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I am Righteous

I am Righteous

 

“seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…all these things shall be added to you”. (Matthew 6:33)

Yesterday I was watching a show on TV that was talking about a gentleman who came to speak with a pastor was consumed by sin.  He loved God with all his heart, but he just couldn’t seem to quit smoking pot.  He said he tried and tried but he just loved to do it.

Well, he thought for sure that the pastor was going to condemn him or chastise him for his sinful behavior and tell him how horrible this was, but quite the opposite happened.  The pastor looked at him and told him that every time he thought of smoking pot and even did smoke pot that he wanted him to say ‘out loud’ that “I am the righteousness of God through Jesus Christ.”  He said, “really you want me to simply say that?”  The pastor told him yes, every time.

So, long story short, this is exactly what this man did.  He said he left there ready to go light up a joint just to see what would happen.  So, he did just that and each time he began to think about what does all of this mean?  And as he put his focus on God more and more, the desire to smoke pot became less and less until finally he realized he didn’t have any desire at all.  And to this day, he doesn’t touch pot.

Isn’t this amazing, we are the righteousness of God through Christ.  So what exactly does this mean to us?  Well, it means that Jesus is the answer.  Once we have received the Lord Jesus as our savior through faith and confession, we almost immediately try to maintain or establish ourselves as righteous in God’s sight by doing the right things and not doing the wrong things any longer. Now, it should be quite obvious that if we are genuinely saved and love the Lord Jesus Christ that we should do good things and stop doing the bad things we once did. But that is where most of us stop; never coming to understand that through Christ we have become righteous.

Besides this, even the best of the good things we do are considered filthy rags to God. Look at what Isaiah said, but we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are like filthy rags: we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is no one who calls on Your name, who stirs himself up to take hold of You. (Isaiah 64:6,7) So we must receive Christ’s righteousness in order to be truly righteous. Our attempts at being right before God miserably fall short.

Don’t you see, when we try to establish our own righteousness we miserably come up short. When we try to maintain our salvation or the feeling of being saved by doing good things, we have failed to receive all that Christ has accomplished through the cross. We no longer have to rely on ourselves, but on Jesus.

Please hear this, if we won’t receive the fact that we are righteous in God’s sight, what’s more, that we have become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, then we destroy our faith. We remain spiritual babies that are not able to grow up in the things of God. And let’s face it, nobody wants to be around an adult who acts like a child. It eventually wears on and wears out the best of us.

We can’t afford to live another day in the deception that we are not righteous in Christ. Reject that nagging, relentless feeling that you’ll never be good enough, righteous enough, or holy enough. Where does that feeling of unrighteousness come from? The Bible says that there exist in the world an accuser, who lays the blame on us day and night (Zechariah 3:1-5 & Revelation 12:10).

Many precious brothers and sisters in the Lord just quit because the feeling of trying to measure up is too great. They just throw in the towel since they can’t escape the feeling of not ever getting it right but you can stop trying to measure up. You can cast off forever any attempt to gain God’s approval. Jesus took all of this for you.  You are righteous, now it is up to you to have the faith to believe it!

Blessings:  Heather Joyner

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