Romans 3:9-31 Yesterday we talked about what righteous people can do to save a city and nation. In today's reading we hear Paul's dramatic statements "There is none righteous, no, not one" (v. 10). "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (v. 23).
Paul is setting the backdrop for the rest of his letter to the believers in Rome. He is making it clear that righteousness is not based upon what we do, but upon who we are. If any of us seek to establish our own righteousness by doing righteous deeds, we will always be a failure. True righteousness is only possible through belief in Jesus Christ. He alone is the only righteous One, and only when He abides within us by the Holy Spirit are we able to be righteous men and women. In another letter Paul reveals how we can obtain such righteousness. He says, "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs to the hope of eternal life" (Titus 3:5-7, KJV).
We can only obtain true righteousness when we believe and receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. He is the only One who can cleanse us of all unrighteousness. There truly is none righteous, except for those who believe in Jesus Christ. Once we have received Jesus Christ, our lives are translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light that is ruled by Jesus Christ. We become the salt of the earth, able to preserve neighborhoods, cities and nations. We also can add flavor to the life of others when we introduce them to Jesus Christ. We are lights shining in the midst of darkness, and we are commanded to continually let our lights shine that men may see our good works and glorify God in heaven. Good works will follow us when we believe in Jesus because He does these works through us. The moment I strive to do a righteous work, I am not believing or trusting in Jesus. We are to surrender ourselves to Jesus, and He then can work righteousness in us and through us. He can even cause us to be instruments of righteousness that can lead others to enter into His righteousness.
What a privilege to be a partaker of the divine nature of Jesus Christ. He has a righteous nature, and as we abide in Him, we will continually be conformed to His righteousness. We can be transformed by the renewing of our minds, and as we surrender our bodies to Him, we can walk daily in His righteousness. It is His righteousness that draws men to Himself, not our own. Today let your light shine by walking in the spirit all the day long. When you do this, good works will always be manifested in your life, and others will notice.
READ: 1 Chronicles 22:1-23:32; Romans 3:9-31; Psalm 12:1-8; Proverbs 19:13-14