Early in my walk with God, I heard the same kind of teaching that many brand-new Christians receive: We’re poor sinners who will struggle with our sinful nature for the rest of our lives. We’ll make it to heaven, but just barely. This erroneous teaching left me without strength and without much hope. Believing the words to the song “Victory in Jesus”? Forget it.
The only hope I had was that one day—in the sweet by and by—I would die and be free. What a horrible way to live!
Thank God for the revelation of my righteousness as a Christian. It has completely changed my life. When somebody recommended Andrew’s teaching Grace: The Power of the Gospel, I was instantly hooked. I learned the truth about my new nature as a born-again believer, that I had received the gift of righteousness through Christ’s finished work (Rom. 5:17), and my faith and confidence grew to incredible heights. Getting ahold of this teaching didn’t just change my life—it saved it!
Isaiah prophesied that God’s free gift of righteousness would bring awesome benefits into the believer’s life:
All your sons will be taught of the Lord; And the well-being of your sons will be great. In righteousness you will be established; You will be far from oppression, for you will not fear; And from terror, for it will not come near you.
Isaiah 54:13-14, New American Standard Bible
There are big truths in this small passage! Notice that when people are taught of the Lord (i.e. the Word of God is rightly divided for them), the benefit is great well-being. How is your well-being? Is it great? Well, it can be. And it should be!
When you are taught of the Lord, He assures that you are established in righteousness. This is a focus that God has chosen. He wants you to be firmly established in your walk with Him, but in order for that to happen, you must know that you are righteous.
At the time you accepted Jesus, God made you 100 percent righteous and 100 percent holy. He made you that way so His Holy Spirit could live in you and you could have a new nature. This new nature that God has given you is as righteous as Jesus is. You are 100 percent right with God!
As for this righteousness, He gave it to you as a gift. You didn’t earn it. This righteousness isn’t based on what you’ve done; it’s completely based on what Jesus has done. Now, why would He do this? Simply because He loves you. He wants to be as close to you as He can possibly be; He wants a relationship with you. Righteousness makes this closeness yours. Isn’t that awesome?
Another benefit of being established in righteousness is that you will no longer be oppressed or fearful. Do you struggle with oppression or fear? Knowing that you have right-standing with God brings tremendous faith and freedom. After all, Jesus said you would know the truth, and it would make you free (John 8:32). The truth does make you free. This is real, folks.