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A warm welcome
back to you. It's great to have you back again for this issue of Daily Bread.
The Bible talks a lot about righteousness. But what does
righteousness mean? Let's have a little Daily Bread Crumb, since it's been a
while since we've had one. The word righteous comes from a compound of two
words in Old English, right + wise. The meaning is acting rightly or
according to what is right, with a sense of justice or morality.
Paul has been
explaining meticulously to us in this letter to the Romans and all of us
beloved of God, called to be saints, that the Israelites, who are the Jewish
people, the Hebrews, the children of Israel, God's own people, have gotten
so enamored by the law that God gave them, that they forgot about God
Himself. They didn't recognize the new law. They couldn't fathom that God
broke the Old Testament and blessed us with a New Testament.
Zechariah 11:10-13 ...
Jeremiah 31;31-34 ...
He says in the opening verse of Chapter 10:
Friends, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that
they might be saved, because I've seen that they have a fervor for God, but
they just don't have understanding. They're ignorant of God's goodness, and
in trying to go around making their own goodness known, they haven't
surrendered themselves to the goodness of God.
I have to share
something with you. You're really gonna like this because we sometimes make
things that are so simple, so difficult, and then when that little light
bulb in our brain finally goes on (it's called being enlightened by the Holy
Spirit), it does something to us inside that brings us a more perfect
understanding of our invisible God. In the beginning there was Adam and Eve
and they were in the Garden of Eden and there was no law. Then the serpent
came along and said, if you disobey God, you can know the difference between
good and evil . . . You can be like God! (Now, tell me what was wrong with
not knowing the difference between good and evil?)
Well, you know the
rest of that story, how God laid down the law right then and there, and
mankind now had rules to follow and the burden of knowing right from wrong,
which they should have left in God's hands. Then, as time went on, mankind
grew more and more evil, so God destroyed everything with the Great Flood
and the earth started anew with Noah. Well, things didn't improve much with
time, yet God saw righteousness in Abraham and made the promise that you
read about in our last study. Now, years passed and different events
happened and God's chosen people were given special laws of their own.
This made them a well
respected people, because no one else on earth had such righteous laws.
Well, as time went on, you may have read in the Old Testament in your Bible,
that the law was virtually impossible for mankind, even God's chosen people,
to follow, because they inherited sin from Adam and Eve. God saw that people
could never make enough sacrifices and offerings to atone for their sins, so
He sent His Son to be the final sacrifice, the end of the old law, and the
beginning of the new law. What is the new law? Well, imagine Adam and Eve
un-eating the apple. The new law, is
GRACE, just like at
the beginning. We, by believing in Jesus, become one with Him, and for the
believer, for the one who obeys God, there is only good, you don't know
evil, just as Adam and Eve didn't know evil before they disobeyed and were
Jewish people over the years became so attached to the law, it became an
obsession with them. So much so, that they couldn't let go of it when God
released them from it. They couldn't see that Christ is the end of the law
for righteousness to every one that believes.
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Let's think back to Chapter 3 of this letter from Paul for a moment. He
Q. Do we then make the law void through Faith?
A. Certainly not, in fact, we establish the law.
So, with Grace, God puts the law within us and it is then established.
Jeremiah 31;31-34 ...
The law, that is,
the Old Testament law, is holy. It came from God, but do you think that God
wanted to impose law on man or do you
think that He did it because mankind would destroy themselves with evil if
He hadn't? That was before Jesus of course.
Paul says: Moses
described the righteousness of the Old Testament, saying, The man who breaks
the law, shall live by the law.
We all break the laws of the Old Testament every day of our lives. Paul goes
on to say, but the righteousness which is of faith goes like this:
(The words in parenthesis are Paul's.)
For this commandment which I
command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it
far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall
go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us (that is, to bring Christ down from above),
that we may hear it, and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea,
that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and
bring it unto us, (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead)
that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very nigh unto
thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.
That is, the Word of Faith, which we preach,
That if you will confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord,
and will believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead,
you shall be saved.
With the heart, man believes in righteousness,
And with the mouth, confession is made, which brings salvation.
For the scripture says,
Whosoever believes in Him shall not be ashamed.
There is no difference between the Jewish and the Greek:
for the same Lord over all, is generous to all that call upon Him.
Whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?
And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not
And how shall they hear without a preacher?
And how shall they preach, unless they've been sent?
As it is written,
How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace,
and bring glad tidings of good things!
But they have not all obeyed the Gospel.
For Isaiah said, Lord, who has believed our message?
So then Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.
But I say, Have they not heard?
Yes truly, their sound (the words of the prophets) went into all the earth,
and their words unto the ends of the world.
But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses said,
I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people (the Gentiles),
and by a foolish nation I will anger you.
But Isaiah is very bold, and says,
I was found of them that sought me not;
I was made known to them that asked not after me.
But to Israel he said,
All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and stubborn people.
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We should keep the
Israelites in our prayers, as Paul did, and strive to follow the original
law of Faith ourselves. Above all, believing in Jesus is the key in all of
this. He is the author of our Faith. He is righteousness. He is freedom. He
is salvation. Jesus is Lord!
Can't wait until
next time when we share more Daily Bread together, so hurry on back and
don't forget to notice how beautiful your feet are the next time you look at
them! God Bless.
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