Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Who Made You Righteous?

Greetings,

First of all this subject is one of the least understood in the whole Body of Christ. When I teach this I'm amazed when I see the blank look on peoples faces when approached with this subject. But I'm quickly reminded that I didn't know about our righteousness most of my Christian life either and it's only by the grace of God that I know anything at all.

To most in the body the thought of themselves being righteous is met with their on rejection to the possibilities. If they do receive the possibility, the question is usually what makes a man righteousness. But truthfully the question should be who makes a man righteous.

Romans 5:12 says,"Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned."
I don't know one Christian who doesn't open there arms to this truth, do you? We have no problem embracing the fact that we have sin at work in our members and that because of Adams disobedience. But read further, look at verse 15, "But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by one man's offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one man Jesus Christ, abounded to many." Lets read on to verse 16, "And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification." Verse 17, " For if by one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ." Verse 18, "Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men resulting in the justification of life." Don't quit we're on a roll, verse 19, " For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous."

Wow by grace through faith in what Jesus did on the cross, I am made into a righteous man. Justified, holy, approved of God. What work other than faith in Jesus did I have to do to achieve this status? Not one thing! It should be just as easy to reconcile ourselves to this fact as it is to know that we we're made sinners through the one man Adam. We didn't have to do anything for that foul gift did we? And we can embrace this with open arms. If you don't receive this fact of our righteousness, it's impossible to keep a clear conscience. Condemnation is sure to come.

Now we must practice righteousness (Gal2:29). When we live out of this righteous place, alive on the inside of us, our desire is not to practice lawlessness any longer. Good works should be a fruit of what is on the inside of us. One very important trap to be careful of falling into is that our good works somehow improve our righteous condition. This work only Jesus Himself could accomplish on our behalf. You say, how could anyone fall into that trap? It happens all the time, that's where the term self-righteous comes from. Someone who think themselves to be more superior than another based on there own knowledge, works, social status, etc...

I'm know I'm fixing to ruffle some religious feathers when I say this, but I think a lot of us humble folks would easily embrace the fact that our good works can't make us better, right? Only through Jesus and by His grace is there anything good in us. ....Yea, I thought so. Well let me ask you this, if our good works can't improve our righteousness in Him, how can our bad works or mistakes make our righteous condition worse? I knew that would make you squirm. It's still by His work on the cross that makes us righteous, not our works. Oh we want to boast in our spiritual stature don't we. Now I'm not saying that if you sow bad seed that you won't create a terrible condition of life on this earth. We reap what we sow God is not mocked and that is a kingdom principle spelled out in scripture. But our righteousness is based on the work of Christ alone and our faith in that work brings the fruition of that work into being. Our faith also is a gift from God.

This is a foundational truth that we have to live from or we are without hope. You see everything in the Kingdom of God hinges on this truth being established in us. You are justified.
I encourage you to test this revelation with scripture for yourselves. God is trying to liberate us.

3 Comments:

Blogger Fred McKinnon said...

Ken -
Good word, bro. I see Christians beating themselves up all the time because they've messed up. "tearing their clothes" so to speak. I think there is a differnce between feeling/showing remorse for our sin and then living in it and declaring ourselves worthless. We are the righteousness of God - not my works, lest any man should boast, right?

Sometimes, I feel like God proves this to me as I'll feel His love and approval "all over me" in a very tangible way even after I've really screwed up (that is, after I repent).

The crazy thing is - that righteousness if our free gift, but it has to be received. I'm convinced that lots of people believe the gift is there, but most miss the boat on the "receiving part". As long as Satan can convince them that "I'm not worthy", he keeps them in self-condemnation.

For the Kingdom,
Fred

3:53 AM  
Blogger Rob McKinnon said...

Ken,

I've heard this before, of course. And I was a witness to what "tunnel vision" can do to squash this revelation. I'm glad you're still pressing in on it.

I like what Fred wrote about it. It has to be received. I was reading in Genesis about Noah and the ark. The ark is symbolic of the Christ, and our condition in Him.

When the rain was about to come, God said "Enter into the ark". This revelation is so important because we have this righteousness available to us as a way of life - practically, and not just "truth" alone - we just have to ENTER INTO IT!

Keep on pressing on!

Rob

6:26 AM  
Blogger Dan Hartley said...

Ken:
Great point. I have been wrestling with many early teachings that have been based on mans opinions and combined with this article, I have found truth in what I believe to be a reckoning within my soul that identifies with this article. Wow, I hope many more read this!

Dan Hartley
Knoxville, TN

6:09 AM  

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