“For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own they did not submit to God’s righteousness.” Romans 10:2-3
Paul is talking about the Israelites. He would love to see them saved. Here he points out that they were very zealous for God, but they did not know the righteousness that God provided. In the end they were building their own rules of what righteousness was and refused to accept God’s righteousness.
Things have not changed for people. Many people (at least in America) believe in God and attempt to stand for what He wants. In their zeal for God they get extremely judgmental and start to make rules on various things that God never directly stated anything. They are making up their own rules on what it means to be righteous before God.
Some examples of these types of rules are: no playing cards, no dancing, wearing only certain types of clothing, and eating only certain foods. While all of these things may be good for a certain person, or good rules to live by, none of them are absolute rules by God. None of these make a person more or less righteous before God.
Only in Jesus is a person righteous at all. It is by His grace and mercy that you can be a righteous person.
Jesus did lay down some rules and many principles to live by. They were guidelines on how to make choices in life. They are to guide you in how to live a righteous life before God and do His will.
You need to be zealous for God. You need to get excited and tell everyone about God. You need to stand strong and true for God and His Word. But in all of this you must be standing in the right position. It must all be based on the righteousness of Jesus. It must be done with His love, grace and mercy.
Do not be zealous the way the world gets zealous: judgmental, condemning, better-than-thou, and demanding. Don’t just give a bunch of rules to live by.
Strive to point all to Jesus. Show people the righteousness that Jesus provides. Be zealous for God in Jesus.
I pray today that you will know the righteousness that Jesus provides; that you will be zealous for Jesus; that you will tell everyone about Jesus; and that you will be zealous with God’s love, grace and mercy.