What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. Romans 9:30-31
People want to feel as if they can do the right thing all the time. They want to be known as a good person.
No one wants to be seen as a bad person, who is in the wrong. In order to combat the view of being bad, many will do good things to make themselves look good.
Paul points out that the gentiles had received righteousness by faith, not the law. The Israelites were unable to attain righteousness by following the law.
There are many believers who know the laws of God very well and push them on everyone. They stress that one must follow the laws of God to be a believer and be righteous and holy.
Following the law is man’s effort to look good before God. Once a person sins, he can never look good enough or be truly righteous before God.
The only way a person can become righteous and holy before God is by accepting what Jesus did on the cross. This acceptance is what faith does. It is faith in the works of Jesus, not self works.
However, this does not nullify the law. One must now pursue the law out of faith in Jesus. He must strive to be holy, not to gain righteousness, but because of what Jesus has already done. Jesus gives every believer in Him His righteousness and holiness.
Through faith one is made righteous, not through self work, following God’s law. Faith in Jesus must precede following the law. Following the law must always follow faith.
As you trust in and believe in the work of Jesus, you are saved. There is nothing more you can do to be saved more. This is faith in action. Once you are saved, you are given the righteousness of Jesus.
As a result of what He has done, pursue following God’s law and commands to you. Pursue the law out of love for what Jesus did for you, not in order to be righteous or better in God’s sight. Jesus has already done that work for you.
What is your reason for following God’s law? For righteousness or out of love?
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will have faith in the works of Jesus; that you will love God with your actions; and that you will trust in the righteousness of Jesus given to you.