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 

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