in our heart becomes a part of who we are but it also becomes our way of living.
As believers it’s my prayer that as we continue in this new year and the years to come, we remember all that this confession of faith entails so we can live the abundant life God has designed for us not only in salvation but in every area of our lives; however, we must remember that we can not forsake salvation trying to get the abundance, and we should not make salvation difficult for others, as not to make all that Jesus did for us through faith in vain. Salvation is simple once we understand anything that does not produce the righteousness of God is not profitable to anyone; however, understanding the word of God and how it applies to our everyday living as children of God; living in purpose, destined for greatness and producing all the fruits of His Spirit so those who are lost in this world would come to know Him through us and glorify Him; this is what is profitable to all.
As I was studying this, I saw no end because there’s so much God wants us to know about how we believe and our daily confessions because of what we believe. Our belief and our confession wholes so much power; and the affects of the two can have so much bearing on our lives and our way of living that it’s imperative for us to understand that Christ has already set the way for us, and He has already left an example for us so we might know God for ourselves and live according to all He has designed for our lives.
The way you believe and confess what you believe is very essential to your life, and it literally shapes your way of living but understanding what you believe and confess will free you from religious ignorance and help you to walk in the liberty of faith.
Father I come to You today in the name of Jesus Christ, first thanking You for sending Your son Jesus because it's through Him we're able to live a life of righteousness through grace, and walk in the faith of knowing He came to redeem us back to You so we can live the life You destined for us, one of purpose, power and provision all through salvation. I thank You that He's already set the path for us and because of this we can live this life knowing that the righteousness of faith leads us into Your riches; riches that can be applied to every area of our lives, riches that increases day after day, riches that gives us health, wealth, long life, peace, joy, love and increasing favor, not just in our lives but the lives of our children and family. I thank You that we're no longer bond but we're free to live, and whatever we confess and believe in our heart we can have; thank you for not making salvation hard but simply to those who choose to believe your word and put faith to work in their lives. I pray that You would activate faith in the lives of those reading and following these topics, that whatever they believe in their heart, confess with their mouth and set out to do by faith would prosper. Bless those who do not know You that they would come to know You for themselves through a relationship with You and the studying of your word; I thank You for answering this prayer and I count it done in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Be encouraged-you were created to win!
Happy New Year
Grace & Peace