People ignored the righteousness that comes from God
God desires that we be desirous and prayerful for the salvation of those who are zealous for God, but their zeal is not in line with the true way in which God has ordained for us to be saved, vs 1,2.
This happened because they ignored the righteousness that comes from God, and sought to establish their own righteousness, vs 3, failing to recognise that the righteousness that comes through Christ is on the basis of faith and not on the basis of keeping the law in one’s own strength, vs 4!
Now, concerning the law that was given by Moses, the onus was on the receiver to keep it in His own strength, vs 5. However, the righteousness that comes by faith does not look to one’s own ability to keep the law, but instead, on honestly repenting of being unable to keep it in one’s own strength, looks to Christ for help to obey the law by the Holy Spirit’s power and keep it from our hearts, without diminishing its demands by even the smallest fraction, vs 6,7!
This is done by accepting the law as God’s righteous standard and then believing in our hearts that God has raised Jesus from the dead, which means that Jesus kept the law completely with the help of the Holy Spirit, and so overcame all sin, on account of which death could not hold Him bound, and therefore, all those who now confess Him as their Saviour and Lord too, receive the grace to keep the law with the strength of the Holy Spirit, vs 8, thus resulting in their salvation, such that those who trust in Christ will assuredly not be put to shame, vs 9-11.
And this grace God willingly gives, to all who believe, without any partiality whatsoever, vs 12,13! However, unless this good news is shared with others it will not be possible for them to hear of the same and avail of its benefit. For this, those chosen to preach have to be sent and be willing to go too, while those who have the Word preached to them must mix it with faith, if they are to enjoy its benefits, vs 14. Therefore, those who are sent must recognise the time of their appointment and commissioning, while those who hear must ensure to receive the Word with faith, vs 15,16.
However, this faith can come only as the Word is preached consistently, so that the hearers hear the same regularly, vs 17, so as to nullify the old way of thinking that made them feel that righteousness could be gained by the works of the law, done in their own strength!
The sad part is, that this new way of attaining the righteousness of God by faith has indeed been preached and heard too, but those who were given the law chose to be stubborn and rebellious, and so remain self righteous, their minds being darkened concerning the real truth about the subject, vs 18,21!
Therefore, God is now determined to make them jealous and provoke them to anger by opening this invitation, to be justified before God through faith, to a people who did not seek Him or ask for Him, vs 19,20!
Let us ensure that we don’t make the same mistake that the Jews made, and so miss this wonderful opportunity to be justified by faith in Jesus Christ!