“For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness.”(Galatians 5:5 NASB)
“More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes through God on the basis of faith.” (Philippians 3:8-9 NASB)
True freedom is not based on possibility but on reality. When Paul is writing to the Galatian church, he is challenging their beliefs. Many of them lived as if their relationship with God was based on what they could accomplish and achieve. If they did the right things and followed all the commandments, they believed then they would have right standing before God. The problem was this kind of thinking was keeping them in bondage. Why? Because in their own ability they were constantly trying to meet God’s standard, but never able to reach it.
And if we are honest, many of us look at our relationship with God the same way. And we are tired of trying to prove ourselves, say all the right things, accomplish huge victories, and overcome all obstacles. When we live this way, we are missing the freedom Christ offers. Paul reminds us in Galatians 5:5, “for we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness.”
Righteousness is the condition of being acceptable to God, and the good news is as God’s children we don’t have to achieve that righteousness on our own. We have hope because our standing with God and our future is secure. When our walk with God is lived out of this reality, we find freedom.
In Philippians 3:8-9 Paul shares that he counts everything a loss compared to knowing Jesus. At one point in his life, he had worked hard to reach God, but now he understood that righteousness only comes through Jesus. When he realized that, all the other things he had achieved and accomplished no longer had value. Is there anything you need to let go of that you have been depending on to please God?
Father, thank You that I have hope in You and my future is secure because of Jesus. Thank You that I don’t have to depend on my own abilities for my salvation. Help me see the ways I am depending on my righteousness instead of Yours. Thank You that I can live out truth and experience that freedom every day. In Jesus’ name; amen.