Day 14 Devotional Before United Prayer: (about 1:15 minute reading)
God and His Law Demand Righteousness
God and His law demand righteousness in one’s life. However, because of the weakness of human flesh, attaining righteousness by keeping the law is impossible. Therefore, Jesus came in the flesh and fulfilled the righteousness requirements of the law; thus, He “condemned sin in the flesh.” He was tempted in all points as we are in the flesh and was victorious over every temptation (Hebrews 4:15).
Because of Jesus’s perfect and righteous obedience to God’s law, when we have Jesus living in us we have His righteous obedience available to us. Therefore, Paul stated that “the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us.” (Romans 8:4) You see, because of the “weakness” of our flesh we are unable to fulfill the righteous requirements of the law. However, if we have Jesus living in us through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, He will live out His righteous obedience “in us” if we place our “faith” in Him to do so. This is how we have Christ’s righteousness manifested in our lives by faith, how we have His righteousness “imparted” to us.
No Righteousness Separate from Faith
Any righteousness that we seek to obtain by our own efforts is actually unrighteousness since it is impossible to attain to any righteousness apart from faith in Christ’s righteousness. There is no righteousness separate from faith. That is why Paul wrote:
“For whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” ROMANS 14:23
Personal Reading for Discussion:
Concerning this truth, E. J. Waggoner wrote:
“Without faith not an act can be performed that will meet the approval of God. Without faith the best deeds that a man can do will come infinitely short of the perfect righteousness of God, which is the only standard. Where ever real faith is found
it is a good thing; but the best of faith in God to take away the load of the sins of the past will profit a person nothing unless it is carried right through in ever-increasing measure until the close of his probation.” LESSONS IN FAITH, 2
“We have heard many people tell how hard they found it to do right; their Christian life was most unsatisfactory to them, being marked only by failure, and they were tempted to give up in discouragement. No wonder they get discouraged: continual failure is enough to discourage anybody. The bravest soldier in the world would become
faint-hearted if he had been defeated in every battle. Sometimes these persons will mournfully tell that they have lost confidence in themselves. Poor soul, if they would only lose confidence in themselves entirely, and would put their whole trust in the one who is mighty to save, they would have a different story to tell. They would then ‘joy
in God through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Says the apostle, ‘Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, Rejoice.’ Philippians 4:4. The man who doesn’t rejoice in God, even though tempted and afflicted, is not fighting the good fight of faith. He is fighting the poor fight of self-confidence and defeat.” IBID., 2-3
The ONLY way to live a victorious Christian life is to look in faith to Christ (Hebrews 12:1-2). The ONLY way we can become righteous is by faith in Christ’s righteousness. The ONLY way our obedience can be holy is by faith that Christ, through the Holy Spirit, will live His holy, righteous life within us. Jesus is the ONLY “way, truth and life.” (John 14:6) When we are tempted we can turn immediately to Christ to ask Him to manifest His victory over that temptation. Christ’s righteous obedience will then be manifest in our live. We will be experiencing righteousness by faith in our walk with the Lord. That is why Paul wrote:
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.’” ROMANS 1:16-17
The true gospel of Christ is a gospel of “power.” This power of Christ living in us gives us “salvation” through our “belief” or faith in Him. Thereby, the justified Christians live by “faith” in Christ alone for righteousness.
- J. Waggoner wrote concerning this:
“The gospel is God’s remedy for sin; its work, therefore, must be to bring men into harmony with the law,—to cause the working of the righteous law to be manifested in their lives. But this is wholly a work of faith,—the righteousness of God is revealed from ‘faith to faith’—faith in the beginning, and faith to the end,—as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.’” LESSONS ON FAITH, 1
Day 14 Prayer Focus: Pray for
- The Baptism of the Holy Spirit
- Revival for yourself and the church
- God to lead the church and you to understand and experience Christ’s righteous obedience in the life
- Those on your prayer list
Day 14 Going Deeper Discussion Questions: (based on pages 51 to 54 of “Righteousness by Faith” by Dennis Smith [pages 71 to 74 of the PDF version])
- What does God and His Law demand in one’s life?
- How do we have Christ’s righteousness manifested in our lives?
- What is unrighteousness?
- What does Romans 14:23 tell us that what not of faith is?
- Which is the only standard?
- What is the ONLY way to live a victorious Christian life?
- What is the ONLY way we can become righteous?
- What is the ONLY way our obedience can be holy?
- In whom can we turn to immediately when tempted?
- Summarize Romans 1:16-17.
- What is the true gospel of Christ?
- What is God’s remedy for sin?
Day 14 Heart preparation/challenge:
- Throughout the day ask God to remind you what He is speaking to you in today’s reading and going deeper discussions and to help you to apply them in your life.
- Read “Righteousness by Faith” by Dennis Smith pages 54 to 55 (pages 74 to 75 of the PDF file) in preparation for Day 15.
- Prayerfully answer Day 15 discussion questions in preparation to share on Day 15 Going Deeper segment of united prayer.