Monday, April 26, 2021

Receiving Righteousness-relationships

For he hath made him be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV

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've begun an extensive study examining Righteousness. We've seen what Righteousness is, perfect right standing with God. We've seen who the Righteous are, those who believe. Now we are exploring the importance of receiving of this gift of Righteousness. 
Paul informs us of the importance of receiving of the gift, not just possessing the gift. The Holy Spirit through Paul reveals to us that we can rule and reign victorious in this life when we receive of the gift of Righteousness. Speaking for myself, I know for certain I do want to reign victoriously in this life, how about you?

 Paul gives us insight on how. By receiving His abundant Grace and receiving of the gift of Righteousness. Righteousness will cause every aspect of our Christian life to flourish and prosper. 

 Today, it seems good to look at our relationships in light of Grace and Righteousness. Allow me to put a qualifier on my upcoming words. I am only speaking of those who've put their trust in Christ. Life outside of Christ is never victorious. 

 I want to focus primarily on Christian marriages, but these same principles can apply to our friendships and parents and their children. So let's ask, how do we receive of the gift of Righteousness in our relationships?

 Remember, Righteousness is that gift by which we have perfect right standing with God. We stand completely accepted and approved of the Father. We can stand in the presence of God Almighty without any sense of unworthiness, shame, guilt, condemnation, insecurity, or inferiority. 

Because we are accepted and approved, and shame-free we can interact with our friends and children, and spouses the same way. When you know you're approved, you can look upon your spouse with peace and joy knowing they are also accepted and approved.

 Too often though we tend to look upon ourselves as unworthy and unaccepted and find it difficult to receive the love of others, especially our spouses. Lowered self-image causes us to resist and even reject the love of our spouse in certain instances. 

 We must understand that we are forever accepted and approved of God. We must receive of the gift of Righteousness. We are made worthy and therefore we can readily, freely receive love from our spouse. 

 Still many times we receive Grace and right standing for our personal failings and shortcomings, but we still live by the Law and Old Covenant mindsets when it comes to marriage and family. We will cheer and shout amen because our sins are forgiven. But we still govern our relationships by a different system than Righteousness.

 What am I saying? Too often believers live with a reactionary theology, for instance, unconditional eternal security cannot be true, why? They see a believer living in some blatant sin and their reaction is, see there is no possible way they are still saved. Healing can't be God's will, why? They prayed for someone and a short time later the person died of the disease, so the reaction is to conclude God doesn't want to heal all. 

 Sometimes in relationships, believers choose the reactionary road instead of the Grace road. They base their actions and words on the actions of the other person. Because they did or said this, I will say or do this. This is reactionary theology at work. This is the Law at work.

 When looking at marriage troubles, the majority of preachers and counselors, and believers see only causes and effects. They diagnose troubles by causes and effects. In fact, they even teach and believe if you want a healthy marriage, cause, and effect are the best way to achieve it. 

 Does this sound familiar? Doesn't it sound more like, do good get good and do bad get bad? It does, and sisters and brothers that is Law 101! This is being Law led and possessing Old Covenant thinking patterns. 

 The Old Covenant is if you do this or that then God will respond. Under the New, Jesus already moved and we respond to what has already been accomplished and receive what is already ours. Successful relationships are based on Grace, not Law.

  Receiving of the gift of Righteousness in relationships means you see your spouse as the Righteous, accepted, and approved child of God. You choose to treat them the way your Father treats you. Your actions and words are not a reaction to what they do but rather what Jesus did.

 The cause-and-effect view of marriage also releases people from their own personal choices. An adulterous spouse merely claims because the other person did this or that or didn't do something enough I had to commit adultery. Under Grace, we are solely responsible for our choices.

 Receiving of the gift of Righteousness in marriage means we see ourselves as accepted and approved and we also see our spouse the same. Instead of berating them for their flaws, we affirm their approval with God. Instead of old covenant thinking like I will be intimate with you if you lose enough weight if you finally buy me that item if you allow my mother-in-law to move in etc, we see them as Righteous and treat them accordingly.

 In summation, receive your Righteousness. See your spouse as Righteous. Think, when you mess up does God keep bringing it up year after year? Then don't do that to your spouse. Did God forgive you and make you worthy? Then forgive your spouse when they fail and see them as worthy of your love. Does God make you earn or deserve intimacy, favor, goodness? No Jesus paid the price, so don't try to make your spouse try to earn and deserve intimacy, and kindness, and favor from you. Live the Grace life fully, not just in church but in your marriage and family. 

Image by Juliane Koch from Pixabay 

Monday, April 19, 2021

Receiving of the Gift of Righteousness

For he hath made him be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV

 We've begun a study of Righteousness. What Righteousness means and how we receive it. We've seen that those who believe are the Righteousness of God in Christ.
 What is Righteousness? Righteousness is perfect right standing with God Almighty. It's the gift to be able to stand in the presence of God without any sense of shame, guilt, insecurity, condemnation or inferiority. It's the gift of complete acceptance and approval with God our Father. 

Some Righteousness facts

 We cannot earn Righteousness. There are no charitable deeds we could do enough of to obtain Righteousness. We can't practice enough spiritual disciplines to gain Righteousness. We can't abstain from sin enough to achieve Righteousness. Righteousness is a gift. It is a gift we receive not a work we acheive. 

 We cannot grow in Righteousness. We can't become more Righteous. Either you are completely Righteous or you're not. We may grow in our understanding of Righteousness and how it affects each and every aspect of the Christian life but we can't grow in Righteousness. We do grow from Faith to Faith and glory to glory but never from Righteousness to Righteousness.

 As we have seen that we who have believed are Righteous and this is our irrevocable position in Christ, now is the time we grow in our understanding of this amazing gift Jesus paid so highly for us to receive. The more we see how powerful and complete this gift is we will see more and more victory in our lives. Paul reveals this to us in Romans.

 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

 What a powerful promise the Holy Ghost made through the Apostle Paul. We will reign in this life because we receive His Grace and of the gift of Righteousness. The Greek word here to reign is βασιλεύω. It means to possess regal authority. That is kingly rule and reign. It connotes the idea of one who predominates and prevails. 

 This reigning in life means we predominate and prevail against the lies and schemes of the enemy. That we aren't held back by religious tradition. That we dare take our place as the accepted and approved sons and daughters of the King of Kings. This Righteousness means we exercise kingly authority in all areas of our Christian life. It goes without saying that this isn't about domineering and running over people. The Kingdom of God is about Love not ego and being conceited. 
  It is glorious good news that this Righteosness means we rule and reign in this life. However, in order to do this we must first receive of this gift of Righteousness. Paul declared only those who receive of this gift of Righteousness reign in life. What am I saying?

 For instance, an extravagently wealthy person could write you a check for $100 million, but guess what? If you never deposit that check and actually use the funds, it is a useless piece of paper. It's like a child being excited that they got a bicycle for Christmas, but we know if they never ride it, it they will never gain any benefit from the gift.

 We who believed have been given the greatest gifts of all. We have Eternal life. That is the God kind of life. It's not just life never ending, those who die without Christ will live forever just not in Heaven, it's a quality of life that comes from God.

 We've received the precious Holy Spirit. God Himself lives within us. When we believed He came to abide within. He baptized us into the Body of Christ the moment we received Jesus. When we desire, ask in Faith believing, we receive the fullness of the Spirit as Jesus fully immerses us into the Spirit and we walk in the supernatural power of God with the ability to pray in a beautiful heavenly love language. 

 We have received the Grace of God. The unearned, undeserved and unmerited favor of Almighty God. Grace produces empowerment when fully received. It's full assurance we are forever His and nothing will change that, not even ourselves.

 We have received the perfect gift of Righteousness. Again, this great gift gives us the ability to stand before God without any sense of guilt or shame or condemnation. Yet if we don't fully receive of this gift, we won't walk in all God has for us. We must receive of this gift.

 We must not merely receive this gift of Righteousness but actually open it, partake of it and walk in it. We see believers who battle with guilt and shame. We see believers who listen to traditional religious nonsense that tells them that God is angry with them and this world and that they are so unworthy. That is not reigning and ruling in this life. 

 In summation, it's time we fully receive this amazing gift of Righteousness. It's time to receive of the gift of Righteousness so we can reign as kings in this life. Over the next few studies, we will open and unpack this gift of Righteousness and see how we can receive of it in all aspects of our walk with God. 

Image by digital designer from Pixabay 

Monday, April 12, 2021

Got Righteousness: Who you are in Him

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

We have begun a new series studying the Righteousness of God. Yes, it's true when we do a study on this site it tends to go long but there is a simple reason. My heart's desire above all else is that all would see clearly without obstruction the absolute goodness of God. That all would know and experience the amazing Love of Almighty God, and that all would know He isn't mad at anyone and that He isn't a harsh taskmaster, but a Good Father.

 In our last study, we saw that we who believe are Righteous. So today it seems good to go further in revealing our identity in Christ. Instead of asking who you are, I want to reveal who YOU are in Christ. 

 Many people go through life struggling not really knowing who they are. They look for their identity in career, in education, in achievements and some sadly seek for their identity in the bottom of a bottle or in something they are smoking or injecting into their veins. Some go through relationship after relationship hoping to find fulfillment and identity in another person.

Nothing is wrong with you

Who we are, what are our gifts, talents, and personality, our peace is only found in Christ. Through tradition, a fallen world, and the achievement syndrome, we tend to not always have a good opinion of ourselves. What's really the root cause of this sense of not measuring up is sin consciousness. 
 Sin consciousness is a never waning awareness of our shortcomings, flaws, and failures. This is why we look at Christ as one who is so perfect and holy (and He absolutely is) and ourselves as lowly worms in the dust who never get it right. We see ourselves and our imperfections and begin to use those outward actions as our source of identity. 

 That's not the Gospel way. That's not God's way. your identity doesn't come from what you do. It doesn't come from how much you sin. It doesn't come from any charitable deeds done either. Your identity is only found in Christ alone. So there is nothing wrong with you. 

 The Cross was a success. The Finished Work worked. Jesus' work of redemption was a triumph. Christ not only gives us eternal life and forgiveness of all our sins, but this perfect work also includes the great exchange. He took our old sin nature, our dead spirit, and recreated our spirit and gave us His very life. We are Righteous, New Creations with the very life and nature of God our Father within. 

 You may say no way. Did you know what I did last week? Did you know I was drunk last weekend? Did you know I slept with someone a month ago? Did you know I masturbated to porn last night? Did you know I lied to my boss last Friday just to go home early? Did you know I lost my temper and cursed someone? I used "F-bombs" in abundance when I did. How can you say there is nothing wrong with me?

 Our sins and shortcomings no matter how dark, dirty, and downright despicable cannot revoke or remove the permanent work of the Cross from our hearts. Christ bore all our sins, even the worst and most wicked, paying the full payment for the cleansing, removal, and total forgiveness of them all. In the Finished Work, He exchanged our old and imperfect with His New and perfect. We have been made the very Righteousness of God in Christ. He gave us His Righteousness. That's who we are now!

 Truthfully, we've all blown it. We have all been guilty of walking out of love. All guilty of sexual immorality in some form or fashion (Christ declared even looking at someone with lust was adultery). All guilty of being selfish and self-focused. Here's the truth, feeling bad, experiencing shame, being guilt-ridden over our sins will never cause us to stop these habits and actions. The Law is merely a mirror to reveal our failures. It will never empower or enable us to overcome our failures.

 Living from our true identity is where we will find true peace and victory. Sin's appeal begins to wane when we know who we and whose we are apart from our performance. When we try to use discipline or avoidance to stop sin we are merely using willpower and that's the flesh and the flesh will burn out and give up. 

 Become Righteousness conscious not sin conscious. Become accepted and approve conscious not failure and shrink back conscious. Become Right standing conscious not imperfection and failure to measure up conscious. 

 In summation, who are you? You are the Righteousness of God in Christ. You have the very life and nature of God within. You are a New Creation in Him, the old is gone behold the New is here now. You are accepted and approved perpetually with the Father. You are complete in Him. 

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay 

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Got Righteousness?

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

I'd like to ask you a question if I may. Are you Righteous? Do you have a Righteous heart? If you've never put your trust in Christ the answer would be no. The good news is you can be Righteous, simply put your trust in Him. 

 If you are a Christian what is your response? Would you respond with one of these statements or a variation of it?
 "Well, I hope so."
 "I am trying to be."
"With the way I behave sometimes I am not so sure."
"I'm working on it."

 If so I have some Good Gospel news for you. You can know if you're Righteous. You can have absolute certainty of your standing before the Father. You can have full assurance knowing how God truly sees you. 

 First, we must know and understand what Righteousness actually is. Righteousness means to be in right standing with God. Righteousness is that state where we stand perfectly accepted and approved by Father God apart from our performance or behavior. Righteousness means we stand complete in Christ. Righteousness means we have the right and privilege to boldly stand in God Almighty's presence without any sense of shame, fear, guilt, condemnation, or inferiority. 

 Righteousness is not a work we achieve. Righteousness is not attained by continued abstinence from wrongdoing. Righteousness is not acquired by deeds done no matter how good they may be. Righteousness is not gained by following certain religious rituals such as observing the feast days or "honoring" the Sabbath day. Again Righteousness is a gift we receive not a work we achieve.

 In some circles, women won't wear makeup, cut their hair, and only wear long dresses. I am not criticizing them, but I am asking why do they do these things? To attain and maintain a place of right standing before God by their appearance. 

 If Righteousness could be achieved by our work or merit why then would Christ waste His time suffering and dying on that tree becoming a curse for you and me? If right standing with God is a work we could attain to then Christ's death was in vain. That is if we could help in any way form or fashion in achieving right standing with God, then the Cross was useless and ineffective.

I do not nullify the grace of God. For if righteousness comes by the law, then Christ died in vain. Galatians 2:21 MEV

 Righteousness is not a work achieved. It is not a position that we strive enough for to finally obtain. Righteousness is not a mistake-free life. Righteousness is not a place in God that is lost and gained based upon our goodness or faithfulness. Righteousness is a permanent gift we receive when we first trust in Christ alone. Righteousness is an irrevocable gift that is rooted in Christ's work and performance and goodness never our own. 

 In summation, let's ask again, are you Righteous? If you have trusted in Christ alone you are Righteous. You are accepted and approved of God Almighty. You have received Christ's very own Righteousness and therefore are just as Righteous as Jesus. You are the Righteousness of God in Christ. 

Image by rsand24 from Pixabay