THE STRUCTURE OF THE GOSPEL OF GOD—
THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD, THE LIFE OF CHRIST,
AND THE FAITH OF THE BELIEVERS
THE ESSENCE OF THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD
Scripture Reading: Rom. 1:16-17
- The righteousness of God:
- Romans 1:17 says, “The righteous shall have life and live by faith.” This is the key word concerning the gospel of God in the book of Romans. According to the divine revelation as presented to us in the book of Romans, the structure of the gospel of God is of the righteousness of God, the life of Christ, and the faith of the believers.
- The salvation of God in the Gospel of John is of God’s love as its source (3:16) and in Ephesians is by God’s grace as its element (2:5, 8), but in Romans it is by God’s righteousness as its base (1:17).
- God’s righteousness is the way of His acts (Psa. 103:6-7):
- It is related to God’s laws, regulations, and principles; hence, it is a judicial matter.
- It indicates that the gospel of God is judicial according to the way of God’s righteousness.
- It fulfills the requirements for God to execute His salvation.
- Hence, it is the key of the gospel of God being powerful (dynamic)—Rom. 1:16-17.
- Thus, it is revealed in the gospel of God as its foundation, solid and steadfast as the foundation of God’s throne—v. 17; Psa. 89:14.
- Romans 3:24 says that God’s justification is also by His grace freely:
- God’s justification by His righteousness in the judicial way is the procedure to fulfill God’s righteous requirement that God could justify the sinners righteously.
- God’s justification by His grace freely is the means for God to fulfill His purpose that He may give His life to His chosen people to make them like Him in His life and nature. So the book of Romans stresses further that God’s grace is given freely to the New Testament believers unto life in reigning as kings like God (5:17-18, 21). John 1:14-17 says that God’s incarnation is to bring grace to men that men may become Him.
- The lawkeepers attempt to keep the law for the building up of their own righteousness (Rom. 9:31). But “out of the works of the law no flesh shall be justified before Him [God]”—3:20.
- Christ is the end of the law by fulfilling all the requirements of God’s righteousness, holiness, and glory, and is made judicially the righteousness from God to the believers—10:4; 1 Cor. 1:30; Phil. 3:9:
- There are two aspects of Christ being righteousness from God to the believers:
- The first aspect—to be the believers’ righteousness for them to be justified before God objectively at the time of their repenting unto God and believing into Christ—Rom. 3:24-26; Acts 13:39; Gal. 3:24b, 27.
- The second aspect—to be the believers’ righteousness lived out of them as the manifestation of God, who is the righteousness in Christ given to the believers for them to be justified by God subjectively—Rom. 4:25; 1 Pet. 2:24a; James 2:24; Matt. 5:20; Rev. 19:8.
- These two aspects are typified by the best robe and the fattened calf in Luke 15:22-23:
- The best robe typifies Christ as God’s righteousness given to the believers to cover them outwardly before God as their objective righteousness.
- The fattened calf typifies Christ as God’s righteousness given to the believers as their life supply for them to live out God in Christ as their subjective righteousness.
- These two aspects are also typified by the two garments of the queen in Psalm 45:13-14:
- One corresponds with the objective righteousness, which is for our justification.
- The other corresponds with the subjective righteousnesses, which are for our victory. This garment is equivalent to the wedding garment in Matthew 22:11-12.
Prayer: O Lord Jesus, You are so dear and precious to us. We surely like to tell You that we love You. We love You to the uttermost. Nothing is so sweet in our heart as You are. Lord, we love You. How we praise You that Your presence has given us this meeting. We are so happy and full of rejoicing. This meeting is a rejoicing to us. We rejoice in it. We are in the heavenlies, in Your resurrection, in the pneumatic Christ, even the pneumatized Christ. We are in the processed and consummated Triune God. We are in the compound, all-inclusive, life-giving Spirit. Hallelujah! Lord, we like to listen to You. Speak to us. Speak Your word to us with revelation, with enlightening. Cover us and shame Your enemy, Lord. We accuse him. Rebuke him for us, bind him, and destroy him. Amen.