The Holy Bible, Berean Standard Bible, BSB
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How does grace relate to righteousness? Why does God transform His followers from being unrighteous to righteous? What is Jesus’ role in this process? How can we rejoice in grace? Join me as I explain the marvelous gift of grace of Christ from Romans Chapter 5. I’m including several Got Questions articles links for relevant topics/terms.
6For at just the right time, while we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God proves His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Christ dies for us while we are powerless. We are powerless to redeem ourselves! God proves His love in that He sends Jesus to die for us while we are sinners! Notice that God doesn’t tell us to clean up our act or “get right” then come to Him.
Grace says that we need a Savior and that we cannot save ourselves. It means that it makes no sense to trust in manmade systems or rules to save us and make us holy. It means that no amount of obedience can outweigh the sin that we have committed.Brett Barnett website Relevant Bible Teaching
He takes care of our sins, and He does as an expression of His love. Understand that God’s love is an active love, not a passive love. God’s love moves Him to act: to redeem, save, and transform us! Got questions explains the concept of imputed righteousness–basically how Christ makes us righteous before a Holy, Perfect God. We rejoice in His wonderful grace that He extends to us! Grace gives us a testimony and “story” to share with others!
9Therefore, since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from wrath through Him! 10For if, when we were enemies of God, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life! 11Not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
We are saved through His life! Jesus is alive! Prior to redemption we are enemies of God–lost in our sins and opposed to God. God’s Wrath is coming! By nature, humans are objects of God’s wrath. Paul explains that we are sinners because of Adam and his rebellion in Genesis 3. Have you wondered why the Bible in numerous passages warns people to repent? It’s because God’s Wrath is a serious, eternal punishment of separation and agony. Jesus teaches about the Rich Man and Lazarus to warn us about the severe consequences of God’s Judgment. This account is found in Luke 16.
For a detailed explanation:
For summary and explanation of God’s Wrath read:
Chapter 5:12-16 Summary
Paul explains how Adam’s fall in Genesis 3 brought sin and death upon all people. He introduces Christ as the “gift.” Paul leads us to understand the wonderful gift of Jesus! To come to Christ, we need to realize that we are sinners in need of a savior. Knowing our true state makes us aware of our desperate need for God’s salvation!
17For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those (1) who receive an abundance of grace and of the (2) gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!
God’s grace through Christ is abundant. Picture an overflowing stream of water running into a container then overflowing. Abundant in the sense of God gives us grace and the gift of righteousness. Brent Barnett describes this grace:
God’s abundant grace means that He will always love those who have received of His grace, and He will always only do what is best and kindest for them. He will keep sanctifying them and transforming them into His likeness, and He will use them to shine forth His grace to others. Abundant grace is a supernatural phenomenon, and it will have a supernatural effect.Brent Barnett
These two gifts work together in our lives! Grace to redeem us and righteousness to restore us to proper relationship with God. We rejoice in His great work of redemption and restoration!
Rejoicing in Grace
God’s grace in our lives is similar (but much greater) than the rising sun in the photo below. Grace sets us free from the sin and death that reigns in this world. The world around us is in bondage and captivity to death, destruction, and sorrow. Grace sets people free! God’s grace gives us new life and purpose as our bondage to sin is broken. True rejoicing comes from a transformed, renewed heart!
18So then, just as one trespass brought condemnation for all men, so also one act of righteousness brought justification and life for all men. 19For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
20The law came in so that the trespass would increase; but where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
God makes us righteous through Christ and this grace increases! Grace reigns through righteousness and brings eternal life. All of this comes through Jesus!
Religion or Relationship?
How are you made righteous and redeemed? Can you explain how God has redeemed you? Do you recall when God called you to repent and trust in Him? I ask you to consider if you have a relationship with Christ or if you are simply religious. Relationship with Christ leads to redemption and transformation. What fruits of Holy Spirit are evident in your life? Recall that the Pharisees and religious leaders of Christ’s era seemed holy and righteous (outward appearance). Yet their hearts weren’t right before God and they ultimately murdered God’s Only Son. Religion doesn’t make us righteous or transform us. Self-righteousness is deceptive. Going to church or being religious isn’t the same as personally trusting Christ for salvation and repenting. Christ saves us and sends Holy Spirit into our lives to begin the process of transformation. We rejoice and celebrate what Jesus has done for us and what He will do through our lives!
Abundant grace when properly understood and appreciated cannot be easily hidden or suppressed, but it overflows the heart of the believer and impacts a world of lack, loneliness, loss, and desperate need.Brent Barnett
May God’s grace flow in and through your life as you walk with Him on your journey of faith!