The Key to God’s Blessings
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.'” (Romans 1:16, 17 NIV)
The Greek word, soteria, translated salvation in verse 16, is a comprehensive term that includes eternal life, forgiveness of sins, health, finances, wisdom, peace and every good thing we need for life and godliness.
When Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome, he did so against the background of Judaism, with its emphasis on obedience to the Law, as the means of attaining righteous standing before God. One had to keep the Ten Commandments and all the other sundry laws to qualify for salvation and blessings. Failing in just one area was enough to invoke judgment and punishment under the system of the Law. Anyone who taught anything different would be labeled a blasphemer, punishable by death.
So how do you think devout Jews and religious Gentiles reacted to Paul’s message of salvation by grace through faith? Most religious Jews and Gentiles found His message very offensive and just plain foolishness. Whoever heard of such a thing—of God making sinners righteous in His sight without regard to their performance and their obedience in keeping His commandments!
Religionists have a difficult time believing that righteousness from start to finish is a gift. They desperately want to add some element of human performance to the equation. But human righteousness is as filthy rags. Only Jesus’ perfect righteousness can suffice. That is why He gives it to us rather than requiring us to come up with it on our own.
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV)
Believing the message that God has made us irreversibly righteous through our faith in Christ, and not through our obedience to the Law, is the key that unlocks the power and favor of God upon us. Paul described it in Romans as “the power of God” that produces salvation. And remember salvation is a comprehensive term for all good things.
In Matthew 6:23, Jesus promised His disciples that if they would seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, everything the Gentiles worried about would be added to them. In other words, if they would make it their priority to receive revelation concerning His gift of righteousness and to build their faith in His righteousness in them, they will not lack for any good thing.
The more you believe that you are righteous by faith and not by works, that being righteous in God’s sight is a gift freely given, not a reward diligently earned, the more you will experience the power of God and every good thing you need for life and godliness will be added unto you. So if you want to increase the flow of grace and power in your life, make developing your faith in God’s gift of righteousness your number priority.
Never forget this. The key to God’s blessings is the revelation of the gift of righteousness.