I have been doing my Bible study time lately in the book of Romans. It’s interesting to me that a key concept in Romans is the righteousness of God. I do not plan to use this column to attempt a complete understanding of the topic. However, I want to tie it in with some things I have been observing about all the events we are seeing today.
The Bible says that in the last days perilous times will come. We are most certainly living in perilous times. The Bible goes on to say that men will be lovers of themselves, proud, blasphemers, unholy, unforgiving, without self-control, brutal and lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.
This is the total opposite of righteousness. Righteousness is acting in an upright, moral way. We must understand, however, that our righteousness comes from God, not from our own good deeds.
When we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior God’s righteousness or right standing is imputed to us by the work Christ did on the cross. That’s why we say we are saved by grace through faith, not by works lest any man boast. However, faith without works is dead. That is to say, our good works become a demonstration of the faith and grace we have received from God. It’s not us doing good works to enter heaven it’s a sign that I have been saved and I want to do good works as a result.
How then does this apply to the events we are seeing in the world today?
I think its fair to say we are seeing a lot of unrighteousness in the land. In the first chapter of the book of Romans the Apostle Paul is writing a lot about the righteousness of God. He explains the reason for our guilt as sinners and the results of that guilt. Because God is righteous, He always acts in accordance with His holy character. He condemns sin and judges sinners. However, He has provided through Jesus Christ forgiveness of sin for all who believe.
The apostle Paul warns us in the book of Romans that if we do not repent, God will turn us over to a debased mind to do those things which are not fitting. It’s like the prodigal son who is given everything by his father only to waste it all on extravagant living. Only after coming to the complete end of himself does he humble himself and come back home. This is a true example of genuine repentance.
To be of a debased mind is to reduce oneself in value. It’s to lose your dignity, your self-respect. You are being less than and acting less than who God made you to be. You are not reprobate, which means beyond salvation, but if you do not turn away you could end up reprobate according to God’s law and His word.
Ephesians 5:15-17 says, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
We are living in the evil day. I am excited, however, because as I have said for many years now, we are on the brink of the third great spiritual awakening. Major unrest always precedes a great spiritual awakening.
We are living in very turbulent times. I believe, however, it’s a setup to a great awakening. Many of today’s prodigals will at some point come to the end of themselves and come back to God and righteous living. We can never be fully righteous on our own. We all fall short of the glory of God. All have sinned, but by the grace of God we can become born again and be put back into right standing with God the Father.
The Rev. Mike Taylor is pastor and president of RAPHAH Ministries Christian Center, an evangelistic outreach in Taylorsville. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.