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God's Righteousness Is Incomprehensible Without Faith

Arvin Pirness | The Voice of Zion October 2022 --

Over many centuries, philosophers have debated humankind’s true nature – are humans inherently good or evil? To begin to ponder such a question, one needs to determine the standard by which good and bad is measured. In a secular society this moral standard remains elusive and vague, and it changes with the times. Sometimes attempts are made to justify the good in an earthly human as a good that leads to salvation. However, we know and we believe we can do nothing to merit salvation. We keenly feel the effects of sin in our lives. The child of God must lament with the apostle and rejoice in the justification prepared in the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus (Rom. 7:18–25). Through faith the child of God understands that the only way we can become acceptable to God is through God’s righteousness, a gift owned by faith.

Righteousness is being right – a state of absolute moral correctness and completely justifiable. Righteousness and justice are two words that go hand in hand. God is righteous. He is so right that there is no darkness or wrong in Him at all (1 John 1:5). Being void of any unrighteousness, our Creator sets the standard or the justice of right and wrong for His creation. God presented His standard to His people through Moses because a righteous God leaves no space for sin nor a place to accept it (Hab. 1:13; James 1:15).

To become saved humans needed to fulfill the whole law down to the last letter. The fulfillment of the law required and still requires us to govern our thoughts and actions. Anyone who violates the law in one point is a transgressor of the whole law. Who among us can fulfill the law? No matter how hard we try to do right in daily life, we cannot succeed because we have inherited sin from Adam and Eve. It is a part of us. It causes human beings to intrinsically do wrong or be unrighteous (Rom. 7:17–21).

In sending His Son to redeem us, God prepared righteousness for every human being, a righteousness that is owned by faith. Paul writes about this to those believers in Galatia straying into following the law: “When the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Gal. 4:4,5).

The righteousness prepared in God’s Son is called gift righteousness. This gift can be owned by faith. The supremacy and exclusivity of this gift – God’s righteousness – is only comprehended through faith. Faith is also gifted by God. Paul writes about this to the Ephesians: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8,9). This describes how what is in question is the perfect work of God. Nothing is required of us. When God's holy law awakens a person’s conscience, as a gift he or she can own prepared righteousness in the gospel by faith gifted by God. Paul writes of this to the Romans: “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe” (Rom. 3:22).

We can own forgiveness when we believe Jesus paid for our sins, namely that we have permission to believe our sins and wrongdoings forgiven in Jesus’ name and blood.

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