Romans – Wayne Barber/Part 47
|By: Dr. Wayne Barber; ©2007|
|Righteousness, Dr. Barber says, is not an attainment, it is a provision—it is not something we do ourselves, but something that God gives to us.|
Righteousness is a Precious Possession
Righteousness is not an attainment, it is a provision. It is what God gives to us as a result of placing our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Christian life is a relationship, not a religion. In a religion, you work for God, hoping He will bless it. In a relationship, you are walking moment by moment in this intimacy of knowledge with God through His Son Jesus Christ, trusting in Him, depending on Him for everything.
We have discovered salvation is God’s work. It is His idea. It is by faith according to grace. There is nothing else you can say about it. For a person to be proud of the fact that he found Jesus is for a person to misunderstand what salvation is all about. You didn’t find Jesus. God found you. No man can come to Jesus except the Father draw him. We have seen that in chapter 9.
We understand now that a man fits himself for destruction, but God prepares beforehand the vessels for mercy. That is such an incredible thing. When a man gets to hell, he cannot shake his fist in God’s face. He fit himself for destruction. But when a man gets to heaven, he cannot pat himself on the back. He falls at the feet of Jesus and realizes that it is all God’s idea.
To put it again very simplistically, God is the author of our salvation. I know it is difficult to wade through all these kinds of things, but the bottom line is, don’t get proud. It is by grace. We don’t deserve anything but hell. To me, that is the simplistic bottom line of Romans 9.
Well, as we go on down, we find out that the church is made up more of Gentiles than it is Jews. Why is that? You go around the world and you will find more Gentiles who are believers than you will find Jews. The Apostle Paul is showing you why there are so few Jews in the last part of chapter 9.
Then in chapter 10 he shows you why most of Israel is not saved. What is their mistake? Look Romans 9:30: “What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith.” There are two things about the Gentiles. First of all, they did not pursue righteousness. The word “pursue” is an interesting word. It is the word dioko, which is translated in other places “persecute.” It means to follow after something with the idea of capturing it, to attain it. He said they did not pursue it. They didn’t even want it. They didn’t look for it. They were not following after it.
Righteousness is that standard of conduct that God demands and only God can approve. It automatically implies a relationship with the one who is righteous, the Lord Jesus Christ. By putting my faith into Him, He produces in me a righteousness that meets the requirement that God commands.
Now, the Gentiles were not seeking a relationship with God and they were not seeking to live lives that God would approve. They were not pursuing it. Their idol worship hardly qualified them as wanting to be righteous before God. Remember in 1:19-32 it is so clear that he is talking about the Gentile world. He says in verse 32, “And although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.” These are people who didn’t care about a relationship with God. They lived openly in their sin. They worshiped idols. They were not pursuing righteousness. But, he says, “they attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith.”
The word “attained” may throw you. The word “attained” is associated with the fact that they did not pursue. In other words, they did not pursue it but they attained it. The word is katalambano. Kata is an intensive, and lambano means to receive something. They did not pursue righteousness. They did receive righteousness, although they did not pursue it.
There are two words for “receive.” I think this gives you a picture. There is the word dechomai used over in Acts 17. It says there that the Bereans eagerly received the word that Paul preached. They received something with expectation. They were looking forward to it. That is dechomai.
But the word lambano means to receive something you weren’t looking for. Say, for instance, I dropped by your house and gave you a gift. You didn’t know I was coming. I just happened to find you at home and gave you a gift. You took it and it was wonderful, but you weren’t looking for it. You were not expecting it. The Gentile world that makes up most of the church today were not looking for a relationship with God. They were not seeking in any way to live a lifestyle that He would approve. But for some reason when you look at the church, there are more Gentiles than anybody else. So, therefore, they received it.
How did they receive it? They received it by faith. That is the only way. Righteousness is a provision; it is not an attainment. You don’t work for righteousness. You have to put your faith into Jesus Christ, and then righteousness becomes that which He does in your life. It is not something that can come any other way. So the Gentiles were the ones who received it by faith.
I want to tell you why I think that is. He doesn’t explain it any further than that, but I believe it is because you don’t have to go very far to convince a Gentile that he is a sinner. Take the gospel to the Gentile world who openly sin, who openly approve of those who sin, and it doesn’t take them any time to realize they could never qualify for what God expects of man. They are ready to receive the fact that by faith and faith alone can a person be made righteous. The Gentiles were the perfect targets for the gospel of God. They knew they were sinners. They had lived in sin. They didn’t have the covenants and the promises and the Law and all those things. So the Gentiles received it by faith, even though they weren’t looking for it.
But Israel was quite different. Verse 31 reads, “But Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law.” Now, the word “pursuing” is the same word, dioko. “Did not arrive at that law” means that they didn’t reach it, they couldn’t grasp it. They were pursuing it, following after it, but they just couldn’t get it, they just couldn’t grasp it.
The idea that I get is a ladder that you keep trying to climb, but there is always a rung that you can’t reach and you can only get so far. You cannot attain it; you cannot reach it. They did not arrive at the law of righteousness. “Why?” Verse 32 asks the question and then answers it: “Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works.” Oh, the blindness of Israel. They were so privileged they had become proud and in their pride they thought somehow they could attain to the standard God required. Now this is where it backfired on them. You don’t pursue it out of the energy of your flesh. It is by faith that a person receives righteousness. It is not something you attain. It is a provision. It comes to you by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
You see, faith is trust. It is absolute dependence on God, on His ability to do what needs to be done. But works repudiates this dependence and relies on man and his ability for attainment. Now listen, faith permits God to be holy and completely under obligation to Himself and Himself alone, to do whatever He wills to do. That is what faith allows. “God, you do. I depend upon you. I cannot. You never said I could. You can. You always said you would.” That is the attitude of faith. But works insists on putting God under obligation to the man who does the works.
This is what Israel did. They had done the works. They said, “Now God, you must be obligated to do something for me. We are related to Abraham. Why, listen, we have all the law. We have all these things. The Gentiles don’t. Oh, they are pitiful people.” That is why Paul starts off in Romans 2:1 and says, “Thou who judge, you do the very same things.” You see, Israel was no different than the Gentiles in the fact that they were mankind and they were sinners. The difference was, God had chosen for them to have privileges that no one else had. They had the promises, they had the covenants. Through them the Seed, Christ, would come and through Christ all nations would be blessed. But they missed it. They thought somehow that they could earn the righteousness that God required, thus obligating Him to approve their way of living. That is why it is so difficult.
If you ever want to know what your flesh is like, study the vine of Israel in the Old Testament because Israel is the vine of flesh. It is a picture of our flesh. As a matter of fact, their own prophet, in Isaiah 64:6, says of their righteousness, “For all of us have become like one who is unclean and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment. All of us wither like a leaf and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” Even their prophet Isaiah saw the fact that they could never earn it. They were filled with iniquity. They were filled with sin. In the year of King Uzziah’s death, Isaiah saw the Lord. He fell on his face and said, “Woe is me. I am a man of unclean lips.” In the presence of God, he realized that they were sinners just like the Gentiles.
The prophet saw that, but Israel missed it. They thought because they were privileged, they thought because by birth they could be traced through their lineage to Abraham, that somehow they could earn their righteousness and God would be obligated to approve it. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. You see, they were looking for a bold lion, but instead they got a bleeding Lamb. They were looking for someone to come in and knock the Romans out, and they were looking for somebody to set up His kingdom. He is going to do that one day. They didn’t understand what Isaiah was talking about: that He must suffer and bleed and die for our sin. They missed that. They thought that somehow He was going to come in differently.
“They stumbled over the stumbling stone.” The word for stumbled is the word which means to dash your foot against a stone. That caught me by surprise. When you look up the word “stumbled” it usually uses the word pipto. It is used in James when it says, “Count it all joy, brethren, when you encounter [the word means “to stumble into”] various trials.” Pipto is a different word. But this is not the word used here. The word used here means to dash your foot against a stone. Used figuratively, they spiritually stumbled over. The word for “stone” is lithos, a little stone. They didn’t look for Him to come that way. He was born of a virgin in a manger under poor circumstances. He rode in on a donkey when He came into the city to be crucified on a cross. They didn’t look for Him that way. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. But the word also means to dash your foot against a stone as if to crush something.
So the idea is not only figuratively, but they stumbled over Him in a spiritual sense. They missed Him. They didn’t understand why He was to come if it were not to set up a kingdom. They didn’t realize they were sinners like the world was sinners and He was going to come to bear their sin on the cross. But they also crushed Him. They dashed their foot against Him. They crushed Him. The idea is to smash something. They took Him right to the cross, which He knew they would do. In Acts 2:28 we are told that ungodly men took Him to the cross, yet it was what God predetermined to do before the foundation of the world. They took Him to the cross and thus sealed their own doom and opened up the door for the Gentile world. You see, they rejected the Messiah that came.
I love the next part of this as he continues in verse 30: “What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, just as it is written, ‘Behold, I lay in Zion [that is Jerusalem] a stumbling stone, a rock of offense.”
Now I want you to see this: “And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.” Not only was He the stone of stumbling and they could crush Him and they spiritually, figuratively stumbled over the fact that He came like He came, but the second part of that is that He was the rock of offense.
The word for rock here is key. He is quoting out of Isaiah, but the word for rock is the word I want you to see. There are two words for rock. One is for bedrock, and it is the word petras. That is the word used here. Now if you want to move bedrock out of your way, have fun, because bedrock goes deep and is immovable. There is nobody who can move bedrock.
But the other word is petros. Petros is a rock, yes, but it is a smaller rock. It is not as small as lithos, but it is a smaller rock and you can move it out of your way. Look in Matthew 16:18 and I will show you what I am talking about. These two words frame a picture, I think, that Paul is bringing out concerning Israel. Yes, they dashed their foot against Him as the stumbling stone. They not only spiritually tripped over Him, but they also smashed Him, they crushed Him and put Him on a cross.
Now look at Matthew 16:18. This is right after the confession that Peter made at Caesarea Philippi. One of the origins of the Jordan River is right there. There are three different sources that form the Jordan River and one is right there at Caesarea Philippi. There are caves all around there where the idols were. They even worshiped the spring that the water came out of. In the midst of all that idolatry, Jesus said, “Who do you say that I am?” And Peter said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” And Jesus said, “No manner of flesh told you this but My Father which is in heaven.” Then he says, “And I also say to you that you are Peter.” The word for “Peter” there is not petras, it is the word petros. Jesus said, “You are a rock, but you are a movable rock.”
The Roman Catholic Church has made such an error in this. They say the church is built upon Peter, he is the rock. No, sir. He is not the rock. He is a rock, yes, in the sense that he was going to be used in a powerful way in the early church. But here is what He says: “And upon this rock [He changes the word to petras, which means an immovable rock. He points back to the confession that Peter made. It is the confession that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God, upon this confession] I will build My church.” He is an immovable rock and the rock of offense to Israel. Yes, they could crush Him because He was a man, He was the God-man. But friend, He is an immovable rock they cannot get around. He stands in front of them even today as a massive rock. They are going to have to deal with Jesus before they can receive that righteousness which they are trying to acquire by their works. It has to be by faith in Christ and Christ alone. He is an immovable rock.
He not only stands in front of Israel, but He stands in front of you. If you think for some reason that you can be religious and get into heaven, friend, you have dug a pit for yourself that you will never get out of until you turn to realize that God, as a man, came to die for you and as a man did what no other man could do because of the law. He fulfilled the law, He did not destroy it. When I put my faith in that God-man, Jesus Christ, what He did to fulfill that law is now written to my account and that is what it means to be justified. That is the only way a man can ever be righteous. You cannot do it in your own strength.
That is what happened to Israel. Israel thought that because they were privileged and because of their lineage, somehow they could earn their way in. They felt God was obligated to approve what they were doing when what they were doing was filthy rags in His sight. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, but remember, Jesus was a rock of offense in their life. Do you know what the word “offense” is? It is the word skandalon. Do you know how a trap catches an animal? In a trap there is a trigger that causes that trap to shut. The word for the trigger is the word skandalon. Jesus was the skandalon, the trigger to something that was going to entrap them.
You see, by His very life before them, by His righteous way of living, by His righteous act of dying on the cross, that pulled the trigger that trapped them in their own righteousness. He became the Rock, the immovable Rock of offense. Because of Him, His life, death and resurrection pulled the trigger on their unrighteous life and continues to cause them to be in the situation that they are in. Hopefully you can see that. He was not only the stumbling stone, He was the rock of offense.
Then Paul goes on and shows something else here. He said, “And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.” Now the word “believes” there is in the present tense. The idea to me is the door is still open. As long as the church is still here, the door is still open. Paul is almost making an appeal. If you will put your faith in Him and quit trying to live up to it, then He will come into you and make you righteous. Righteousness becomes a provision He provides for you. Then you can walk and live in His righteous works. He says, “He who believes in Him will not be disappointed.”
Now the word “disappointed” means to be ashamed, put to shame, to be dishonored, to be disgraced. Some people may say, “Wait a minute. I put my faith into Jesus and I get dishonored every day. I get embarrassed and put to shame because of my faith in Christ.” Now hold it. He didn’t say that. One day when we see Him, we will not be disappointed in any way. We will not be put to shame. We will not be dishonored. We will not be disgraced because of putting our faith into Christ Jesus. The people who will be dishonored, the people who will be disgraced, the people who will be shamed, are the people who have put their faith in their own works. But the people who have put their faith into Christ will never be dishonored, never be put to shame and never be disgraced. He who believes in Him will not in any way be disappointed.
Let me ask you a question before we go into chapter 10. Are you putting your faith into what you can do for God or are you putting your faith into what God can do through you? What we are about to see as we go into chapter 10 is that Paul is going to talk about righteousness. The first thing he is going to do is contrast two kinds of righteousness, the kind of righteousness that a man does for God and asks God to bless and approve; and the kind of righteousness that comes by faith, totally depending and trusting in His will and His word. You have to understand that there is a seed thought in this. Even though he is talking about Israel, there is a seed thought.
Once you become a believer, you still have the flesh to contend with, and the flesh continues to want to do for God. We have to learn to constantly walk in a relationship with Him, dead to flesh, dead to self so that God can continue to do His righteous works through us. That is the key. Being filled with the Spirit is not taking a glass and filling it full of water and drinking it and running to church and getting it filled up again. Being filled with the Spirit is knocking the bottom of the glass out, sticking it into the river and letting that righteous river of life flow through you. That is what being filled with the Spirit is, letting Jesus who is righteous do His righteous works through you. That is what the Christian life is.
Many people still have not caught that. They are doing for God. They are asking God to be obligated to bless what they have done rather than trusting God and letting God be God in their life. Hang on to that thought because to me it just nails it here as we walk through.
The first thing in 10:1-5 is the contrast of two kinds of righteousness. Please understand, there are two kinds of righteousness; one God approves, the other He does not. In verse 1 he says, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.” Now, who is the “them” that he is talking about? The “them” is Israel. He has already told you that back in chapter 9. It is quite obvious who they are. Paul seems to be making an appeal. He is saying, “Listen, folks, more than anything else I just want for Israel to be saved. I want you to understand your righteousness will not do it.”
What you have got to see is Paul was a converted Jew. These are his kinsmen according to the flesh. He is saying, “Man, my only desire, my only prayer for you is that you be saved.” The word for “desire” there is an interesting word. It is eudokia. Dokeo is the word for a person’s thinking. The word for eu is the word “well or good.” He is saying, “My thinking towards you is good.” Can you imagine if you were a Jewish person reading this letter from Paul? You would think he was undermining everything you ever believed. That is what he is accused of over in Acts. That is why he got put in prison in Caesarea and sent to Rome. He was accused of tearing it down. He is saying, “I am not tearing it down. I am just trying to explain to you what I myself did not understand.” He says, “My thinking towards you is good. There is nothing wrong with it.”
Then he says, “And my prayer is that you might be saved.” The word for “prayer” is not the normal word for prayer. It is used of supplication, request. The word is deesis. He says, “My request that I am continually [present tense] making before God for you is that you be saved.” The word for “saved” is soteria. Soteria means to be rescued from something, to be delivered from something.
Can you get the picture? Here is a burdened man. He used to be as blind as they are. God just chose to take those blinders off of his eyes and now he looks at his kinsmen according to the flesh and realizes what they are doing will never get them into the kingdom of God. What they are doing can never be approved by God. Righteousness comes by faith in Christ Jesus. They have rejected the very source of all that righteousness. So therefore he says, “I pray that you might be rescued, that you might be delivered. You are in such danger spiritually and eternally. My prayer is that you would be rescued from this danger that you are in.”
Verse 2 says, “I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.” The word for “zeal” is zelos. That word means hot or fervent. Have you ever heard somebody say, “That person is on fire for God”? Well, that is the word “zealous.” It is not a bad word. It is a good word.
Why is it bad then? Because it was a zeal without knowledge. Now folks, you have got to put the two together. The word for “knowledge” is not the normal word for knowledge. It is the word epignosis. Gnosis is the word for knowledge. Through their prophets down through the years Israel could quote to you what those prophets said. They had the facts in their minds. They had learned, they had studied, they knew the Law. But they did not have a comprehension of what all this meant in their relationship to God. Epignosis is a fullness of knowledge. It is something that allows you to participate in the facts that you can quote.
Many times people walk out of a church service, and they can quote you the sermon word for word. That is gnosis. But you don’t have epignosis until you have a comprehension of how you are to live in light of what you have just quoted. That is epignosis. That is full participation in that which you can quote to somebody else.
As a matter of fact, many Jews can quote the New Testament. But do they have an understanding of it? No, they do not. They had a zeal but they didn’t have the knowledge.
Now what was it they didn’t know? What was it they didn’t comprehend? In verse 3 he just continues to answer: “For not knowing about God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.” Now here come the two types of righteousness right here. There is the kind that you do and there is the kind that God requires because of who He is. They did not understand the righteousness of God. You can relate that to His character. You can relate that to what He did through Christ as He demonstrated His life and His death and resurrection on this earth. But they did not comprehend it.
The word “knowing” in verse 3 is the same word. They did not comprehend about God’s righteousness and were ignorant of it. Seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. You know, they couldn’t grasp that a man could not do what the Law required. They couldn’t grasp that God sent a man to die for those who couldn’t so when they put their faith in Him what God required could be accounted to their account. They could not see that. They thought somehow that they could do it themselves. There are a lot of Gentiles with the same foolish understanding.
Paul uses the word “seeking.” The word “seeking” is zeteo, which is very similar to the word we looked at for zeal. It means to strive with everything in your body. When you are running a race, you are striving. You are pulling with everything you have got. That is the word here. They were striving. They still are.
What were they striving to do? He said they were striving to establish their own righteousness. Now the word “establish” has the idea to confirm something in its place. They came up with the Mishnah and out of the Mishnah came the Talmud with 613 laws. Now, you think Ten Commandments is difficult. No man can live to them, but they added 613 more and came up with their own standard. They sought to establish their own standard. This is why Paul said in Philippians 3 that according to the law he was found blameless. What law? You see, they were establishing their own law by which they would justify themselves and obligate God to approve of what they did. That is what works does. That is what religion does. And so therefore, they were seeking to establish their own.
As a matter of fact, they had these boxes they wore on their head. To show you how they were establishing that law, the more you obeyed those laws, the bigger the box. The bigger the box, the heavier it got and the more your head was pulled over. They would have to hire people to walk around and hold their head up. Oh, these spiritual folks! Seeking, striving to establish their own righteousness.
Now folks, I want to tell you something. If you think that joining a church is going to get you into heaven, you are establishing your own rules. You have come up with your own standard. It won’t work. It is only by faith in Jesus Christ, the immovable Rock who will eternally stand before men. You have to deal with Him and decide whether you are going to put you faith in Him and His righteousness or seek after it in your own power.
That’s what they did. In doing so it says they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. The word “subject” is hupotasso. They were not willing to place themselves up under what God required. Instead, they came up with their own system that they sought to establish and that is the bed for religion as we see it even today. It came right out of Israel. That is what people are doing today. You cannot earn your way into heaven. It is by faith in Christ Jesus.
Verse 4 goes on, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” Now, if you are thinking somehow that you are pretty good for God, then I want you to understand something. There has only been one man to do what you are attempting to do and that man was the God-man, Jesus Christ. If you think you can be righteous as a man according to the law, then you are putting yourself on the same level as Jesus Christ. He was the end of the law for righteousness to those who believe. In other words, He did what no other man could do.
There are many who are still in that mind set. I know we are talking about Israel and I know we are talking about justification by faith alone, but take it over into Christianity and understand something. Flesh is flesh, I don’t care if you are lost or you are saved. It is just as unapproved by God before you are saved as it is after you are saved. Do we have that in our minds?
How many people today are doing exactly what Israel was doing? They think, “The more we do, the more in favor we will be with God.” But all our righteousness is filthy rags in His sight. Flesh is wicked. It is wicked. It is wicked. Whether it is religious or whether it is rebellious.
Romans 4:2-3 says, “For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.” Why? “For what does the scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and [by faith] it was reckoned to him as righteousness.’”
Going back to Romans 10:5 we read, “For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness.” Oh, do you know what he is doing? He is going back to the great Lawgiver himself. He is quoting Leviticus 18:5 which says, “So you shall keep my statutes and my judgments.” This is what condemned Israel. Moses went up and said, “My people say whatever You tell them, they will do.” They celebrated, entered into covenant with God and condemned themselves because they couldn’t do it.
You see, that is what the Law is for, to condemn us and make us ready for grace which frees us. It says, “So you shall keep my statutes and my judgments by which a man may live if he does them.” If you do them, you can live. I am the Lord. I tell you what, folks, if you are going to try to earn your way into heaven, then you better obey every one of the laws that He has given not one at a time, but all of them at the same time. Now make up your mind. Which way would you rather go?
Israel has a blindness. They think they can earn their way, but they can’t. You see this as much now as you did back then. In Romans 8:3 it says, “For what the law could not do weak as it was through the flesh, God did, sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh.” In other words, He judicially dealt with it on the cross.
Well, the bottom line is there are two kinds of righteousness. That is what I want to leave you. Israel’s problem was they were blinded to God’s righteousness. That is what He requires, what He approves and what only He can give when a person puts their faith in God, the God-man. They didn’t understand that. As a matter of fact, they crushed the stumbling stone. They put Him on the cross. But He is the rock of offense. His life and His death pulled the trigger on the fact that now the door is open to the Gentiles and sealed their doom. He stands before them like bedrock. They have got to deal with Jesus. Righteousness comes no other way. That is the way it was in the Old Testament. That is the way it is in the New Testament. There are two kinds—the kind I produce and the kind God produces by faith when I put my faith in Him.
I guess if you are going to apply this in your life, if you are trying to somehow be approved by God and you are ignoring the fact that you have a relationship with Him moment by moment, you have completely missed what Christianity is all about. Coming to church on Sunday, coming to church on Wednesday will not do it. It is moment-by-moment, hourby-hour, day-by-day. “I need Thee every hour” is my attitude. Walking in the intimacy of a relationship with Him. Out of that relationship by faith comes righteous works which were predestined before the foundation of the world that we might walk in them. You can’t plan them. They are produced by the Holy Spirit of God in your life as you walk in surrender and by faith with Him.
Do you know how you know when you are doing it right? Galatians 5:14 says, “And the law is fulfilled in one word.” How do I know when the law is being fulfilled in my life? How do I know when that character is in my life? It says, “by one word.” Then it gives a phrase, “that you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” You want to know when you are walking in intimacy with God by faith, which means He is producing His righteous character in you? It is in your relationships, folks. It is whether or not your relationships are godly. Jesus said it in John 13:35. “By this shall all men know that you are My disciples by the fact that you love one another.” Galatians 5 goes on to say, “And the fruit of the Holy Spirit working in your life is love.” A righteous love that He approves.