The NT word for “righteousness” literally means, “To be in a condition that is acceptable to God, to be as you ought to be.” Jesus has made us acceptable to God, He has made us what we ought to be. Jesus came to make us right with God and He succeeded. We are not in a continual process of getting more & more right with God. The gift of righteousness that He has given us is His own right-standing with the Father and we cannot add to it. We ARE in right standing with God. We do not bounce in-and-out of righteousness, or fellowship, or acceptance with God. It’s a perfect, permanent state, and if we don’t believe that then the tangible peace of God that passes all understanding will always elude us. You can’t have the peace of God that passes all understanding if you wrongly believe that you’re not what you ought to be in His sight and that He’s not at peace with you. The gift of righteousness may be the best kept secret in all of Christianity.
Here is a short, excellent video by Jonathan Welton about, as the title says, God judging America. It’s about five minutes long…enjoy!
Romans 6:7, 11 – For he that is dead is freed from sin…Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The book of Romans as a whole is nothing less than a stunning masterpiece! It exhibits the pure Gospel, showing in remarkable, fine detail just how amazing our Savior is and how amazing this system of justification that He established for us is! You just can’t beat the book of Romans! That being said, Romans 6 came alive in my heart today. Romans 6 teaches us, amongst other things, that we as Believers have died to sin. This is a profound truth which could certainly merit an entire book’s worth of teaching. But, I’ll just briefly touch on it here in this post. When Romans 6 teaches that we are dead to sin, it’s specifically talking about the old sin nature that every human being born into this earth receives from the original man, Adam. So, you could say, we are dead to Adam, or we are dead to the Adamic race. Adam’s race of species, after the man’s original fall into sin, became a species of sin. But, Jesus came and put an end to the agamic race for all who would choose to be born into a new family, the family of God. So, here a few points that we can draw out of Romans 6:
-It’s appointed unto man once to die…Jesus died that death for us
-Jesus died to Adam on our behalf
-Jesus died to our sin for us
-We no longer need to “die to sin” because we’re already dead to it
-Sin is not a part of our identity. We are literally dead to sin
Again, I know that there is much that we can draw from Romans 6, and that these are just a few, short points, but these few truths that I’ve shared here alone are enough to change a person’s life significantly! Allow these simple, powerful truths to resonate in your heart and to bring forth resurrection power in your life!
The greatest revelation of the Gospel, the thing that makes the Gospel the Good News that it is, is that salvation is a free gift. It is completely and forever free to we the recipients. But some how or another, we’ve believed the lie that “getting forgiven and saved” is just the cute little baby stage thing that you are required to go through at first, BUT THEN you need to grow up and mature in the things of God! We’ve seldom examined and explored the depths of the glorious salvation that we received in an instant, by grace through faith. Salvation isn’t some thing that we leave behind at the entrance, but it’s the life of God that we’re meant to ever experience. A lack of understanding how amazing the gift of salvation is has led us to believe that it is some petty, little “thing” that we ourselves are required to conjure up the ability to hold onto. But salvation is not some tiny, slippery, ever-elusive thing that God gives us so that we may try hold onto it with all of our might. It’s a person named Jesus, who never leaves us and never abandons us.
In today’s world of Christianity it seems that there may be as many versions of Christianity as there are types of cars or hairstyles. While I don’t think this is God’s plan, I certainly thank God for every person that gets born again, regardless of which type of church, ministry or setting it is in. But, one large area that brings division in today’s church is our differences of understanding concerning the Holy Spirit. It is quite common these days, depending on who you’re hearing, to hear statements similar to this:
-The power of the Holy Spirit, outside of getting people saved, passed away with the early church.
-Today, things such as healing, casting out demons and speaking in tongues is “of the devil”.
And there are plenty of statements similar to these. But, the question is, are these types of statements true? Has the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit really passed away? Is it really demonic to do things that the Lord Jesus Christ, Paul and the early church (many Christians, not just the apostles) did? Are we really supposed to ignore the vast amount of New Testament scriptures concerning the supernatural power of God or tear those pages out of our Bible altogether? As I’m sure you can tell, I do not believe that the power of the Holy Spirit has passed away or ceased. The Bible never teaches any such thing. The New Testament scriptures on the power of the Holy Spirit have not passed away any more than the New Testament verses on salvation have passed away. Both are operative for today’s church world. There are far too many scriptures to do an in-depth teaching on this in just one blog post, but let me share two related verses with you:
1 Cor. 12:1 – Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
1 Cor. 12:7 – But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
Paul wrote the Corinthian church telling them (as these verses state) that he did not want them to be ignorant concerning the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and that he wanted them to know that these gifts were for “every man”. Notice, Paul did not say that the Gifts of the Holy Spirit we’re only for the original Apostles or the original, early church. Actually, Paul tells them that it’s quite the opposite. Paul clearly wanted this church to understand and benefit from the manifestation of the Gifts of the Spirit. Paul even instructs them later on in chp. 14 on how to properly operate in the Gifts during their own church services. Paul never told them that only Apostles could operate in these things, or anything even closely resembling that. Paul exhorted and helped this church in their understanding and operation of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Never does Paul or any other New Testament author state that these things we’re only for a few people or for a limited, short period of time and that they would then cease. That is simply the tradition of man, not the teaching of Scripture. I encourage you, wherever you are in your walk with God and in your understanding of these things concerning the Holy Spirit’s present-day operation, seek Him in this area and allow Him to manifest His amazing power in your life! It would be a terrible shame to live your entire life having had the power of the Creator of the universe on the inside of you and readily available to you, but to never take advantage of it. The Lord’s power is inside of you as a child of God, and He greatly desires to manifest that power in your life, for your own benefit and the benefit of people whom you encounter!
Pharisees specialize in condemning people but Jesus said that He did not come to condemn. Pharisees look at “sinners” with disgust but Jesus came to seek and save “the lost”. Pharisees wouldn’t be caught dead fellowshipping with anyone who could hurt their reputation but Jesus let women with reputations cry at His feet and then rub their hair on Him, in the middle of one of His church services He defended a woman just caught ” in the act” with a man that she wasn’t married to and He even went and hung out with a well known political crook & thief in his own house. If we’re not careful our goofy religious concepts can have us believing in a Jesus who looks a lot more like the Pharisees than the Jesus who was the Friend of Sinners.
God’s grace is designed to offend, dismantle and strip away everything within us that wants to become righteous by our works, until we are fully established that there is NOTHING that we can EVER do to become right with God other than believing in Jesus.
I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.