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Posts Tagged ‘righteousness’

Galatians 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.

We were created in the image of God. This means we were created by a perfect, loving God and we were good in the sight of God. We are made in the likeness of God, that is, three in one, spirit, soul (mind) and body.

Unfortunately evil entered the human race and we lived under the curse of the law because of the fall of man through Adam. Our spirit, soul and body were then subject to trying to earn salvation by following the law which we could not do, eventually leading to death.

Because of the fall of Adam and sin entering the world we lost the fellowship with the Father that we were intended to have. That does not mean that God stopped loving us. That does not mean that we became terrible people who were seen as nothing but sinful and incapable of doing anything good. Yet the fellowship between our loving Father and the human race was broken and needed repaired. Something we could not accomplish by good works and effort.

The answer came through Christ and the grace He provided. Because of the work of Christ we were made new creatures in Him. Our old sinful spirit was crucified and buried when he took our sins to His cross.

We now have a new righteous spirit within us and our fellowship with the Father has been restored. We still have a soul (mind) that needs renewed and an earthly body that will one day be changed into a spiritual body, yet at this moment God sees us as the righteousness of Christ who lives within us by His Spirit. The goodness and fellowship with the Father that we were originally created with is restored, not by anything we can do but because of the love of the Father for each of us.

Naturally speaking we will never be perfect on this earth, but because of the grace of Christ God sees us spiritually perfect already.

This does not mean we should do whatever we want because there are earthly consequences for our actions, but now we live for God and do what pleases Him out of love and not out of obligation. We now take up our cross daily and follow Him allowing Him to increase as we decrease.

We now have a restored fellowship with the Father that was intended from the day God created the human race. When you make a mistake it is covered. We do not have to repent each time but we can acknowledge we made a mistake and thank God for His grace that covers it.

I have found a good thing to do after allowing my mind or body to take control is to verbally or mentally confess ‘I am the righteousness of God’. Doing this will help us to remember God’s gift of grace and get us focused on our spiritual position in Christ.

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To follow up on the last article ‘The Law is a Curse’, I want to point out that we are no longer required to follow the law.

Romans 3:20-24 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather through the law we become conscious of our sin. But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

SavedbyGrace

To me this cannot make it any clearer that trying to keep the ten commandments, doing good works such as church attendance, prayer, bible reading, witnessing to others, helping the poor, tithing, taking part in communion or any other ‘good work’ you can think of, will make a difference in being declared righteous in God’s sight.

Just in the same sense avoiding things we consider wrong or bad does not make us any more righteous either. We are declared righteous by faith in Jesus, the gift of grace freely given by him.

The law only makes us conscious of sin and our need for Christ. Once we believe his righteousness is freely given by grace and the law is no longer needed and actually becomes a curse. Galatians 3:10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” We know that none of us can keep every law that was given by God to the jews, of which there were 613 laws including the first ten which we call the ten commandments.

Good works are not wrong, in fact they will result out of love for God rather than out of obligation for earning his love. Yet because of the grace freely given by God we no longer need to worry about the laws and keeping them to earn the love of God and the forgiveness of sins he provided.

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I grew up in the traditional church environment and followed the religious teachings and doctrines over the years. I have seen a lot of things that I now question and wonder why things were done that way.

godonthrone

Over the years many of us have come to see God as a big super human person sitting up in heaven somewhere just waiting to punish us for our mistakes. We see him as being impersonal, judgmental and many times as someone to fear.

Yet when we think about the life of Christ and know he was sent from God to show us what the Father is really like we come to see God in a different way. When we read about how Jesus lived and treated people we see him as loving, compassionate, kind and accepting. Jesus came to show us that the Father is the same way.

After Jesus left this life on earth the Father sent the Holy Spirit to live within us. Think about it, God in Spirit form lives within us and among us right now. He is not a super human person way up there somewhere but He is right here within us.

God is not out to get us and punish us every time we mess up. I think God gets a bad reputation from some of the writings in the bible due to men, although they were inspired by God, threw in some of their personal views. Obviously if you were inspired by someone to write a book you would still write it from your perspective. Anything man has a hand in is going to be flawed, but the bible is certainly inspired by God and when combined with the leading of the Holy Spirit will be purposeful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness and guiding us to the living Word of God who is Jesus.

Rather than running around being afraid of God and waiting for the judgment of God to fall, look to Jesus and see that God is love. Whenever punishment is needed it is only for our good and it is done in love. Just as a loving parent sometimes punishes their child it is done in love and for correction that is for the child’s own good. We are not waiting to be destroyed by a God who loves judgment and condemnation. We are living with a God who is love, who created us and who wants the best for us during our time on earth.

godislove

Stop being afraid of the Father and seek fellowship with him. If you hear a pastor telling you that God is out to get you and that you had better shape up or else, get away from there and find brothers and sisters in Christ who will be encouragers and who will help build you up rather than condemn and scare you. Fear of judgment will not lead you into a loving relationship with the Father. Only true love, godly love, will be what draws us into fellowship with Him.

God is love. For those of us who are followers of Jesus we should also be known for our love. As Jesus said in Matthew 22:37-39, And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

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We Christians like to make things so much more difficult on ourselves with constant effort trying to follow the ten commandments, tithe, church attendance, do this, do that, don’t do this, stop doing that. We have the mentality that in order to be approved by God we have to obey the law and be busy doing things for Him. We think that by doing these things we feel better about ourselves and are more spiritual because we are doing something for God.

Galatians 2:16 and 20 make it plain that we are not justified by the works of the law but we are justified by faith in Christ. Jesus lived a perfect life here on earth. He fulfilled the law, the rules and regulations that God required for a person to be perfect. By doing so, when Christ died on the cross he was qualified to be the perfect sacrifice that would do away with our sinful nature. When He died He fulfilled the law, or the old covenant. He said ‘it is finished’ meaning the old agreement was complete and done.

Finished

When He died and rose again he paid the penalty for our sins and set us free. We were spiritually crucified with Him. Now all our sins are forgiven and the sinful nature is dead and buried. We are now raised up as new creatures in Christ and live as the righteousness of God because of the free gift we received through Christ.

We no longer live according to the old covenant and trying to live up to the law. We no longer live trying to do enough good works to be worthy and earn our salvation. We are now free in Christ and we live each day by faith in Him. We live out of love for God because of the grace that was given to us by Christ. When we continue to try to follow the ten commandments and Old Testament law, we are saying that the death of Jesus was not enough to pay for our sins.

Enjoy the freedom Christ purchased for you. Don’t bind yourself to all the rules and requirements of the law. Live a life being free in Christ, and live it out of love for God and love for one another.

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Have you ever wondered when the Old Covenant ended and the New Covenant began? We tend to forget that the Old Covenant does not end with Malachi and the New Covenant does not start with Matthew.

For 33 years Jesus walked the earth living under the Old Covenant, which required following all its rules and regulations.

The New Covenant began when Jesus was crucified. When He said ‘It is finished’, he was talking about the Law, the Old Covenant. Upon his resurrection the New Covenant began and from then on we were no longer required to live under the Old Covenant Law.

OldandNew

The old agreement was basically a tutor. A way God used to show us that we were unable to live a perfect life on our own. It was a way to show us that we needed someone to save us from our sinful nature. Once Jesus came and lived a perfect life on earth, He became the perfect sacrifice that fulfilled the Law and freed us from our sinful nature (Matthew 5:17).

Now that the Law has been fulfilled in Christ, we are no longer required to try to live by the ten commandments and the rules and regulations of the Old Covenant (Galatians 5:1-6). So often we seem to forget that we now live by faith in Christ because of grace. We are no longer slaves to sin, we are no longer just poor sinners saved by grace, although we were sinners and we are saved by grace. We are now the righteousness of God through Christ. God no longer calls us slaves, but He calls us Sons (John 15:15) and tells us we are seated in heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 2:6). This is not to say that we should go out and do whatever we want, right or wrong (Galatians 5:13). We do have freedom in Christ to do what we choose, but of course there are consequences if we choose things that God has warned us to stay away from for our own good.

Freedom in Christ

Today we choose to live a life pleasing to God because of love (Matthew 22:37-40). Godly love is the fulfillment of the Law (Galatians 5:14, Romans 13:8 and 10, 1 John 3:23). We love God, we have been made righteous through Christ, and we are the temple of the Holy Spirit, who guides us, teaches us, and gives us strength. We do what is pleasing to God because of love for Him, not out of obligation or because we are trying to fulfill a set of rules and Old Testament laws that we could not fulfill anyway.

Enjoy your freedom in Christ, the freedom to love God and love others, but do not let your freedom become an opportunity for the flesh. (Galatians 5:13). Be guided by the love and strength of the Holy Spirit of Christ, who lives within us.

 

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Galatians 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.

We are made in the likeness of God, that is, three in one. We are spirit, soul (mind) and body.

We were born under the curse of the law because of the fall of man through Adam. Our spirit man, soul and body were subject to trying to earn our salvation by following the law, which we could not do, eventually leading to death.

Through Christ and the grace He provided through His perfect life, death and resurrection, we were made new creatures in Him. Our old sinful spirit man was crucified and buried with Christ. He took our sins and nailed them to His cross.

We now have a new righteous spirit man within us. We still have a soul (mind) that needs renewed and an earthly body that will one day be changed into a spiritual body, but for now, God sees us as the righteousness of Christ, who lives within us by His Spirit.

Naturally speaking we will never be perfect on this earth, but because of the grace of Christ, God sees us spiritually as perfect already.

This doesn’t give us permission to live as we want and do whatever, but now we live for God and do what pleases Him out of love and not out of obligation. We now take up our cross daily and follow Him, allowing Him to increase as we decrease.

When you make a mistake, it is covered. We don’t have to repent each time, but we do acknowledge we made a mistake and thank God for His Grace that covers it.

A good thing to confess out loud after allowing our mind or body to take control is ‘I am the righteousness of God’. This will help us to remember God’s gift of grace and get us focused on our spiritual position in Christ.

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Can you even imagine it? We, you and me, saved by grace and now considered to be the righteousness of God.

Funny, it almost feels sinful to think that way, but God said it and it is true. Because of Christ’s perfect sacrifice for us, we are now God’s righteousness.

A lot of Christians want to tell us that we are poor sinners saved by Grace. True, we are saved by Grace, but we are no longer considered poor sinners. Stop letting religion tell you that you aren’t good enough. In your own strength, no, you aren’t good enough. But through Christ, we have been given the gift of salvation. Through His grace, we are now the righteousness of God. When God looks at us, He sees Jesus in us. Do you not know that you are the temple of the Holy Spirit?

Stop condemning yourself. ‘There is now therefore, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 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, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:1-4 NASV).

Stop trying to do things to earn God’s love and grace. We are now His righteousness because of Christ. No matter what we do, or don’t do, God has provided us with salvation, forgiveness of sins (past, present and future), and now sees us as His perfect sons and daughters because of Christ. The Law was given to point out our sin and prove to us that we could not live a perfect life. Thanks be to God who provided His own Son as an offering for sin. He fulfilled the Law and became sin for us. We no longer have to try and live by the Law or the Old Covenant. We are now free from sin, and no longer need the Law to point out that we can’t do it on our own.

Let’s start enjoying the freedom we have in Christ, and start living through love for God and love for others. Don’t let someone tell you that you are anything less than the righteousness of God.

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