Joseph Prince Devotional 17 September 2021 – For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.
Are you, like some believers today, still rather confused about the gift of righteousness you have received through Christ? Perhaps you’ve heard through conventional theology that although you were made righteous by grace (called “positional righteousness”), you now have to do right and keep the law to continue being righteous. (They call this having “practical righteousness.”)
My friend, this is something that Apostle Paul never taught! Today’s scripture declares that there is only one righteousness of God that we are to submit to. It is clear that Paul is against any teaching that says you have to merit or maintain your own righteousness. You are either righteous or you are not. There is no such thing as first having “positional righteousness” and then having to maintain that through “practical righteousness.” You are the righteousness of God in Christ, period!
There are many believers who are very sincere about keeping the law and establishing their own righteousness, but I’m sorry to say this: they are sincerely wrong. God’s way is by grace. Righteousness cannot be earned by good works. It can only be received as a gift. A gift is no longer a gift if you have to work for it. If I gave you a brand new, dazzling red Ferrari on the condition that you pay me US$20,000 every month until it is all paid up, is the Ferrari really a gift? Of course not! How can it be a gift if you have to pay or work for it? That is double-talk! So stop trying to earn God’s gifts with your own works. His gifts to us are without conditions attached and can only be received by faith.
Many believers are defeated today because they are trying to earn their own righteousness by their law keeping and good works. My friend, start believing that righteousness is a gift because of what Jesus has accomplished on the cross for you. All your sins—past, present, and future—have been washed away by His precious blood. You were completely forgiven the moment you received Jesus into your life. You will never be held liable by God for your sins ever again. You have been made as righteous as Jesus not through your behavior, but by faith in Him and His finished work on the cross (Phil. 3:9).
Perhaps you are saying, “But I didn’t do anything to become righteous!” That is exactly right. And Jesus did nothing to become sin. Being clothed with Jesus’ perfect righteousness is a gift that He purchased for you with His own blood! Therefore, righteousness before the Lord cannot be earned. Your righteous standing or right standing before Him can only be received as a gift. Today, your right to be righteous is a blood-bought right! There is nothing you can do that will make God love you more, and there is nothing you can do that will make Him love you less. He loves you perfectly and sees you clothed with Jesus’ righteousness.
My friend, you no longer have to live confused about your standing before God. Know that when God sees you today, He sees you clothed with Jesus’ righteousness. Use your faith to believe that God accepts you and sees you righteous, blessed, favored, and healed. See yourself as God sees you and begin to be set free from every pang of guilt, all forms of condemnation, and every kind of bondage and sin!
This devotional is taken from the book Reign in Life—90 Powerful Inspirations for Extraordinary Breakthroughs.