The Righteousness of God – A Reflection on Romans 10:3

For Christ is the fulfilment of law to righteousness

For all who believe.” (ie in Him)

I don’t know if you’ve ever asked anyone for directions and they’ve responded, “You can’t get there from here!” If we’re ever on a journey, we seem to take our starting point for granted. Even if we use a GPS to get directions to somewhere, it first needs to know where we’re at. Paul had a similar experience in his day. He was trying to tell the Jews and Gentiles of his world that we cannot arrive at the righteousness of God from the righteousness of man. It’s simply the wrong starting point. Put another way, we cannot ultimately please God by our efforts to do good and avoid evil. Why? Because we consistently fail at His bar. Earlier in Romans 7:18, Paul said, “…For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.”   Paul’s starting point was clear. Human beings just can’t keep law. We have a track record of failure.

Well, how then will God save us, you might ask? Ah, that’s where Romans 10:3 comes in. Since we cannot achieve God’s righteousness ourselves, we need someone else to do it for us: Jesus Christ. He did this by His death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead. When we truly believe in Him as our Lord and Saviour, we have immediate access to the righteousness of the Only Son of God. It’s the deal of all time: we get to swap our sinfulness for His righteousness. Put another way, by the act of faith in Him (which is really surrender), the holiness of God’s Son is accredited to us. It is an outrageous act of God’s grace.

The alternative, of course is to remain stuck in our own self-righteousness. We see a lot of this in the media. Have you ever noticed how those who are self-righteous are quick to judge another? Judging another is a dead giveaway that we’re really into our own righteousness. Examples abound of politicians or T.V. personalities who have been denounced for perceived crimes and character flaws. It’s amazing how public opinion now seems to consider itself to be the sole arbiter of a person’s guilt or innocence. Judging others has become a national pastime. When we participate in this, we promote our own righteousness before the world. We become by definition, self-righteous. However like Paul, we must say that there is “nothing good in our flesh.” For in acknowledging the truth about ourselves we turn to our Saviour who alone is righteous. And when we believe in Him, we find our true starting point. The only starting point for God’s righteousness is God’s righteousness!

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