By Gregg Bing
In Romans 10:1-4, the Apostle Paul expressed his heart’s desire that his people, Israel, might be saved. These people had a zeal for God, but it was not according to knowledge. They were seeking to establish their own righteousness by the works of the law, and in doing so they demonstrated their ignorance of Gods righteousness. They failed to see that “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”
The law was not given to make men righteous. The law required perfect and complete obedience to God’s commands (Gal. 3:12); it had no power to give life because it was dependent on the flesh, and the flesh is weak. The law was given “that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. … by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Rom. 3:19-20).
While the Mosaic Law certainly provided a standard of God’s righteousness, it was not the means by which sinful men could become righteous. God has now revealed that righteousness is provided completely apart from the law. God sent His Son into this world to make known His righteousness to man. Certainly Jesus’ life was an example of righteousness, but it was the cross that truly demonstrated the righteousness of God. God set forth His Son as a propitiation for our sins through the shedding of His blood. Christ paid in full the penalty for our sins, thus satisfying God’s righteous requirements. He was made sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor 5:21). This was the only way God could remain righteous Himself and still be able to justify (declare righteous) sinful men. This leaves no room for boasting on our part. Clearly justification is not by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ and His finished work on Calvary (Rom. 3:28).
Have you submitted to the righteousness of God and trusted in Christ as your Savior, or are you hopelessly pursuing a righteousness of your own through the works of the law?