…They which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ – Romans 5:17
When you were born again, you received righteousness as a gift. Righteousness therefore is no longer something you’re looking for or hoping that you’d have in the sweet-by-and-by. It’s already been imparted to your spirit as a gift from God (Romans 5:17). Righteousness is now your nature. Righteousness, however, is different from right living. Right living is only possible for the one who’s been made righteous.
Religion teaches that if you would first live right, God would then make you righteous and accept you. That’s putting the cart before the horse. There’s a great difference between righteousness and right living, and it’s imperative to put them in the right context. A sinner, for example, can’t live right, no matter how “good” his deeds are. Right living is the product of the nature of righteousness imparted to a man’s spirit at the New Birth. No one can live right until he is first of all righteous.
God, in Christ Jesus, has made us righteous (2Corinthians 5:21). That’s the good news; that an ungodly person can become righteous through faith in Christ Jesus. Anyone who confesses the Lordship of Jesus, believing in his heart that God raised Him from the dead, according to Romans 10:9-10, receives salvation into his heart! He’s made righteous. That endorsement of what has already been wrought by Jesus Christ on the Cross on your behalf automatically brings you into oneness with God. You didn’t have to struggle to earn it! That’s why Romans 5:1 says, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
2 Corinthians 5:21 says “For he hath made him to be sin for us who knew no sin that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Now you can live right and please God everyday as you live by faith in His Word. He has made you a partaker of His righteous nature.
Dear Father, I thank you for giving me your righteousness as a gift, and inspiring in me the consciousness of a victor. Being justified freely by your grace, I rejoice exceedingly, knowing that I’ve been ordained to reign in life by grace through righteousness, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Further Study: Romans 5:18-19