Super Shorts from ChristRing Ministries
Who's Righteousness Is It?
Romans 4:20-5:2 (NKJV)
20 He did not waver at
the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21
and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22
And therefore "it was accounted to him for righteousness." 23 Now
it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also
for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the
dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because
of our justification. 1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have
peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have
access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of
Many Christians believe that when we are "Justified" by "Faith" in Jesus He then enables us to achieve "Righteousness" by our good works, religious service, and/or receiving the Sacraments. The problem with this is that we can no more achieve righteousness (God's standard of purity) after we are saved then we could before. Contrary to the foregoing belief, Paul is teaching that once we are "Justified" (declared righteous) by "Faith" (compete trust in Jesus for salvation from sin and the coming judgment) we then appropriate (through no act of our own) Christ's Righteousness in it's fullness by God's "Grace" (unmerited favor of God.) alone. It is from (not to) that Righteousness that flow our good works, religious service and by which we receive the Sacraments. Thank you Lord Jesus for the fullness of your Righteousness. Amen.
The Sacraments and Sin
Romans 6 and 1 Corinthians 11 and 1 John 1
A common teaching in Sacramentalist Churches is that "we receive forgiveness of sin" by receipt of the Sacraments. While there is a measure of truth in this teaching, the reality is that we do not have to wait to receive a Sacrament. Our forgiveness is received when we repent of our sin and confess it to God. He then "is faithful to forgive" (1 John1:9), Right then and there.
That said, the Sacraments are an important part of completing the forgiveness process in that it is by them that the "power of cancelled (forgiven) sin" is broken in our lives. The big break comes when we are baptized as believers. We then receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit and He not only breaks the power of past sin in our lives but He strengthens us and enables us to walk in His righteousness.
Communion is a means by which we receive ongoing deliverance from the power of current sin in our lives. By the Bread/Body we are strengthened in our unity with Christ and His earthly Body, the Church, receiving assurance on a core spiritual level that we continue indeed as one with both Him and the Father. (1 Corinthians 10:17)
By the Wine/Blood we receive spiritual and physical healing from the consequences of sin in our body and soul. Once healed, we have the strength to re-enter the world to walk with Him as His witness and servant.
Thank you Lord Jesus for Your Grace so lavishly poured out to us. Amen.
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