Rom. 5:17 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).
Now days when you hear about things that are “free” there seems to always be a catch involved. When companies advertise to give you something free it usually comes with the requirement of you sharing your personal contact information, which then leads to receiving all kinds of junk email and advertisements. But there is a free gift that God offers to all through His Son Jesus Christ in which there is no catch involved. It is God simply offering to make something right that was wronged. In doing so we become the beneficiary of this wonderful “free gift” that you cannot in anyway earn.
In Romans chapter 5 we are given a comparison between Adam’s sin that lead to condemnation and Jesus offering through His sacrifice the ability to receive God’s righteousness. Righteousness is the free gift that God offers to all through what Jesus did in bearing our sin. This gift is what restored man to a place of right standing with God. For anyone who has godly sorrow, which scripture reveals produces repentance, and then leads one to salvation, they receive this gift of righteousness. You cannot do anything to earn this free gift given by God, but once you receive it you now have right standing with God, and you now have rights as His child.
Gen. 1:27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Gen. 1:28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Notice here in verse 28 that when God created man He said that man was to subdue the earth and have dominion over it. This was God’s intent for man from the beginning. When the fall of man occurred Adam gave up that dominion and in doing so did not walk in his place of authority subduing the earth. But Jesus did something about that. If you look back to our foundation verse in Romans 5:17 it states that we are to reign as kings in life through the One Jesus Christ. God wants us just as He did Adam to once again subdue this earth. The believer in Christ should be the dominant force in the earth. Life should not be ruling over us, we should be ruling over life. I am not talking about having authority over man for God has not given us such authority, but over the works of darkness and all that has come through the fall.
Why then do we not see more Christians victorious and reigning in this life? Why does it seem many are having life overcome them? There are several reasons why but one of the most important is that many don’t understand the gift of righteousness. What many believers are trying to do today is earn something that already belongs to them. You don’t earn a gift. If you get a gift you did nothing to earn it. I often tell our parents in our church family if you are going to tell your children to be good or they are not going to get any gifts this Christmas then what they would be getting is not a gift. They through their efforts are earning it. This instead would be a reward for good behavior not a gift.
Col. 2:6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,
Col. 2:7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.
Col. 2:8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
Col. 2:9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;
Col. 2:10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.
If anyone has godly sorrow they will turn from sin and turn to God by faith and faith alone. There is nothing I nor you could have done to receive the salvation Jesus Christ offers to us. Now in verse 6 of Colossians 2 here Paul tells us that just as we have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so should we walk in Him. How did we receive Christ into our lives? By faith alone, not our personal effort or we could boast about what we had done. So how then do we walk in Him? By faith in what Jesus has done for us. If we have faith in Jesus then we are going to act upon what we believe.
Take note of what verse 7 tells us about walking in Christ. We are to be rooted and built up in Him, and established in the faith. As a believer we should certainly have established ourselves in “the faith”, which means active Christianity or in other words, doing what Christ did. How do we get rooted and built up in Him? We must come to know who we are in Christ. We must learn and get revelation in our hearts from the scriptures of who Christ made us to be since we were made right with God. We are now a new creation in Christ Jesus because of our right standing with God. The gift of righteousness is what came as a result of our being recreated in the image and likeness of God.
Paul goes on to state that you must beware for there are those who will try to cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit. He tells us in that later part of this verse what that refers to. Philosophy refers to the traditions of man. There are many traditions, religious traditions that man has come up with that do not line up with the Bible. These traditions will rob us of understanding who we are in Christ. He also refers to empty deceit, which come from the basic principles of the world. Many people today want what God has for them but yet they are still living according to the principles of the world. These principles come from the god of this world, which 2 Corinthians 4:4 tells us is satan. Once you are born again you don’t want to continue in the principles of the world for they will not lead to what God has for you.
Matt. 11:28Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Matt. 11:29Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Matt. 11:30For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
To walk in your rights as a child of God you cannot earn the inheritance God has provided for you, but you must learn how to become a partaker of what is yours. In verse 28 here Jesus in referring to those who labor are going to be heavy laden. This referred to those who were trying to establish their own righteousness through their personal efforts. You cannot do so. He tells us that we are to come to Him and He will give us rest for our souls. Notice He said He would give us this rest you don’t earn it. Once you have received this rest, the new birth, you must then take His yoke upon you and learn from Him. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. This is where I believe many Christians miss it.
Some time ago I heard the Holy Spirit tell me that you do not come to earn anything from Jesus, but you must come and learn from Him how to be a partaker of what He has provided through your right standing with God. I did not know anything about walking by faith before I got born again. How could I be a partaker of what God has for my life without understanding how faith works? I have had to learn from Jesus God’s principles of doing things so that I could begin to experience what God has for my life. That is not earning anything, but learning how to do things His way.
What if you were boarding a plane and you were offered a parachute so that if for any reason the plane had problems and began to go down you could parachute to safety, yet you took no time to learn how to use it? What good would that parachute do you? It would be no good to you unless you had taken time to learn how to use it. Worse yet what if you had rejected the parachute all together? It would not be there when you needed it. If someone rejects God in their life they have chosen to do life on their own without His help. But even if we have not rejected Him are we taking time to come and learn from Him what we have a right to, and how we are to partake of our inheritance? You must learn how to become a partaker of what God has for you to receive what you have a right to as a child of God.
God has offered to all in the earth the gift of righteousness that comes as a result of someone who having godly sorrow has truly repented and turned to God. Salvation is more than a prayer one prays, salvation is making Jesus the Lord over your life and when you do then your desire is to become like Him, not like someone who is worldly or sinful. He becomes the center of our life and Who we live for. But once we are born again we have been given a great gift. The gift of righteousness cannot be earned but only received by faith in Jesus Christ. Then we are to rule and reign through Him, putting our faith in what He did and what He has accomplished for us. When we do we will truly be walking by faith and not by sight. We will also have a powerful impact on our world as we take our rightful place of dominion once again.
See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”
May God’s Best Be Yours!
Pastor Darryl Baker