How To Be Righteous Apart From Law – by Desmond Ford
- Bible study
- Christian Evidences
- Christian Living
- Dr Desmond Ford
Nov 4, 2015 5620
You can’t get rid of law but law will not save us. Law only condemns us. You can’t become good by keeping the commandments. That is like trying to muzzle the devouring beast.
Desire always overcomes law. The imagination always defeats your traditional standards, so Paul can say in that third chapter, to paraphrase, “There is no difference. There are only two types of people in the world: disreputable sinners and reputable sinners. We are all sinners.”
And then an Advocate stands up and people look at him. Oh what love, what wisdom, what compassion, what empathy in that face! And suddenly he collapses and he is gone for three days. Then, suddenly, he comes and stands up again all glorious. The angels are surrounding him and then we read these words from Romans chapter 3, and this is the acropolis of the Christian faith, verses 21 forward: “But now our righteousness from God.”
You see, all those verses from Romans 1:20 to 3:20 was a parenthesis, saying you had better know you need this Gospel; if you don’t know I can’t help you. There is no more hopeless sin than to think you have no sin. No one is further from God than the person who thinks that God owes him or her something.
In this parenthesis, Paul is saying, hey, do you know your condition? Unless you know your condition, God himself cannot help you. Isn’t it wonderful when you read the four Gospels, there is never a harsh word from our Lord Jesus, to anyone with a sense of need. Isn’t that glorious? If you have a sense of need all His promises are for you. You have no sense of need? Then pray; pray as you have never prayed before, because you are a lost soul. You are hell bound. You are without hope until you say, “Lord, I am a hopeless, helpless sinner, help me, help me.”
So Paul says now our righteousness from God apart from law has been made known to which the law and the prophets testify. That righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified freely by his grace.”
Remember religion is grace; ethics is gratitude. Grace – God’s righteousness at Christ’s expense. We are justified freely by God’s grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Sometime read how the Living Bible puts it from verses 19 onward,
“Now, do you see it? No one can ever be made right in God’s sight by doing what the law commands.”
The more we know about God’s laws, the clearer it becomes that we are not obeying them. His laws only serve to show that we are sinners.
But now God has shown us a different way to Heaven, not by being good enough and trying to keep his law. Now God has shown us a new way. It is not new, really. It is in the law and the prophets. Now God says he will accept us, acquit us, declare us not guilty, if we will trust in Jesus and what He has done and we can all be saved in the same way. It does not matter who we are. It does not matter what we have done.
Do you see it, dear friends? You don’t have to be good to be saved, you do have to be saved to be good.
– Des Ford. Rom 8:27–32. Adapted from, “The News That Shook The World – Part 1.”