Unlimited: How Not to Obtain Righteousness
Apr 3, 2023 417
Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works (Romans 9:32a).
The question that Paul is answering is why did Israel not obtain God’s righteousness, which they had pursued so earnestly?
If you want to be unrighteous, then try to be righteous by your works. You will never obtain righteousness through your own performance no matter the extent or the quality of your good works. Instead you will be profoundly unrighteous. That’s precisely what the apostle Paul is saying here.
Israel considered themselves the experts in righteousness: they studied it, they argued about it, they preached about it, and most of all, they tried to live it out. However, they failed so miserably that they even murdered the Righteous One!
You will never obtain righteousness through your own performance no matter the extent or the quality of your good works.
Every Christian would agree that you must believe in Jesus. But if you then believe that you must also obey before you can be saved, then you will make obedience your focus. In this deadly way of thinking, faith is only the precursor to obedience, and obedience is ultimately the condition required for salvation.
Those who have this focus, no matter how zealous they may be, will always fail to obtain God’s righteousness.
But if you believe that obedience follows salvation, then you will rely on faith alone as the instrument through which righteousness is received. You will be assured of the righteousness of God.
Think carefully about your own personal attitude towards salvation. Is there any way at all in which you add human works to the basis on which you are accepted by God?