Gift of Righteousness

D ear Family

I think most people like to receive gifts. I know I certainly do. For me, the best kinds are always the unexpected ones, those not tied to a date or an occasion. The element of surprise somehow seems to make the gift a lot more desirable. The worst kind of gifts to receive has to be those that anticipate a return. I’ve given you one so I expect you to give me one. When that happens the pressure is on to perform and match or even to outdo. This can’t really be classified as giving. This is more like bribery, flattery, or at least a stroking of one’s pride. There is a gift that we have been given as believers which we cannot earn, or reciprocate, or try to match. The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 5:17 “For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.” The gift of righteousness—wow! Made holy by his blood without a single bit of effort on our behalf besides a surrendered will. Many spend their entire lives trying to balance the scales of their behaviour. They try to do a bit more good than bad and, in doing so, presume to be on the right side of God. Unfortunately this thinking has even invaded the church. We often lose sight of the fact that he has done it all by his blood and presented us with this inestimable gift which knows no boundary to the repentant sinner. The moment we accept that gift of His righteousness, we are set free from the power of sin over our lives. I knew a dear man once whose favourite question to those he met was always, “Are you washed in the blood?” If our answer to that question is in the affirmative, then we can know without any doubt that we have been (and continue to be) made holy by his blood. It has happened and its effects will continue for all eternity. Hallelujah! Let’s grow up and believe His word that He has completely done what He said he has done. We have no cause or time to believe the whispers of evil to the contrary. There are no strings attached to this gift of righteousness!

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