The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
Part 5 - "Righteousness: Root and Fruit"
"The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:2).
The law of Moses called Israel to try. The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus calls all to trust.
"Now therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people: for all the earth is Mine" (Exodus 19:5).
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).
The old law demanded human effort as the means whereby human beings become righteous with God. It offered no hope of success because sinners already sinful entered into the covenant. They were disqualified from the start. God's spiritual and moral standard for human beings is absolute perfection, from conception and forevermore (II Samuel 22:31). If we cannot achieve such pristine purity, no outward code could ever redeem us, including the "holy and just and good" law of Moses (Romans 7:12). Thus, God gave the law not to redeem, but to reveal in Israel's failed efforts our need for another hope, God's grace in His Son - "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus."
"For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:17).
"The gift of righteousness." Only through the grace of the Lord Jesus can human beings become right and acceptable in God's sight. When a condemned sinner trusts in the Lord Jesus, he becomes a converted saint by being spiritually enrobed with the righteousness of the Lord Jesus. "Of Him are in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto… righteousness" (I Corinthians 1:30). The reception of such grace fundamentally changes who and what we are through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, freely given to all who believe. Thereby, we bear "the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:11). The root of righteousness, however, always remains Christ Himself. Our Heavenly Father sees and accepts us as righteous because we are united unto the perfectly righteous One, the Lord Jesus. "He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit… He hath made us accepted in the Beloved" (I Corinthians 6:17; Ephesians 1:6).
"And lest the shadow of a spot should on my soul be found, He took the robe my Savior wrought, and cast it all around!" (From "Awake My Heart, Arise My Tongue," by Isaac Watts).
Born again believers in the Lord Jesus expend a great deal of spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical energy in walking with God. None of it, however, makes or maintains our righteousness. We rather join the Apostle Paul, who testified, "I also labor, striving according to His working, which worketh in me mightily" (Colossians 1:29). The fruits of righteousness hang heavily on our branches as we trust the Root of righteousness, the Lord Jesus. The old law revealed our need for such grace; the new law, "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus," provides it. Thereby we live for God by living from God.
"And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work."
(II Corinthians 9:8)
Weekly Memory Verse
The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.