Christ is our Righteousness
It is important to meditate upon the Word, not just read it as was brought to the forefront in the previous post. The human mind with our intricate intellect can hear words, understand their meaning, but have no concept of how they apply spiritually. As Scripture says, the natural mind, the mind without the Spirit of God interpreting the truth to the mind, cannot understand spiritually discernible things.
In Romans 11, Israel as a nation is blinded to the truth except for the few who comprise the elect. These few are elect because they choose not to reject the truth of God and His Messiah. Israel, in their unbelief of their sin and the rejection of their Messiah, found themselves continuing to struggle in an attempt to achieve righteousness of God through obedience to the Mosaic law. This condition brings about a spiritual heart/mind condition which has grave consequences if not attended to before the last breath is taken by each individual caught in this snare of pride in heritage and rejection of Christ’s righteousness as their own source of righteousness.
God the Father only accepts us as righteous if we have accepted His Christ as being our sole source of righteousness. While I’m not sure how many ways the previous statement can be phrased, I am sure of its absolute truth – it is only the finished work of Christ that makes any person on the planet righteous in God’s sight. We cannot enhance the righteousness that Christ achieved for us, nor can we embellish it, we have but one choice and that is to accept it in its absoluteness. Christ is our righteousness. Whereas we see in the Scripture the Jews thought themselves to be righteous because they were the seed of Abraham, this type of thinking is not exclusively practiced by Jewry.
This condition, not being exclusive to Jews, exists throughout churchanity, professing Christianity of those who would devalue the blood of Christ that sanctifies all who put their complete trust in His finished work. It is not Christ and my good behavior that makes me, or you, acceptable in the presence of our Holy God.
Salvation is only in the righteousness that we received as a gift because of a perfect Savior, completing a perfect plan for the salvation of lost mankind. Those who conjure up in their mind anything as additional righteousness works which make them more acceptable to God are found in the deplorable state of Christ profiting them nothing. Abraham could boast of works before men much the same as we see James doing, though not before God, as described in Romans 4:1-4 and James 2:23. James wrote as viewing faith and works on a horizontal plain and not on a vertical one concerning the imputed righteousness of God.
A Fatal Heart/Mind Condition
Israel’s unbelief as a nation and their striving under the law to achieve the righteousness of God is a fatal heart/mind condition, one of eternal magnitude and consequence. For here in chapter 11 of Romans we find a people who have been given a spirit of slumber, having eyes that cannot see and ears that cannot hear, these people cannot perceive the truth. This is the result of having had the truth of the coming Messiah in their hands, available to their minds, yet when the Christ appeared they rejected Him.
A casual reading of the Scripture reveals the reason the Jewish nation rejected Him as king and sought instead a strong, probably military-minded leader who could deliver them from Roman tyranny and establish Israel to the former glory days of Solomon. On that same note it is easy to look around today and see that much of professing Christianity seeks a kingdom on earth, health, wealth, power, and all the comforts that can be afforded through those elements of this life.
A Challenge for Every Unsaved Man
Satan is of course the author of the blindness that affects Israel and the rest of the world except for the elect of God, those who have responded to His call for repentance. The challenge for every unsaved man is to quit making this claim of his supposed right to rule his own life. Everyone who will be saved will make a conscious choice of making God their Lord while deposing themselves from their supposed rule of their own life.
Where the true faith of Christ prevails the bondage of being under the law does not exist as illustrated in the following passage of Scripture. Grace and law do not coexist within any believer of the grace of God, for if we accept grace we do so in lieu of accepting the law or the performance of it as our righteousness. There are some who affirm that even while saved we are still obligated to obey the Mosaic law or be considered by God the Father to be sinners worthy of judgment.
But contrariwise, to be in Christ is to be forever outside the reach of God’s own decreed judgment for law violation concerning His Mosaic law. In Romans 4:15 we see “where no law is, there is no transgression.” This is the condition of every true believer – we are not transgressors! In part three we will take a closer look at the affect that this heart/mind condition has on those who are consumed by it and see as well the glorious liberty of those who are set free in their death into Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.