Righteousness and Faith

by Rev. Vince Finnegan on July 19, 2015
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Everyone is unrighteous, and everyone is powerless to make himself righteous.

If we think ourselves right when according to God’s Word we are wrong, we will never change. Hence, the first chapters of Romans reveals all are unrighteous. The most dangerous place to be is self-confident in our own rightness for then we will never humble ourselves and become right with Him (righteous).

See 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. As a society, we have grown to accept unrighteous behaviors as normal and right. Fornication, idolatry, adultery have become accepted norms (most recently the effeminate and homosexuality). We still disapprove of thieves, drunkards, revilers, and swindlers because they affect us personally. Many times, views change when a loved one becomes involved with the sin.

2 Corinthians 5:21
Righteousness is God’s gift to us through the sacrifice of Jesus.
Romans 3:20 – The deception was that keeping the Law was necessary to be saved and receive righteousness.

– The Law refers to the writings of Moses “the writings” to the prophets and if properly understood disprove righteousness by works and foretell of grace.

– As a gift by grace through redemption in Christ

– “Propitiation” and “passed over” are subtle allusions to OT records.

– Paul does not mean that such works need not be performed, but that, even when they are performed tolerably well, one is not thereby justified in God’s sight. He is breaking the ground under the feet of those who say, “I always do the best I can…I try to live a decent life…I pay my lawful dues, and what more can God expect of me?”

Romans 4 shows how to receive the righteousness of God.

3 – Genesis 15:6

5 – Luke 18:9-14
He, as Abraham did, realized the futility of self-reliance, and he cast himself entirely on God’s grace.

6 – Psalm 32

– The covenant of circumcision was not introduced until a later stage in Abraham’s life (Genesis 17:10-14), at least 14 years later.
Galatians 3:17 The law was given 430 years after the promise to Abraham, so it had nothing to do with it.

Romans 4:12 – Galatians 3:16 and 29

– A springboard to his faith was God’s promise and his own powerlessness, again why the first three chapters cut our self-righteous legs from under us.

The fruit of righteousness by faith
Faith is necessary to receive the gift of righteousness, and if we have faith, then we are obedient to the lordship of Christ by obedience to the Word. Genuine faith produces works of righteousness, that is we live the right way.

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