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Seeking to Establish Our own Righteousness

Discussion in 'Daily Devotionals' started by Christsfreeservant, Oct 27, 2020.

  1. Christsfreeservant

    Christsfreeservant Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Romans 10:1-4 ESV

    “Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”

    Let’s take a walk through the book of Romans, well through chapter one. Paul stated that he was a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, to bring about the OBEDIENCE OF FAITH for the sake of the name of Jesus among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ, who are called to be saints (Rom 1:1-7).

    So, faith in Jesus Christ involves obedience (submissiveness, compliance). And faith means “faithfulness, trust, and fidelity.” Faith is gifted to us by God, and it does not come from ourselves. And it means to be persuaded (convinced) by God as to his will for our lives to the point to where we choose to do what he chooses for our lives.

    So, this obedience of the faith is also for the sake (on behalf of, or for the betterment of) the name (character, reputation, cause, authority, fame) of Jesus Christ, God the Son. This faith is for the revelation of his character. And what is Jesus’ character? It is holy, righteous, pure, honest, trustworthy, faithful, and upright, etc.

    So, this obedience of faith for the sake of the name of Jesus is to be brought about in the lives of those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. This means he now owns us. He is the boss. He is our master, and we are his bondservants, no longer slaves of sin but now slaves of righteousness.

    And it is for us who are called to be saints, which means to be holy, to be set apart from the world and to be set apart to God and to his service. It means we are no longer conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but we are transformed in mind away from living in sin to living in his holiness.

    So, there is no way that any of us can walk away from even these first seven verses of Romans 1 with the impression that faith in Jesus Christ is some feeling or assent to who Jesus is and to what he did and that it doesn’t involve obedience to Christ and a desire to do his will.

    So, Christ’s righteousness in us is not some status that we hold, but it is evident in what we do. Look at Paul. The first thing he said is that he is a servant of Jesus Christ. The word literally means “slave.” Jesus owns him, and he does what the Lord says. He obeys him. And we must obey Him.

    “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, The righteous shall live by faith.’” Rom 1:17 ESV

    Righteousness is what is deemed right by the Lord. It is what is approved in His eyes. And he does not approve of sin, but he approves of holiness, godliness, uprightness, purity, love, faithfulness, honesty, and morality. So, our faith in Jesus Christ is going to involve what is approved by God.

    Yes, we are only made righteous in God’s sight by God’s grace through faith, and this doesn’t come from ourselves. But faith is divine persuasion as to God’s will for our lives, and it is action, and it involves obedience to the Lord. And “righteous” relates to conformity to God’s standards, to his will.

    So, for us to live in Christ and Christ in us, and for us to have eternal life with God, we must have faith in Jesus Christ, but not past faith or stagnant faith, but active faith which is continuous and involving submission to Christ as Lord, walking in obedience to him, and leaving our sins behind us.

    “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” Rom 1:18 ESV

    Okay, so now we are given a look at those who are not living by faith, who have not been made righteous through God-given faith in Jesus Christ. They have been shown the righteousness of God by God through his created works. But, although they knew God, they didn’t honor him as God. They chose their idols over God.

    So, the wrath of God is revealed against them because of their ungodliness, which is not just a state of being, but has to do with action. They didn’t revere God, they were wicked, they did what was evil in God’s sight. They did not submit to him. They violated God’s standards rather than upholding them. And so, they are without excuse.

    “Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen” (Rom 1:24-25 ESV).

    So, let’s now go back to Romans 10:1-4:

    “Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”

    What did we just learn about the righteousness of God? And what did we just learn about those who do not submit to God’s righteousness (from Romans 1)?

    We learned that faith in Jesus Christ involves obedience (submission) to our Lord, and that the word “faith” means “faithfulness,” and it means to be persuaded by God as to his divine will and purpose for our lives. And, this persuasion involves us, then, choosing to obey his will for our lives.

    We learned that this obedience of faith is on behalf of the name (character, fame) of Jesus Christ, thus revealing and giving glory to his character, which is what is holy, righteous, pure, honest, trustworthy, faithful, and upright, etc. And it means that the Lord is our master, thus we obey him.

    We also learned that righteousness is not just a status, but it is action, and that it involves us doing what is approved by God. He doesn’t approve of sin, but he approves of holiness, faithfulness, purity, honesty, and uprightness. And it means we are living in conformity to God’s standards.

    We also learned that the wrath of God is revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. So, this involves their actions. They are wicked. They do what is evil in God’s sight. They violate God’s standards of holiness and righteousness.

    So, if we are ignorant of the righteousness of God, and we seek to establish our own, and thus we do not submit to Christ’s righteousness, it means we are not living godly and holy lives in submission to our Lord and in obedience to his will, but we are creating our own gospel which permits us to keep living in sin, doing what we want, and encouraging others to do likewise.

    “Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them” (Rom 1:32 ESV).

    Enough said! The truth speaks for itself!

    Anniversary Song

    By Ann Aschauer

    Well, some folks think that "love" means emotion,
    So it comes and goes their whole life through.
    Some folks never know that when the magic goes,
    If you keep on lovin', it'll come back to you.
    I was so afraid we'd lose the special feeling,
    And someday we'd find our love wasn't true,
    But then God opened up my eyes and made me realize,
    Love is not what you feel, it's what you do.

    And so we stood side by side at the altar,
    As our wills and God's power combined.
    With His help I could say, "I do love you today,
    And I will for a long, long time."

    c 1987 Ann Aschauer
    Used by permission

    https://cfservant.files.wordpress.com/2020/07/02-track-2.mp3
     
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  2. Soyeong

    Soyeong Well-Known Member

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    In light of everything you said in your post, it doesn't make any sense to translate Romans 10:4 as Christ being the end of the law, but rather he is the goal of the law. The way to experientially know or have a relationship with Christ is through expressing His character and the goal of God's law is to testify about what it looks looks like to express Christ's character, but Christ is not the end of God's laws for how to express his character. In John 5:39-40, Jesus said that they search the Scriptures because they think that in them they will find eternal life, and that they testify about him, but they don't come to him that they may have life. In Matthew 19:17, Jesus said that if we want to enter into eternal life, then obey the commandments, so eternal life can be found in the Scriptures and the Pharisees were correct to search for it there, but they needed to recognize that the goal of everything in the Scriptures is to testify about how to know Christ and come to a relationship with him for eternal life. In Philippians 3:8, Paul was in the same boat as the Pharisees, where he had been obeying the law, but without having a focus on knowing Christ, so he had been missing the whole goal of the law and counted it all as rubbish. In John 6:40, those who believe in Jesus will have eternal life, in John 17:3, eternal life is know God and Jesus, and those verses combined with Matthew 19:17 means that obedience to the commandments is what it looks like to believe in Jesus and to know him.

    In 1 John 2:3, those who say that they know Christ, but don't obey his commands are liars and the truth is not in them, and in 1 John 3:4-6, sin is the transgression of God's law and those who continue to practice sin have neither seen nor known him. In Matthew 7:21-23, Jesus said that he would tell those who were works of lawlessness to depart from him because he never knew them, so again God's laws are his instructions for how to know Christ. In Jeremiah 9:3 and 9:6, they did not experientially know God and refused to know him because in 9:13, they had forsaken God's law, but in 9:24, those who experientially know God know that he delights in practicing steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in all of the earth, so delighting in expressing these and other aspects of God's character is the way to experientially know God.

    The Bible often uses the same terms to describe the character of God as it does to describe the character of God's law, which again is because it is God's instructions for what it looks like to express His character, such as with it being holy, righteous, and good (Romans 7:12), or with justice, mercy, and faithfulness being weightier matters of the law (Matthew 23:23). In Hebrews 1:3, the Son is the exact express of God's nature, so he expressed the nature of character traits through his actions and what that looked like was sinless obedience to God's law, so when we express Christ's character traits through our actions in obedience to it, we are experimentally coming to know him, we are expressing our love for who he is, and we are acting as a light and a blessing to the nations through testifying about him. In Romans 9:30-10:4, they had a zeal for God, but it was not according to knowledge, so they failed to attain righteousness because they pursued the law as though righteousness were by works in an effort to establish their own instead of by pursuing the law as though righteousness were by faith in Christ, for Christ is the goal of the law for righteousness for everyone who has faith, so nothing in this passage has anything to do with Christ being the end of the God's eternal law, but rather it is describing the Israelites making same misunderstanding of the goal of the law as the Pharisees were making in John 5:39-40 and that Paul was making in Philippians 3:8.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2020
  3. Christsfreeservant

    Christsfreeservant Senior Veteran Supporter

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    I am not sure I followed all that, but Christ is the fulfillment of the law, so we now obey him, and if we don't, like you mentioned, we don't know him. We are not under the Old Covenant with all its rules and regulations, but we are under Christ who is the fulfillment of the law, so we are obligated to submit to him and to obey him. He is all that is pure and righteous and we are created to be like him in true righteousness and holiness. So, trying to establish our own righteousness is not just following legalism. It is anything that is of the flesh and which contradicts God's will and purpose for our lives.
     
  4. Soyeong

    Soyeong Well-Known Member

    +3,414
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    Single
    While we are under the New Covenant and nothing the Mosaic Covenant, we are nevertheless under the same God who is the same eternal character and therefore the same instructions for how how to express His character and thereby experientially know Him. For example, the way to express God's righteousness is straightforwardly based on God's righteousness, not on any particular covenant, and God's righteousness is eternal, so any instructions that God has ever given for how to express His righteousness are eternally valid ways of knowing Christ. Christ began his ministry with the Gospel message to repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand, and God's law was how his audience knew what sin is, so repenting from our disobedience to it is an integral part of the Gospel. Furthermore, Jesus set a sinless example of how to walk in obedience to God's law, so he spent his ministry fulfilling the law by teaching how to obey it by word and by example and he did not establish the New Covenant in order to undermine anything that he spent his ministry teaching, but rather the New Covenant still involves following God's law (Jeremiah 31:33). Jesus expressed righteousness and holiness through his actions and what that looked like was obedience to God's law, so being made to be like him does not look like something different. In Romans 8:4-7, those who walk in the Spirit are contrasted with those who have minds set on the flesh who refuse to submit to God's law.

    In Romans 9:30-10:4, the problem wasn't that they were pursuing God's law, but that they misunderstood the goal of the law, so the pursued it in the wrong manner, as if righteousness were by works in an effort to establish their own when the goal of pursuing the law is a relationship with Christ for righteousness for everyone who has faith. In other words, the way to attain righteousness is through pursuing the law through faith in Christ, not through pursing the law as through righteousness were something that could be earned. In Romans 10:5-10, this faith in Christ quotes Deuteronomy 30:11-16 in regard to saying that God's law is not too difficult to obey, that the one who obeys it will attain life by it, and in regard to what it means to submit to Jesus as Lord, so again nothing in this passage has anything to do with Jesus ending God's eternal law.
     
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