“God has already saved us and called us to this holy calling—not because of any good works we may have done, but because of His own intention and because eons and eons ago (before time itself existed), He gave us this grace in Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King.” (2 Timothy 1:9, VOICE)
Grace, Grace. Scandalous Grace, what have you done now? You have taken undeserving, spiritually dead, unrighteous ones and given them the free gift of right standing with an Almighty, Holy God.
When His amazing Grace melted our hardened hearts and we stopped resisting His love and received the Lord Jesus Christ into our lives, He exchanged our old nature with His new nature. He gave us the free gift of righteousness. He placed us into perfect right standing with our Father in Heaven. We were justified or placed into a position of just-as-if-I’d never sinned. It is imperative that we understand how to live victoriously in this righteousness.
“For if because of one man’s trespass (lapse, offense) death reigned through that one, much more surely will those who receive [God’s] overflowing grace (unmerited favor) and the free gift of righteousness [putting them into right standing with Himself] reign as kings in life through the one Man Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).” (Romans 5:17 AMP)
We can reign as kings in this life when we understand our righteousness in Christ. One translation says we will reign in life when we “receive of the gift of righteousness” (see here). We need to not just receive the gift, but actually open it! It is one thing to possess a gift; it is quite another to open it and enjoy it. We must not just receive the free gift of righteousness but apply it for daily use.
When we understand our righteousness in Christ, we will no longer lack confidence when we pray. When we read the Scriptures, our eyes will be open to seeing how much our God is for us and not against us. This righteousness produces boldness in the heart of the believer. When you seek to pray for someone with a need, you won’t be looking for brother holier than you to pray the prayer of faith because you know God hears and answers your prayers too.
This righteousness produces peace (see here). By placing us in right standing with God, Jesus has ensured we will never experience His wrath or anger or disappointment. Jesus took all our judgment and wrath and disappointments on that Cross. God isn’t angry at us at all; He is in a great mood when He thinks of you!
When you miss it or blow it, you’ve no need to fear that God is scheming for ways to “get back” at you. God isn’t plotting your downfall because you didn’t measure up one day. God is not the author of bad days. Certainly, if we make poor choices we can see natural consequences but understand God isn’t trying to punish you.
You can still have bold confidence with God even when you fail because of His free gift of righteousness He has given. His love and mercy are immeasurable. Your imperfections aren’t going to stop Him from moving on your behalf. While you were yet enemies, He freely gave His own Son. How much more now that you’re His sons will He move on your behalf?
This is the scandalous Grace of God. He gave us a gift that can’t be earned. He gave us an undeserved gift. We receive this free gift by simply trusting in Christ alone. Before Christ came into our lives our righteousness was as filthy rags as Isaiah said (see here). Once received this gift is irrevocable and unceasing.
We who have received His free gift of righteousness have exchanged our sins for His right standing with the Father. We are declared righteous and by virtue of the New Creation we are made the very righteousness of God in Christ. If we, therefore, have exchanged our old worthless, perpetually failing, “filthy rags” righteousness for His perfect righteousness, then the righteousness we’ve received is His and not our own. Therefore, we are just as righteous as the Lord Jesus Christ! This is the scandalous Grace of God, and we rejoice, amen.