Righteousness by Faith
What is the true significance of the term, “Righteousness by Faith?” Here is how Paul describes this blessing:
Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: (Rom 3:22)
God's word tells us that this righteousness comes upon all them that simply believe, and that it is by the faith of Jesus Christ. The verse is very clear and in fact the entire passage from which it is taken is equally plain. When a person believes in Jesus Christ, when he believes in the gift of God then at that very moment he receives that gift. Righteousness is purely and entirely the gift of God bestowed upon all who simply believe. Paul says it as plainly as words can say it (Rom. 4:4,5).
So this is where our input comes in. The fight against sin is not ours. It is a conflict which has been already fought and won. The life of victory is a gift, freely bestowed on all who will BELIEVE. Our challenge is to believe. This is our fight, this is where fasting and prayer come in. They are aids in our quest to believe.
Perhaps we have always fasted and prayed. We have always read our Bibles, attended worship services and laboured diligently in witnessing to others. So did the Jews who crucified Jesus. It is possible to do all the right things for all the wrong reasons. In these religious exercises they endeavoured to purchase the gift of God by their religious services and diligent endeavours. It profited them nothing. Because their concepts were wrong, that which should have been the means of establishing their faith became the means of obstructing it. They became so absorbed in and so dependent on their religious rituals that they could not see beyond the forms to the reality and so it became impossible for them to obtain true righteousness which is wholly a gift of God, received ONLY by faith.
Today we need to be careful that we do not repeat the mistake of the Jews. There never was and never will be a time when we can contribute any thing to our salvation. Justification is God's gift, sanctification is God's gift, glorification is God's gift (Rom. 8:30; 1 Cor. 6:11). It cannot be a gift if we must work to obtain it, or if we must make a contribution towards it (Rom. 4:4,5). All God requires is that we accept the gift by FAITH.