For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV
Monday, May 3, 2021
Receiving Righteousness: what about our failures?
For if by the offense of the one, death reigned through the one, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:17 NASB
We have begun a new series studying Righteousness. We have seen what Righteousness is, right standing with God. We have seen who the Righteous are, those who have trusted in Christ alone. Now we are examining the importance of actually receiving of the gift of Righteousness.
We have seen the great importance and benefit of receiving of the gift of Righteousness. For instance, receiving a brand new car is great, but profits you little if you never actually drive it. So it is with Righteousness.
We have seen how Righteousness received positively affects our relationships. We will continue looking at the various aspects of the Christian life that are more successful when we receive of this great gift. Today, though it seemed good to pause and address a question that many have concerning Grace and Righteousness.
Maybe this is new to you, this concept of Grace and Righteousness. Maybe you have heard of Righteousness but only in a religious traditional setting. Or maybe you heard of Grace but it wasn't taught well and left you with more questions than answers.
We are the Righteousness of God in Christ. We have received the gift of perfect and complete right standing with God. We have received the gift that enables us to come before God always welcomed, always approved, and always accepted. We have received the gift that allows us to stand before God without any sense of guilt, shame, condemnation, insecurity, or inferiority.
Righteousness and all it encompasses is a gift. It is not a work we achieved. It is not a result of measuring up based on our good deeds outweighing our bad. It is not acquired by our performance or behavior or conduct. There are no levels of Righteousness. Either you're Righteous or you're not. Righteousness is a gift we receive not anything achieved.
Knowing who you are, Righteous, how it is received, it is a gift and can't ever be earned, will completely answer the big question. Am I still Righteous even when I sin or fail? What about sin? What about when we fail?
Let me state this loud and clear. Your sin, your failures, your unrighteous deeds cannot ever undo your Righteousness in Christ. Your behavior, your conduct, your actions never made you Righteous, therefore, your behavior, conduct, or actions can never make you unrighteous.
This is the plain truth of the Gospel. We could never achieve right standing with God by any action or work on our part. Why then do we think after we have received Righteousness we can somehow undo it now by our actions or behavior?
Answered plainly. Are we still Righteous when we sin or fail? The answer is yes. Righteousness is a gift. God isn't in the business of giving gifts and then taking them back. Righteousness is an irrevocable gift.
For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable. Romans 11:28 MEV
Some may claim I am promoting a "license to sin." I get somewhat tired of that phrase. What even is a license to sin? All sin has consequences. Now I am not speaking of God punishing us or the do good and get good or do bad and get bad Law mentality.
All sin has some form of consequence. For something to be a license it would mean there is no harm, no-fault, no consequence to that action. A commercial driver's license or a pilot's license means one has demonstrated the necessary skills and know how to operate those vehicles or aircraft without any adverse reaction.
All sin has consequences, so to claim anyone can preach in such a way giving someone else the "license" to sin is absurd. Sin is birthed from unrenewed desire, often coupled with the temptation of the enemy. In some instances, sin is birthed by believing the lie that there is something better outside of Christ.
Sin's consequences can be greatly measured or only seen and experienced by the offender. The one stealing may find themselves in a jail cell. The adulterer potentially loses their family through divorce, but certainly loses respect and trust in those around them. Still, most consequences seen from sin are the lack of confidence before God, and corrupting thoughts it produces.
Because there are always consequences for sin, the concept of a license to sin then is absurd. When speaking of sin, most Christians really are only speaking of certain kinds of sin. Only certain kinds of behavior.
Holiness is basically defined then by one who isn't committing adultery, having sex outside of marriage, watching pornography, isn't drinking alcohol, isn't using tobacco, doesn't watch R-rated movies, and never listens to secular music, and doesn't use profanity. These are basically the biggies. These are the real obvious sins.
Truth is, I have seen believers who meet these criteria. Yet they are unkind to others. They are impatient in public. They are envious of others. They gossip. They hold grudges. These are sinful deeds as well, just the ones not preached about much.
When we look at God's definition of sin and not man's we all realize we need a Savior. We all realize we need someone who could mediate between us and God. We realize we don't always have it all together.
It's humbling, and that's where Grace comes in. We acknowledge we can't overcome in our own strength or willpower. We need a perfect gift that keeps us in right standing even when we fail. That gift has been given, it is the gift of Righteousness.
In the great exchange, we received this great gift. Because of the triumphant work of the Cross, no believer needs to bear their sins and guilt and shame. Think of it, if all the guilt of our sins was on Christ it has no place on us. He was condemn in our place, therefore we never need feel condemned. He took our shame, therefore shame is has no place on us or in our thinking. Christ took all the punishment for our sins, so therefore we need never fear reprisal or retribution coming to us for our sins.
In summation, we are the Righteousness of God in Christ. It is who we are right now. Jesus won a complete victory. He arose triumphant defeating death, hell, the grave and the enemy. We who believe are forever forgiven, forever saved, and forever Righteous. Righteousness is an irrevocable gift.
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