But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.
This verse makes it clear that it cannot be by my works. It’s apart, separate from the law. This means that I have to access the power of God in order to live righteously. Anything else is trying to put the cart before the horse. If my goal is to live righteously in order to walk in the power of God, then I have chosen a path of weakness and frustration.
And yet, so many people are trying to walk this very way. The Bible is clear on the outcome. So let me ask, what if I try to obtain righteousness through obedience to the law? What if I try my hardest to live up to what I’m told is right?
I can read my Bible daily, go to church on time every week, pray every day, and tithe. On top of that, I can make sure that I don’t lie, cheat, steal, walk in anger, gossip, or envy. What’s wrong with trying to live up to a godly standard with my own strength?
In the Gospel of John chapter 9 we’re told of a healing that took place in Jesus’ ministry. There was a man who was born blind. He came to the Lord for healing. Jesus did something very interesting. He spit on ground, made mud, and put it in the eyes of this blind man.
He then said for the man to go and wash in a nearby pool. The blind man obeyed the Lord and was healed. The trouble was that this occurred on the Sabbath – the Jewish holy day when no work was supposed to be done.
According to how the Pharisees interpreted the law of Moses, healing was a form of work that could not be done on the Sabbath. Because of this, Jesus almost started a riot because of this healing. For some reason, the Pharisees decided to make an example of this case.
They began an investigation into every aspect of it. They talked to the man who was blind and now can see. Because of their exposure to the truth involved in this healing, after talking to this man they are divided.
Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others asked, “How can a sinner do such miraculous signs?” So they were divided.
What was so divisive about this event? It all centered on their understanding (or lack of understanding) of the power of God. They had to ask themselves; where does the power to heal come from?
If the power to heal is from God, then Jesus is a man of God. On the other side, some were saying that there are rules to how you can heal. If you break these rules, then you’re a sinner no matter what happens.
This is where we seem to be in the body of Christ today. Divided over how the miraculous takes place. Is it my righteousness that sets the stage, or is there something else at work?
In my next post I will share how this investigation turned out.
Question: Why is operating in the gifts of the Spirit so controversial?
© Nick Zaccardi 2013