Summary: How Christ Lifts Us Up With His Righteousness (Rom. 3:20-22)
How Christ Lifts Us Up With His Righteousness (Rom. 3:20-22)
Illustration:If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator; If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist; If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist; If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer; But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior.
1. Have you ever stopped to consider some of the ways that Christ lifts up the willing heart with His righteousness?
Too many people continue to rely on themselves rather than on the righteousness available through Christ. Church history is filled with tragic examples of individuals and organizations who relied more on human standards than on the righteousness of Christ.
Paul writes, "For no person will be justified (made righteous, acquitted and judged acceptable) in His sight by observing the works prescribed by the Law. The real function of the Law is to make men recognize and be conscious of sin (not mere perception, but an acquaintance with sin which works toward repentance, faith and holy character." (vs. 20)
When a person tries to gain acceptance through their own efforts, they fail every time. Instead of practicing a righteousness of our own Christ becomes for us the righteousness of God in us.
He lifts us up by enduing us with His righteousness, holiness and truth.
We gain right relationships with others because of our right relationship with the Holy One.
Ask the Lord to help you stop practicing a righteousness of your own instead of allowing the righteousness of God to work through you.
2. Paul teaches the Romans a distinctive righteous that comes from above and not from natural human perspectives.
Everyday the media is filled with stories of people who attempt to gain acceptance with acts of human righteousness. It is only when men are willing to admit that there is no hope in human effort to be righteous that they are ready to accept God’s remedy for sin.
90% of the human race is still on the losing side of this battle. Out of the six billion people on the earth there are probably around 700 million who have personally trusted Christ to be their righteous forgiver. Jesus said it best, "Narrow is the gate that leads to life and few are those who find it." (Matt. 7:14)
Ask the Lord to help you do all you can to concentrate on helping the 90% of the world’s population who are yet to find their righteousness in Christ.
3. Paul shows the Romans how God freely gives true righteousness. So many individuals, institutions and churches continue to believe that if they just do the right things they will make it into heaven – wrong! God’s righteousness is a free gift of God’s grace through faith in Christ – not as a result of works so that anyone could boast. (Eph. 2:8,9)
Religion is human efforts to reach up to God. Saving faith results when man reaches down to us to help us to receive the free gift of God’s righteousness in Christ.
Ask the Lord to help you appropriate the fact that "Freely you have received, therefore, freely give." (I Cor. 2:12)
4. Paul shows how Christ has laid the foundation for the imputing of God’s righteousness through His suffering and obedience.
Divine righteousness is imputed to us meaning that it is put into our soul’s bank account in the person of the Holy Spirit.
To impute means to attribute to another and ascribe goodness and guiltlessness to someone. God boosts our sense of confidence, hope and power. He will never leave us or forsake us so that we can confidently say, "The Lord is my helper, whom shall I be afraid.
The Lord is the strength of my life, in Him I gain my strength."
Ask the Lord to help you to draw more on the rich reservoir of your internal bank account of righteousness.
5. Paul teaches the Romans that the righteousness of Christ is available for ALL who will believe. Regardless of a person’s background, ethnicity or social standing, each individual must find their righteousness in Christ or spend eternity in hell.
There is no other way for anyone to reach heaven except through the righteousness of Christ.
Let the Lord work in your heart through this truth to urge you to do all you can to bring all men to a personal knowledge of Christ’s righteousness.
6. Paul states that there are certain conditions to be met before one can receive Christ’s righteousness.
The great apostle shows that one must trust Christ as one’s personal Savior to be the substitutionary payment for all past, present and future sins. This faith is not just an intellectual assent or acknowledgement of a fact. Instead, it is an expression of one’s heart, mind and willing consent to be what God wants us to become.