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July 18

Romans 8:1-4

1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, 2 because the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 What the law could not do since it was weakened by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh as a sin offering, 4 in order that the law’s requirement would be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. — Romans 8:1-4

The Mantle of His Righteousness

by Colon Pope
West Franklin Campus

Reading Paul’s words in this passage concerning the Christian’s freedom from condemnation through Christ’s righteousness, I recalled the Old Testament story about Elisha.

The soon-to-be prophet’s only desire from God was to be granted twice the spirit of his predecessor Elijah. As Elijah was carried away, God gave Elisha his request, and he took upon himself the prophet’s mantle, empowered to carry on God’s work.

In a similar way, Paul tells us if we desire it, we have received a double blessing through Jesus Christ’s righteousness. We have received! His righteousness is not something we work for or claim as an achievement—it is a gift. Because of Jesus’ sinless life and sacrifice upon the cross, we can receive His righteousness as our own and find no condemnation. This takes place in two ways.

First, through our acceptance of Christ as Savior, His righteousness becomes ours. By His fulfilling the requirements of God’s righteous law and paying the penalty for our sin, we are freed from the old law’s bondage. Because of His righteousness, we no longer stand condemned before God under the law, but in Christ we have fulfilled the law. We are free to live a new way of life in love with God.

But Jesus also gave His Spirit to indwell us and to direct us in a righteous (pleasing to Him) life. The Holy Spirit is the power of His righteousness for victorious Christian living. In keeping with His Spirit, we live in the way of His law of love. We reveal His righteous love in relationship with our neighbors and our world. The Spirit works into the yielded Christian life the righteousness which Jesus requires.

In writing to the Galatians, Paul calls this the “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22-23) and declares there is no law against such. By allowing the Spirit to show forth Christ’s righteousness through us, we can live as a witness for Christ which results in no condemnation from anyone. By living in the power of His Spirit and the image of Christ’s righteousness. we have no condemnation from God or our fellow man. We can then, like Elisha, take up the mantle of Christ Jesus and continue His kingdom work.

Praxis

  1. Have you accepted the righteousness of Christ by trusting Him as your Savior?
  2. Are you giving witness to His righteousness by living in the power of His Spirit?
July
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