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RIGHTEOUSNESS: A GIFT TO THE UNGODLY

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).

Righteousness is one of the cardinal gifts of God; but did you know that it was a gift to the world and not to Christians? It’s a gift to the ungodly. The Bible refers to God in Romans 4:5 as One who justifies the ungodly: “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

Notice it didn’t say He justifies the Christians. The Christian didn’t “receive” the gift of righteousness; the Christian was born righteous. You were born as the righteousness of God when you were born again.

Paul’s submission about righteousness in the Book of Romans, particularly as you’d find in chapter 5 verse 17, is a generic argument on the legality of righteousness as it was accounted to Abraham and therefore to all who believe in Jesus Christ. We may believe it’s given to “us” as a gift, but that’s not all that God gave us as a gift.

For instance, Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Eternal life is given to sinners, not Christians; that’s what a sinner receives to become a Christian. A Christian is one who has eternal life, not one who’s “receiving” the gift of eternal life.

The Bible says anyone who believes has eternal life. Once a man believes, right away, eternal life starts up in his spirit. So, eternal life is no longer being “gifted” to him; he was born with it and into it. He came alive with it when he received Christ. It’s the same with righteousness.

It’s like when you were born of your mother; you didn’t have to first receive the gift of life to become human; you came into existence with life—the human life! Otherwise, you wouldn’t have been said to be alive.

So, in essence, legally, the whole world has been given the gift of righteousness; it’s this gift that, when received, enables one to stand in the presence of God without guilt, fear, inferiority, or condemnation. Anyone who receives this gift is saved. Hallelujah!

Confession/Prayer

Dear Father, thank you for the life of glory and dominion I have in Christ. Thank you for the ministry of the Holy Spirit in me. I have the ability to think right, do right, and produce fruits and works of righteousness, and I reign in life through Christ daily. Amen.

1-year bible reading plan

Luke 1:1-25; Deuteronomy 3-4

2-year bible reading plan

Acts 27:32-44; Psalm 78

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