On Sunday, March 2, Rev. Lois Blakey-Paige, pastor of New Canaan Worship Center in Richmond, Virginia preached a powerful sermon that explained the righteousness of God based on Romans 5:17 from the New Living Translation.
"For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ."
The pastor used for a subject, "Reigning in the Grace and Righteousness of Life." She pointed out at the beginning of the message two things she would focus on throughout the sermon:
- The abundance of grace
- The gift of righteousness
In the Old Testament righteousness was based on doing right, working, and performing; however, the New Testament was based on believing God. Today, it's not about working for righteousness or our performance. It is simply believing that we have the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness. If something is a gift, we don't have to work for it. It is freely given.
Abraham was considered to be the "patriarch of faith" because he lived by faith. Abraham was never under the law because the law was not given until the Israelites had left Egypt and were at Mt. Sinai in Exodus 20.
Abraham discovered how to be right with God. He believed God, and God counted him as righteous.
According to Romans 5:17, righteousness is not a one time thing. It is daily and ongoing. You must believe you have the abundance of grace especially after you have failed. You can't lose your righteousness. It is everlasting and forever.
Keep telling yourself, "I am the righteousness of God." Jesus will come to bless you over and over.
There was a transition in the sermon to the New Testament about a certain woman with an issue of blood found in Mark 5:25-34. This woman was sick and broke; yet she believed Jesus would heal her, and He did. She threw away the law and by faith went outside in public and touched the hem of Jesus' garment.
"Woman" in the Bible is a type and shadow of the church. The church today is bleeding. Therefore, the church cannot conceive and give birth to anything while it is bleeding. Because the woman was bleeding, she needed a Savior.The woman received an abundance of grace, and she reigned over her condition. The church can do the same when it believes by faith.
In conclusion, Pastor Paige told the congregation that we no longer live by the law, but we have an abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness.