From Romans – A Righteousness that is Higher than the Law

The law describes a righteous love for God and for others, embodied in such commands as the first commandment (have no idols) and “do not steal, and do not murder, do not commit adultery and do not covet your neighbors things.” However Jesus went to the greatest lengths in His love to love even his enemies and reconcile them to Himself, and to be willing to put up with the spitting and the mocking and endure the cross. That is a living out of righteousness that is so much higher than what the Law describes! So it’s the Gospel that reveals the righteousness of God. The gospel describes who Christ is and what God has done through Christ that shows us what the “righteousness of God” is. The righteousness of God is higher than what the law describes. The righteousness of God is a Person, Jesus Christ. If you don’t have that person, you do not have righteousness. You could try to keep the law but it would never be enough because you’ll never go to the extent that God went to. Man’s sin is that he felt short of the glory of God. It’s not just that he didn’t fulfill the written down standard called “the law”. That’s just the shadow. No, what we fell short of is God Himself. The standard of righteousness is God’s character. You cannot achieve or reach that as a created person, especially through law keeping. You need to have God Himself as your life. so the “just shall live by faith.” The righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel from faith to faith. We believe the Gospel and the righteousness is revealed. In romans 3 it says the law bore witness to the righteousness of God, but the Righteousness of God is manifested “apart from the law” upon those who believe in Jesus Christ. He is our righteousness. The just shall live by faith. Faith in what? The gospel and the righteousness that it reveals. When He died on the cross and rose from the dead He fulfilled all righteousness. Not just as a matter of law keeping. It wasn’t that He just fulfilled some law. That’s not the point. He went to the uttermost in God’s righteousness doing what absolute righteousness would do – which is that He loved us so much that he wouldn’t just leave us in our sins. He made the absolute saving gesture that cost Him everything – His own life. He wouldn’t just leave us in the ditch He had to give us an option to come and be reconciled to Him even though we were His enemies. That was so far beyond and above the righteousness that a law thinking kind of person could even conceive of. Every day I learn a little more about how He loved me. His righteousness and His love go together. His love is expressed in righteousness. He answered the big questions in the universe: “how can a righteous God forgive sinners” and “how can a loving God condemn sinners? ” The cross of Christ answers both questions and God’s righteousness is put on display in it. That righteousness is so much higher than anything you can touch. You should just drop all attempts and run to Jesus. Like Paul. He said he had a righteousness according to the law that was “blameless” but he counted it as loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ and counted it all as dung to gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness which is “out of the law but the righteousness which is out of God and based on faith.” We need to find Christ as our righteousness and lay hold of Him by faith and let go and repudiate our own righteousness! That’s the only way we can please God. Nothing can even come close to the way He pleases the father. That’s righteousness and that’s the standard that everything is judged by ultimately

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