The Gift of Righteousness
In this podcast episode, the speaker reminisces about their first job and the satisfaction of earning money at a young age. They also share an experience of not being paid on time, which left them feeling frustrated and uncertain. Drawing from these experiences, the speaker reflects on the concept of earning and credits in relation to our relationship with God.
Romans 4:4 “Now, when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation.”
This verse highlights the idea that when we work, we expect to receive what we have earned. However, the Apostle Paul emphasizes throughout the book of Romans that we cannot earn God’s righteousness or grace. Our sin has earned us separation from God, but through faith in Him, we are credited with righteousness.
1. Recognize our inability to earn God’s grace: Just as we cannot earn our salvation through good works, we must acknowledge that our righteousness before God is not based on our own efforts. It is a gift given to us through faith in Jesus Christ.
2. Trust in God’s justification: Instead of relying on our own works, we are called to trust in God’s justification. Our faith in Him is what credits us with righteousness. It is through this trust that we receive the gift of salvation and reconciliation with God.
1. Let go of self-reliance: Release the notion that you can earn God’s favor through your own efforts. Surrender to the truth that it is only through faith in Jesus Christ that you can receive righteousness.
2. Cultivate a deeper trust in God: Strengthen your faith by spending time in prayer, studying the Word, and seeking a deeper relationship with God. Trust that He is faithful to justify and credit you with righteousness.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of righteousness that we receive through faith in Jesus Christ. Help us to let go of our self-reliance and trust in Your justification. Teach us to cultivate a deeper faith and reliance on You. May we always remember that our righteousness is not earned but freely given by Your grace. In Jesus’ name, amen.
As we reflect on the gift of righteousness, may we embrace the truth that our relationship with God is not based on our own efforts, but on His unmerited favor. Let us walk in faith, trusting in His justification and experiencing the fullness of His love and grace in our lives.
Podcast Transcript: God's Gift: The Unearned Righteousness
Think we all can remember our first job. I remember my first job. I was only 13 years old and I’m sure it was illegal then and like it is now, but I wanted to buy stuff and for me to get money I had to earn it.
Working at the Party Store
So my brother’s friend, I have a younger brother, his friend’s mom invited me to work for a party store that she worked at. When people returned bottles back then, they wouldn’t have a machine to put them in. They just brought a bag back and then I would sort those bottles because the companies would pick up their bottles again for recycling. So Coca-Cola products, Pepsi products, and then there were the alcoholic beverages as well. I would sort those out in the back room and then when Coca-Cola would come back, we’d give them their bottles back and they would use it and recycle it. And so I did that, I would clean shelves, I would stock shelves, and I would scoop ice cream because there was an ice cream spot where a local ice cream place would have their product there, and I would scoop it and give that to people. So that was a lot. And I got paid a grand total of $3 an hour cash. But I was only 13 years old. I felt loaded. I mean, I would work about 10 hours a week. And so 30 bucks a week when you have no bills when you’re 13 and a couple of weeks go by and you got 60 to 90 dollars and you are um you’re loaded. I mean, I could buy whatever I wanted. I was into basketball cards or I would collect other things, and I remember buying a remote control car that was 90 bucks at the time, and it was just awesome. But at a young age, I was working hard, and so I remember that.
Moving on to Construction
And there was actually a time, a couple of years later, so I still wasn’t even 16 yet, I found out that working in construction paid more, so I got a grand total of $5 an hour. Man, looking back, I think I got ripped off, but I didn’t know what I was doing. I just wanted to work hard and wanted to gain some money going in my pocket. And throughout the years, I know I have worked for several different construction companies, I think a total of four, but there was one where I remember that I was supposed to get paid on a certain day and it didn’t happen. And I was like, well, the day’s up and I didn’t get paid. And this is weird. So they put me in a weird spot. So I’m young and I don’t know, like, do I ask for it? I didn’t feel like I had to ask for it. I mean, I earned it and it was Friday and I should be getting paid and I didn’t. And anyways, I eventually got paid. But I just remember that a certain employer that I worked for, just one in particular, that was like, I didn’t necessarily get paid right on time. And I remember that bothering me and having to deal with that and work that out.
God’s Grace and Righteousness
In scripture, that’s what this reminds me of. It says in Romans chapter four, verse four, it talks about this or it says this. Now, when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work, but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. Throughout Romans, it does talk about what the wages are of sin. So wages, I mean, that’s earned us death. It’s earned us separation from God. And that’s what we’ve earned. So I know that when I’ve earned something, that that’s what I’m going to get. And I expect to get that, especially when it comes to working.
The Apostle Paul, through the whole book of Romans, emphasizes that we cannot earn God’s righteousness. We cannot earn God’s grace. We can’t earn it. There’s nothing we can do. And that’s a common misconception that I can do lots of good things and I can be in God’s good graces because of that. We cannot. We do not earn that. Our sin has earned us separation from God and God’s wrath. That’s what we’ve earned. But he goes through, and this is big on Abraham. He’s talking about Abraham and how Abraham was credited righteous because of his faith. And he was credited it. So he didn’t earn it. It was given to him because of the faith that he had. And he talks about that, that we’re the same way. We don’t earn God’s grace. It’s through our faith in him and our trust in him. He credits us this righteousness that we don’t deserve and that we haven’t earned but it was given to us as a gift and it’s through faith that that gift is given in verse 23 of chapter 4 it says the words it was credited to him were written not for him alone but also for us to whom God will credit righteousness for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.
What an amazing God we serve who loves us so much that he gives us something that we don’t deserve. Those are my thoughts on Romans chapter 4. And as always, I want to encourage you.