I believe the book of Romans is Paul’s masterpiece on grace. Understanding grace and all that Jesus provided for you is one of the most important aspects of receiving from God. Romans also explains another critical concept—your righteousness in Christ. When you discern the righteousness you have in Jesus, it will change your life; but sad to say, most believers just don’t get it.
Many people cannot grasp the righteousness we have through Jesus because they are holding onto religious doctrines. Jesus told us in Mark 7:13 that the traditions of men make the Word of God of no effect. And this is exactly what has happened.
That’s why we need to understand Romans 5:12–21 which counters the religious mindset. Romans 5:15 in particular says:
“If through the offence of one many be dead…much more [the gift] the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.”
The Lord spoke to me about these verses and said, “It’s like a coin, and if you accept that one side of the coin is real, well then the other side has to be genuine as well.” We are righteous through what Jesus did for us and not what we do for Him. Yet, many Christians don’t approach God with an understanding of their righteousness.
A story comes to my mind that exemplifies many people’s wrong mindset on righteousness. Back before I was married, I had a dog named Honey. She was a big dog and I got her to be a watchdog for my mother while I was in Vietnam. When I returned home from the war, I found out that someone had beaten the dog with a chain before I got her. So, although Honey was really friendly to me, when she would come running across the yard to me, she would always stop several feet away, fall down, slowly scoot up to me, and whimper like I was going to beat her. I’d never beaten this dog, but because of the abuse she received from the previous owner, that was how she related to me.
So, one day, I got frustrated with this dog. I got mad (and it’s hard to get mad at a dog named Honey) and said, “Honey, just one time I would like you to run up to me like a normal dog and like I’m not going to beat you.” And as I was saying this the Lord spoke to me and He said, “Andrew, that’s exactly the way I feel about you. Just one time I would like you to come into My presence and instead of talking about how you’re a sinner confessing all your faults, why don’t you come in praising Me for loving you and act like you’re forgiven?” That was a great illustration for me.
Some of you, without realizing it, have developed sin consciousness. Every time you approach the Lord, you focus on all your failures and how you’re unworthy and you start condemning yourself. Yet, Hebrews 10:2 says that we “should have no more conscience of sin.”
If all you do is focus on your unworthiness, you are never going to be able to receive the love that God wants you to have. If you’ve been born again, God now relates to you not on the basis of what you have done, but on the basis of what Jesus did. All you have to do is receive it by faith.
A logical question that arises is, “So because of grace, being righteous, and God not giving me what I deserve, can I just go live in sin?” I wish I had the space to get into Romans 6 which answers this question. So, I encourage you to get my full teaching on the book of Romans.
Visit my website at awmi.net where you can watch or listen to Romans: Paul’s Masterpiece on Grace free! If you’re in need of prayer or would like to talk to someone about this teaching, I encourage you to call our Helpline at 719-635-1111.