Romans 5 explains that all of us inherited a sin nature from the first man, Adam. Despite our best efforts, none of us can redeem ourselves. In a world where people are applauded on a Performance-Based system, giving to charities, feeding the hungry, graduating at the top of our class, and earning our company millions of dollars can not cover the negative consequences of us taking on the identity of being things like: liars, thieves, murderers with our words, adulterers, envious of others, and arrogant.
Today I want to inform the unsaved and remind the believer that from the moment that sin entered into the world and polluted the heart of man, God began putting a plan into place to deliver us all. God loves You and I, and because He knows the sin nature is too great for any mortal man or woman to overcome in their own strength, The Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to put us back into right relationship with the Father.
When a person receives Jesus Christ into their heart, God gives them a new identity…The Righteousness of God.
II Corinthians 5:20-21
20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
God gave Moses and the children of Israel the Ten Commandments, however they could not follow God’s laws perfectly; And neither can we.
After eating from the forbidden tree, the shame of sin caused Adam and Eve to hide themselves from God, the shame of sin caused King David to have another man killed to attempt to cover-up his own misdeeds, the shame of sin causes countless people to turn to substance abuse to drown out their own pain and/or even the pain that was inflicted upon them by another person/situation.
A lot of times it’s sinful pride that keeps men and women from embracing what Jesus Christ did for us at the cross. Pride is a real beast, because it causes the unsaved to run in the opposite direction of God, as they look for solutions everywhere except from the One person who truly is the SOLUTION to all of their problems. Even “born again” believers, who love God with all their heart, can find themselves faced with situations where the enemy of our soul will whisper words of discouragement into our spirit; And we will begin to believe His lies, because we start slipping into works based religion.
It’s just too painful to live under the shackles of shame and sinful pride. Attempting to do things in our own strength only produces the fruits of; sadness, frustration, shame, bitterness, and other negative emotions as a result of sin being too great a force to overcome on our own. It poisons our life, It poisons our relationships with other people, and worst of all it keeps us from experiencing a genuinely strong relationship with the God who loves us.
It is not our Heavenly Father’s will that we live our lives under the burden of shame or sinful pride. God wants to renew our mind. He wants to give us a new mindset…A mindset of being able to celebrate the truth that our sins are covered under the Blood that Jesus Christ shed at the cross, that we can bring all of our cares and concerns to the Lord and leave them in His capable hands. As the righteousness of God, we can rest safely in the Lord’s hands, assured that Heaven will be our home.
I have an acquaintance, named Ricky, who as raised in the church. In his late teens, Ricky turned away from God and began to partake in criminal activities. Ricky said that for 32 years, he prided himself on being one of the most feared men in the activities he was partaking in, yet inwardly he always felt a sense of sadness because he never truly had any close friends: And he would hear his father and mother’s voices echoing in his mind from time to time, saying to him that God had a calling on his life, and he needed to change the bad lifestyle he was currently living.
After 32 years, Ricky did yield to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and he received Jesus Christ as his Savior. Where Ricky once wore a menacing scowl on his face, he now wears a friendly smile. Where he once had restless nights, Ricky said he now can sleep peacefully in the assurance that God is watching over him. Where he once would reach for a gun and be on high alert, whenever he heard police sirens; Ricky says he can relax in the knowledge that the only thing he is guilty of nowadays is loving Jesus and the wife and kids God has blessed him with. God transformed the profane words that Ricky once uttered against his Creator, into words of praise and worship to the Savior who redeemed him. Ricky closed a speech to a group of male teens, last Fall, with these words, “No longer is my identity that of a druglord. Now I am the righteousness of God!”
SO HOW DO I EMBRACE BEING THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD?:
As human beings, we are so driven by our feelings and we do tend to be “People Pleasers” in a lot of ways. It will require a bit of courage and faith on our part to shift our mindset in the right direction.
1. Acknowledge the Pain: I’ve mentioned a few times earlier that doing things our own way only results in pain. When the pain comes, we need to acknowledge it, just as the Prodigal Son did, while hanging around the pig pen, in Jesus’s parable.
2. Receive Salvation: There is an empty place in every person’s heart, that only a personal relationship with Jesus Christ can fill. Any words of true value will not make any sense to us until our faith is placed in Christ’s finished work at the cross and His Holy Spirit is dwelling in our heart to open our spiritual eyes and ears to Godly revelation.
3. Pray and Study God’s Word: Two-Way communication is vital in every strong relationship, so we need to know God’s voice when He is speaking back to us. Whenever we pray to Him, God’s response will always lineup with His written Word. There are also many promises in God’s Word that He has made to all of us who place our faith in Him like: Him never leaving nor forsaking us, supplying our every need, granting us with wisdom whenever we ask, and eternal life with Him.
4. Get an Accountability Partner(s): The Holy Spirit always speaks to us to bring us back on track, however we sometimes are not always listening attentively. We need someone or a few people, whom we know are Godly and whom will tell us the truth in love, to call us out whenever they see us attempting to cover-up things that could be detrimental to our Christian walk; And who can point us to God whenever they see that we are slipping into self-righteousness.
There is no better feeling than coming to the revelation that the Maker of the universe, and all that is in it, loves you. Regardless of all of the bad things you’ve done, Jesus Christ has purchased your freedom from the penalty of death. People may hold your past against you, and always see your identity as what you used to do; But when you get saved, God sees you as His righteousness…And that is something to rejoice about.
This world is full of so much negativity, and the only cure is the Light of Jesus Christ that shines through the life of fully forgiven saints.
If you are not saved: I urge you to turn and run to the arms of God, and allow Him to make you the righteousness of God.
If you are a professing believer, that finds yourself, dipping into self-righteousness; Lay before the Lord, in prayer, ask Him to work within you by the power of His Holy Spirit, to purge out any weeds in your life, so that you can be fruitful in your witness for Christ…And walk in your identity as the Righteousness of God.
II Corinthians 9:10
Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;
If you are reading this and do not know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, I would like to extend this invitation to you to receive the gift of salvation today. You can do so by praying and truly believing the prayer below, or by praying to God in your own Words.
I confess that I have sinned against You, and I know that there is nothing I can do by my own efforts to change my condition. I believe that Jesus Christ shed His blood and died on the cross for my sins; And that He rose from the grave on the Third Day to grant me eternal life. I know You love me, God, and I love You. I place my faith and trust only in You to conform my heart to Your will; And to order my steps everyday, from this day forward. Thank You , Lord, for saving me.
When we accept salvation, God saves us immediately, and makes us fit for entrance into Heaven, however some changes God will empower you to make easily, while making other changes will be a process that may take months or even years to make. Regardless of your situation, I assure you that the Lord loves you more than you could ever comprehend, and He will be with you every step of the way. Pray, study God’s Word and ask Him to give you revelation of what you are reading. I also pray that the Lord will direct you to a true Bible teaching, Jesus loving church, where you can have the support of other believers.