KJV - 3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
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Paul is referring to those who are religious, having a zeal for God, but counting on their own efforts and works of righteousness for salvation in addition to what Jesus Christ has already completed for them. They fail to submit that they are simply not capable of God's perfection requirement. They have not realized that Jesus Christ is the only One who meets the "righteousness of God" requirement. His sacrifice on the cross was made for our being incapable of achieving that perfection on our own. Our faith in Him being righteous for us, rather than us trying to add to His accomplishment, is the foundation of accepting God's free unmerited gift of grace. When we believe the gospel of our salvation (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), we are immediately sealed with the holy Spirit until the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30, Ephesians 1:13). We, by belief, are made the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21). Prior to belief, we were of the "none righteous", but faith in Christ alone has made us the righteousness of God in Christ. No one is capable of righteousness on their own accord. Only through faith in Jesus Christ and the work He finished on the cross on our behalf, and belief that He rose from the grave for our justification are we then accepted by God. Our sins were forgiven nearly 2,000 years ago (Colossians 1:14, 2 Corinthians 5:19), and salvation occurs at the moment of belief in this, the gospel. Nothing that we ourselves do in the flesh can assist in what Christ has already completed for us (Ephesians 2:8-9, Colossians 2:10). It's literally how we accept Jesus Christ as our savior from this present evil world (Galatians 1:4). Only faith in Christ will work for salvation today. When you obtain faith alone in Christ alone for salvation, you now have the license to serve Him instead of serving yourself. You are now an ambassador for Christ and a minister of the Word of reconciliation between God and man. You will desire to share the good news that saves today when you let go of yourself and submit to God through faith in Christ. Jesus Christ was perfect for us, did all the work for us, took the punishment on the cross that we deserve, was buried but rose from the grave the 3rd day for our justification (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Break the yoke of bondage (Galatians 5:1) and live in peace by accepting God’s free gift (Romans 5:18) through faith in Christ and His finished cross work (Colossians 2:14)!
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