“David also spoke of this when he described the happiness of those who are declared righteous without working for it: “Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight. Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of sin.” Now, is this blessing only for the Jews, or is it also for uncircumcised Gentiles? Well, we have been saying that Abraham was counted as righteous by God because of his faith. But how did this happen? Was he counted as righteous only after he was circumcised, or was it before he was circumcised? Clearly, God accepted Abraham before he was circumcised! Circumcision was a sign that Abraham already had faith and that God had already accepted him and declared him to be righteous—even before he was circumcised. So Abraham is the spiritual father of those who have faith but have not been circumcised. They are counted as righteous because of their faith. And Abraham is also the spiritual father of those who have been circumcised, but only if they have the same kind of faith Abraham had before he was circumcised. Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith.”
Romans 4:6-13 NLT
The Holy Spirit is driving home the definite truth of salvation by faith. If this is not clear in the last few chapters we have gone through, then we must be blind. It is established, without debate, that anyone who is right with God is made that way by faith. No one can ever say they are good enough to obtain righteous standing with God. We could call this Positional righteousness. Positional righteousness is our acceptance by God. We can only be accepted by God through Jesus Christ (see John 14:6; I Timothy 2:5: Acts 4:12: Ephesians 1:6; Colossians 2:10)
Practical righteousness is our response to being made positionally righteous. Because we have been placed in right standing with God, through Jesus Christ, we are now rendered capable of walking in newness of life through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. When we are saved, the Holy Spirit comes into us to dwell. Only then, by God's person and power, are we able to walk in the spirit rather than the flesh. The Holy Spirit gives us power from God to live a life that pleases Him. The natural, unregenerate, sinful, man is incapable of accomplishing true righteousness apart from God's imparted power which is received by faith!!
Rev. Curtis Norris