The Daily Word of Righteousness

Two Kinds of Belief

But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. (Romans 4:5)

The longer I live the more I come to believe that God has written the Bible so that if your heart is wrong you will believe the wrong thing. This is why Jesus spoke in parables so people wouldn't understand Him and be saved. Does this run against the grain of your humanistic thinking?

And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. (Luke 8:10)

If you want to understand the Bible and get it straight then look to Jesus, take up your cross, and follow Him. Buy the truth and don't sell it. God sends delusion on those who do not love the truth and they end up believing a lie.

Evangelical teaching in several aspects is a lie. This is because the believers are not carrying their cross behind Jesus. They are proud, smug, complacent. Therefore the truth is hidden from them.

Let's look at Romans 4:5. If you want to see a verse that can be messed up, this is the one.

It is said there are three ways to do anything, the right way, the wrong way, and the Navy way. I don't know what the Navy does with Romans 4:5 (having been in the Marine Corps I know they must do something with it) but I know what we are doing with it today and it's the wrong way.

There are two ways you can approach this verse.

One is as follows: the Christian salvation consists of belief in the atoning (forgiving) blood of the Lord Jesus. We are to do nothing but believe in the atonement made on Calvary on behalf of the ungodly. If we will do this God ascribes righteousness to us.

This is the manner in which the verse is interpreted today. The multitude of verses in the Old and New Testaments that exhort us to righteous conduct are viewed as nice, "Christian" things we should do but they are not absolutely tied in to our salvation. We believe in the atoning blood and so God ascribes righteousness to us.

In fact, there is an implication in Romans 4:5 that God is pleased when we refuse to do anything and just believe He justifies the ungodly. Naked belief is seen to be the best kind of faith, the faith that pleases God and brings righteousness to us.

Let all Evangelicals say Amen!

However there is another way of interpreting this verse, one that does not leave most of the pages of the New Testament in the trash. It is that Paul is talking to Jews and telling them they do not have to earn righteousness by keeping the Law of Moses (or the tenets of any other religion for that matter).

Paul is not saying that people can walk in moral filth and please God by believing that Christ died for the ungodly. Rather the concept is that God has given Christ to us as the means of pleasing God and this new path to righteousness supersedes the Law of Moses.

The contrast is between Moses and Christ, not between living righteously and living in moral filth and rebellion against God.

To be continued.