RIGHTEOUSNESS II

 

RIGHTEOUSNESS II

In my previous post: RIGHTEOUSNESS I, we saw that righteousness means to have a right standing with God, in order words to stand before the Father with no sense of guilt or inferiority. We also saw how sin consciousness resulting in guilt feeling has replaced our righteousness consciousness. Kindly go back and read for better understanding.

Man was driven out of God’s presence after he lost his right standing with God. There have been endless attempts by humankind to deal with the feeling of inadequacy by regaining what he once lost: his right standing with God. Man, always tries to cover up his shortfalls or doing penance (the act of inflicting punishment upon one’s self to express outward repentance for wrongdoing).

This attempt has not only been futile but has also created the most dangerous situation ever known among human beings: RELIGION. Religion is man’s endless search for connecting back to God. All founders of religion claim they were in search of one thing or the other: light, the way, truth. Among all these unique human beings, only Jesus could say, “I am whatever you are looking for … the light, the way, the truth, the life and many more”. In addition, Jesus came to search for and save all human beings and restore what we lost in the Garden of Eden. This is why I think Christianity is not a religion.

WHAT WE LOST TOGETHER WITH OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS

PEACE

The harmonious relationship within the spirit and soul of man left him. And this created all forms of anxiety, fear and other complexes. With this internal condition of lack of peace with himself, he also lost harmony with his environment. This accounts for why those who are not at peace with themselves cannot be peaceful with those around them.

BOLDNESS

Man could boldly approach God before he died spiritually.

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Boldness is required in approaching God.

Genesis 3:10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid

Proverbs 28:1 ¶ The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion. When you habour a feeling of guilty, it erodes your level of confidence.

IMMORTALITY

When man was created, he possessed immortality until sin can and lost his place with God.

Genesis 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Genesis 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Man’s disobedience brought in spiritual death which also activated ageing and eventually physical death.

JOY

Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

Righteousness always goes hand in hand with peace and joy. Once he lost his righteousness, peace and joy were also lost alongside.

SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS



Self-righteousness is worse than unrighteousness. Self-righteous people are the most dangerous set of sinners.

Matthew 23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.

Isaiah 64:6 ¶ But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags, and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Romans 10:3 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.

The Nun Prioress's Tale in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, I find one very interesting character: Madam Eglantine. She is described as having impeccable table manners and soft-hearted ways. Her description suggests she is likely in religious life as a means of social advancement, given her upper-class manners, terrible French accent and singing the liturgy straight through her nose. She maintains a secular lifestyle, including keeping lap dogs that she privileges over people, a fancy rosary and badge inscribed with "Amor Vincit Omnia" ('Love Conquers All'). I have noticed from experience that people who put in so much effort to appear nice in the sight of the public have the worse of problems in their private lives.

Are you congratulating yourself for being more righteous than others since you don’t do the kind of things others do? Have you set up rules and regulations of what you will do and what you will never do? Do you feel cleaner after you do good to an orphan or a helpless person in society to cover up your sins? Those are a few indicators of self-righteousness. I used to, as a teenager, look at the sun intently, walked more gently and appear more soberly so that I could feel more righteous. I was self-righteous but I thank God today for having mercy on me. No one would have attempted to share the gospel personally with me because I had a holier than thou attitude.

2 KINDS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

To stand in the presence of the father without guilt or inferiority, to have a right standing with God, there are two ways: by law and by faith.

Righteousness by law

Romans 10:5 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.

If anyone can follow all the laws of God till the end of his/her days, such a one shall be declared righteous.

James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.

But to keep the whole law, it’s really challenging.

Acts 15:9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

Peter confessed that neither their fathers nor they themselves could keep the law in other to be made righteous. In actual fact, the motive for giving the laws was to reveal to man his total inability to follow them through.

Righteousness by faith

The second is the righteousness that comes as a result of faith-judging God as faithful and true to His word.

Romans 10:6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)

Romans 4:2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

 Romans 4:20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;

21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

 22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

 23 ¶ Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;

24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;

25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

When you are restored unto righteousness, every other thing will begin to fall into its rightful place. This is why Jesus Christ came. Will you believe today? Remember that with the heart we believe unto righteousness. Romans 10:10

Pray this prayer with me

Father, I come to you today just as I am, I have found my greatest challenge today i.e. I have no right standing with you because of the condemnation that passed unto all human beings. Save me as I open my heart and accept Jesus today as my Lord and Saviour. Thank you for saving me and giving a right standing in your presence today. Amen.

As simple as it may seem to you, you are saved or born again by this prayer of faith. You have been restored to the right place before God. Get a bible if you don’t have one yet and start reading it for yourself. May the Holy Spirit also be your guide.

In my subsequent blogging, I shall be taking you a step further in your pursuit of holiness. You may equally read my previous posts if you haven’t done so already.

 

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