They which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ (Romans 5:17 KJV)
The term “righteousness” as in Romans 5:17 is “ a status of legal rectitude that satisfies the moral requirements of God’s character”. Let me briefly review some of the words in this definition.
Righteousness is a legal term. It has to do with meeting God’s moral requirements or standards of morality. Morality, in itself, has to do with right or wrong. Moreover, judging what is right or wrong is not based on what we choose but on God’s standards or laws. In other words, what does God consider as right or wrong behavior or action? Righteousness is what is right per God’s requirements. Think of God looking at us and our actions and weighing those actions against His legal requirements of what is considered right in His sight.
Righteousness is a status, usually attained after our actions or behaviors. How do you meet God’s standards of right or wrong? This is normally based on your actions with regard to God’s legal requirements for right or wrong behavior. In contrast to the Law in the Old Testament, the astonishing aspects of our place in Christ is that we are given the status of righteousness as a gift when we believe in Christ as Savior, without ever doing or saying anything right. Christ did what was right before God as a Man, and His righteousness was given to us as a gift. When God looks at you, He tells the angels that you are what a righteous person should be, and you have met all His standards and requirements for a righteous life–but you never did a thing, Christ did it for you!
What is righteousness as used in Romans 5:17?
APPLY THE WORD
You received God’s gift of righteousness when you believed in Christ.This is one truth that you should be WELL GROUNDED in, both knowing it and believing it. God has given you righteousness as a gift so your job is not to attempt to meet God’s high standards or requirements on your own but to receive His gift, be thankful for it and live it out.
Could you thank the Lord Jesus for becoming sin for us that we might be the righteousness of God?