Romans 5:6-11 By seeking Christ and His righteousness alone, we maximise the power of the blood
Romans 5:6-11 By seeking Christ and His righteousness alone, we maximise the power of the blood.
6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
It is Christ’s love for sinners displayed on the cross that destroyed the devil and his works. As Christ shed His blood, His blood cleanses my soul and causes me to possess His divine qualities. The primary purpose of Christ’s ministry is to cause humanity to progress towards perfection (righteousness). Therefore, we must seek first His righteousness as opposed to the comfort of life. Today’s devotion teaches us: By seeking Christ and His righteousness alone, we maximise the power of the blood.
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
While humanity regresses towards eternal destruction, being imprisoned by the power of sin (helpless), Christ died. Christ’s sacrifice destroyed the devil’s power freeing humanity to progress towards righteousness. “At the right time” speaks of a divine timing derived from God’s infinite wisdom.
For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
From the perspective of worthiness, it is unlikely for one to give one’s life to save a lawful (righteous) man who has never committed a crime. Perhaps for a good man who often goes beyond the call of duty to help others, one would die for. But for a sinner who is neither lawful or good, it is shocking even to consider dying for him. To die for a good man may be acceptable because he will live to bring good to the world. But to die for a sinner is stupidity because the chance of him turning from his evil ways to do good is remote. Here, the magnitude of Christ’s love is displayed: Christ died for a hardened sinner even though the chance of him turning around is one out of a million.
That said, for what purpose did Christ die for the sinner, for the lawful man, or for the good man? It is so that all may possess Christ’s divine qualities: righteousness. Christ died not to make one lawful or even good, but to make one perfect.
Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.
Here, Paul states the primary purpose of Christ’s blood, which is to cause humanity to progress towards Christ’s righteousness and perfection. When Christ shed His blood, the Holy Spirit carries the blood into our spiritual bodies cleansing us from sinful inclinations to serve God.
How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? – Hebrews 9:14
Christ’s righteousness comprises His qualities of infinite love, wisdom and power. Among the multi-faceted works of Christ’s blood, the above text positions the goal of righteousness (justified) as higher than the goal saving humanity from eternal punishment (saved from the wrath of God). “Much more” applies to “justified” positioning it above “saved from the wrath of God”. In other words, one who seeks Christ’s righteousness will naturally be saved from eternal punishment. Therefore, one must seek Christ’s righteousness as opposed to freedom from eternal punishment.
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
Similarly, “much more” applies to the goal of reconciliation (having been reconciled) placing it above salvation (saved by His life). To reconcile is to restore perfect love and intimacy between God and man. To be “saved by His life” is to attain the state of blessedness, saved from curses, poverty and sickness. One who is reconciled with God being part of His family will naturally be saved from curses, poverty and sickness. Therefore, one must seek oneness with God as opposed to happiness, wealth and health. Oneness with God brings joy, eternal wealth, and health.
In a nutshell, Christ’s blood accomplished four things as described below. And the believer must seek them in order of priority:
1. Justified by His blood – By the power of Christ’s blood, God imparts Christ’s divine qualities to those who walk on the narrow path. We invoke the power of the blood every time we are weak. In so doing, we overcome fear, anxiety and hopelessness to put on courage, faith and hope.
2. Reconciled to God through the death of His Son – By the power of Christ’s blood, God draws near those who seek His face (see Ephesians 2:13). We invoke the blood every time we feel estranged from God. The blood has laid for us a trail into God’s presence.
3. Saved by His life – It is through Christ’s blood that those who obey His truth are saved from the curses of sin, poverty and sicknesses. I invoke Christ’s blood to prosper my church and my family with all the good gifts of God.
4. Saved from the wrath of God through Him – It is through Christ’s blood that those who are willing to turn to God are freed from the fear of divine retribution and punishment. And the troubles that I face today are not retributions but opportunities for growth.
The straw that broke the devil’s back is love.
As Christ hung on the cross, He forgave His tormentors. What seemed like abject weakness and cowardice came the power that destroyed the devil. What made Christ’s blood effective is the way He offered it; without complaining, He forgave His tormentors. The secret is in not Christ’s supernatural abilities but His love. The devil is not afraid to fight power with power, violence with violence, but He is petrified by our love for God and for others. It is love that paralyses the devil. Paul explained how we can overcome evil in the world,
“But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him A drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. – Romans 12:20-21
The devil is afraid of one who does all things out of sacrificial love. It is our love that empowers the angels to destroy demons and their works. Even if we possess great spiritual powers, but if our motives are self-serving, we will not cause so much as a dent in the devil’s stronghold. Paul said,
If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. – 1 Corinthians 13:2-3
“I am nothing” means “I am useless”. “It profits me nothing” means “I have not become a better person”. Therefore, our love for God and for people is the very foundation on which we do all things (house chores, career, ministry work etc).
By seeking Christ and His righteousness alone, we maximise the power of the blood
As the primary purpose of Christ’s blood is for our righteousness’ sake, to seek otherwise is to take His blood in vain. Many Christians are content just to be freed from hell. They may sound pious at the onset, but it reveals their shallowness. Jesus thanked God for accomplishing great things through His hands. At the raising of Lazarus, Jesus thanked the Father for always hearing Him and using Him to do His will,
“Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me.” – John 11:41-42
Yet, some fill their prayers with a never-ending list of personal concerns. Jesus never taught His disciples to pray that way. Jesus prays, so that He may understand the Father’s plans and accomplish them. Jesus spends all night praying for divine guidance before gathering His disciples.
It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God. And when day came, He called His disciples to Him and chose twelve of them, whom He also named as apostles. – Luke 6:12-13
Jesus and His disciples have never sought to make their lives more comfortable. Their vision is to know God’s will and accomplish them. And in the course of fulfilling God’s will, God blesses them with all things needed for abundant living.
Salvation is not the goal, but righteousness is
Salvation and blessing are not the goal, but they are a result of seeking Christ’s righteousness. If we seek Christ’s righteousness as the goal, salvation and blessing will automatically be added to us. Jesus said,
Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. – Matthew 6:31-33
If salvation and the comfort of life become our vision and goal, we lose the blessings that belong to the higher order: the glory that Christ possesses. But if we keep our eyes focused on attaining Christ’s righteousness, God shares His glory with us, and blesses in ways we cannot imagine. Many came to God because of a need. But having received what they initially came for, they did not continue in their pursuit of righteousness. They are like the rich young man, and the 5000 whom Jesus fed. They are satisfied with just being a lawful person and occasionally a good person, but have no desire to follow Jesus to attain His righteousness. Such will miss out on the glorious blessing and reward associated with the highest order.
How do we seek to attain Christ’s righteousness?
We seek Christ’s righteousness through self-reflection and by drawing close to Christ continually. Self-reflection and intimacy with God come hand in hand. Through intimacy with God, we receive divine revelations. Through self-reflection, we internalise His revelations resulting in faith, wisdom and divine authority. We draw close to Christ by conversing with Him. Here are some suggestions:
- I ask God what He thinks of me with regards to the Ten Commandments.
- I ask God to what degree my life journey is aligned with His perfect plan.
- I ask Him to show me the tasks for each day.
- I ask God to what degree my work pleases Him.
- I ask Him to show me how I can solve complex issues.
- I ask Him to show me the future and how I can fit into His plans.
- I ask God to what degree our nation’s ideals and journey is aligned with Him.
What drives you in your career and ministry? Is it love of money? Or achievement? Or is it the desire to contribute to society? We must do all things because we love God and people. Ask God to sanctify your motivations so that your work may become a blessing to the world.
How much do you pursue God’s righteousness as opposed to other things? Discipline yourself to converse with God unceasingly. Practice self-reflection. In so doing, we may possess His virtues and wisdom to overcome our troubles and to help others in their time of uncertainty.
Dear Lord, I thank you for the ministry of your blood. I invoke your blood to sanctify my soul from all darkness. By your blood, I declare salvation upon my family, my church and my nation. And I declare freedom from all sicknesses, poverty and curses. Cause me to become more like you and to be a blessing to the world. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.