Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame (I Corinthians 15:34).
If you were to walk into many churches and ask the people, “how many of you have been made the righteousness of God?” most, if not all of them would not be able to raise their hand. Why not? Either they have never been born-again and their spirit is still dead to the things of God or they have been born-again, but their faith has never been developed and their mind has never been renewed to the Word of God in this area.
Many Christians will tell you, “No, I’m not righteous but one day when I get to heaven I will be. You know, the Bible says, there is none righteous, no, not one…” and they stop right there without reading the rest of Romans chapter 3. They are quick to believe they are worthy of a pay rise or promotion at work, but as soon as they step into church, their sin-consciousness kicks in.
It’s not their fault. You cannot have faith to receive what you have never heard. This is why churches that don’t teach the New Birth, healing, Bible prosperity, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, etc. are not experiencing these New Covenant realities in their midst. If all they have ever heard from the pulpit is that they are unworthy sinners and then they confess it all together every Sunday before receiving Communion, how could they possibly have faith for anything else?
Scripture must be rightly divided to be understood (II Timothy 2:15). The Bible is written to three groups of people: (1) The Jews (2) The Gentiles (unsaved) (3) the Body of Christ (I Corinthians 10:32). In order to rightly divide the Word, it is necessary to identify which of these groups the writer is speaking to.
In Romans 3:10, when Paul made the statement, …there is none righteous, no not one…he was quoting a scripture that was referring to those under the law of Moses. This is evident when you continue in verses 19-20.
Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law…Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified (made righteous) in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. It is true that none were righteous under the Old Covenant. The Old Covenant could do nothing about the spiritually dead condition of man. It gave people a sin-consciousness and could not remove sin.
For then would they (the sacrifices of the law of Moses) not have ceased to be offered? Because that the worshippers once purged should have no more conscience of sins, (Hebrews 10:2). This is why the New Birth was necessary and Jesus came to institute and ratify a New Covenant in His own blood. He put away sin by the sacrifice of himself, (Hebrews 9:26) that the born again believer have no more consciousness of sin.
Let’s resume in Romans 3. After Paul states that none under the Old Covenant were righteous, in verse 21, he injects two very important words—BUT NOW… He begins to explain that because all have sinned, all are made righteous under the New Covenant who personally believe and receive Christ’s sacrifice for the remission of their sin–completely and independently from the Law. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 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: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified (made righteous) freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus…(Romans 3:21-24).
BUT NOW, under the New Covenant, things have changed and in the book of Romans he is writing to the Body of Christ. Before we were in Christ, we all had the same background—sinner. Therefore, since all sinned and came short of the glory of God, the righteousness of God, which is by faith in Jesus Christ is unto all and upon all them that believe. There is no difference. Since all sinned, all are made righteousness through the New Birth.
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him, (II Corinthians 5:21). We have been MADE the righteousness of God. He was made sin with our sin so we could be made righteous with His righteousness. This means that the New Birth has put you in right-standing with God.
You are able to come before God without the sense of condemnation, guilt or inferiority (Hebrews 4:16). You are a new creature in Christ Jesus (II Corinthians 5:17). Jesus (the last Adam) has restored to the believer all that Adam lost when he became united with satan. Jesus has taken care of the sin problem. You no longer have a spirit with a nature to sin. What you need to do now is awaken to the fact that you have been made the righteousness of God, therefore sin has no place in you and you have no place in sin.
God formed Adam’s body from the dust of the ground, but his spirit (inner man) was created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27, 2:7). The life of God and all of the qualities that reside in God, He reproduced in the spirit of Adam. Through the New Birth, you have been restored to the same right-standing with God that Adam originally had.
This is why it is sad to hear a Christian say they are unworthy and unrighteous. They were unworthy and unrighteous, that is why Jesus went to the cross for us to make us righteous. We are now joint-heirs with Jesus, partakers of the divine nature (Romans 8:17, II Peter 1:4).
For we are God’s [own] handiwork [His workmansip], recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined [planned beforehand] for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live], (Ephesians 2:10 Amplified Bible).
Since we are recreated in Christ Jesus and He is righteous then we must be. He is not half righteous and half unworthy and neither are we. Now you need to renew your mind to that. …And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness, (Ephesians 4:23-24).
Is there anything in any of these scriptures that even suggests that we are unworthy orphans who are trying to crawl through the gate of Glory just before it clangs shut behind us?
Someone might say, “Barb, you are just trying to pull us up on God’s level.” No, He has already pulled you up on His level when you made Him the Lord of your life. Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us (made alive) together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus…(Ephesians 2:5-6). He has made us worthy to sit together with him now, at his right hand.
The New Testament is written to born-again believers who are in Christ. He is the one we should be identifying with–not the sinner we once were. We need to think on these things and renew our mind to the fact that we have been raised up and made to sit together with him in heavenly places. If you don’t, you will continue to live in sin-consciousness like that of an unbeliever.
That at that time (before you were born-again) ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world… (Ephesians 2:12).
Verse 13—Here are those two significant words again …BUT NOW in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
In the light of this, can you see how strange it sounds to the ear of God to hear a born-again child of God say they are unworthy of the blessings and promises we have inherited through the New Covenant?
Let’s exit off the religious roundabout of false-humility and get on the motorway to renewing our mind with what the Word of God says about us. Humility says, “if Jesus made me righteous, then I am righteous. I didn’t make myself righteous, but I receive it freely by His grace.”
Now you will have the ear of God.(VIF)