Most of us want to be seen as righteous and upstanding, but the world has no idea how to achieve true righteousness. Religion gives us a long list of things to do to be accepted by others, but relying on our own works instead of on God just doesn’t work. The ministration of righteousness that the Holy Spirit brings reveals to us our family ties to God. As born-again believers, we’re sons of God, just like our elder brother, Jesus Christ.
Belief in our identity in Jesus makes us righteous without the need to work hard to earn it. He wants us to accept this truth; religion contradicts it by reminding us of our mistakes and bad behavior. Faith is required to accept what God tells us through His Spirit. When we’re in Christ, we can be confident that because He’s righteous, we’re also righteous because we’ve been born of Him.
The ministration of death was represented in the Ten Commandments written in stone; it was glorious, but the ministration of the spirit is even more so. The Holy Spirit, Himself, reminds us that Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. We’re not sufficient in ourselves, but only in Christ, who made us ministers of the new covenant. When our own strength falls short, we know that God’s grace is sufficient; His strength is made perfect in our weakness.
Religion preaches the law, and the law requires us to do something to earn our righteousness; this mindset is the number one enemy to God’s favor. We’re freed from this type of bondage when we realize that we’re not righteous because of what we do, but because of what Jesus already did. To him who works, the reward is reckoned not of grace, but of debt; however, to him who believes on Christ, who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. We must never underestimate the power of our faith in God’s grace.
Lord, we could never do enough on our own to make ourselves righteous in Your eyes. However, our belief in Jesus and His finished works not only makes us righteous by faith, but also makes us Your children. We’re grateful for this. In Jesus’ name, amen.
1 John 3:1, 2
1 John 2:28, 29
2 Corinthians 3:5-9
2 Corinthians 12:9
Romans 4:4, 5