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Popular Teachings about Righteousness

In North America one of the popular teachings about righteousness is that once you have declared Christ as your Saviour you can sin, and your punishment for this sin and other sins (past and future) has already been paid for by Jesus Christ through his atoning death on the cross.  This belief and teaching is contrary to all teachings about righteousness in the OT and the NT.  The books of the Bible teach repentance and a turning away or ceasing from our sins and a reception of what is good and right that we strive for each day and apply to our lives.  This rejection of sin in our lives and hearts is enabled by the power of the Holy Spirit and produces life in us and an inheritance in Christ Jesus.

We live in the present with God.  If we are doing what is wrong  in the present day and time, we are heading to an appointment with death.  If we are doing what is right in the present day and time, then we are entering into life and the rest of God.  This kind of teaching about righteousness is clear in the book of Ezekiel and in the teachings about righteousness taught in the apostles letters to believers in the NT.  There is no other way to interpret these teachings.  We must be striving toward righteousness.  It is while we are striving for what is good and right that the grace of God is given to us believers to provide us with an imputed righteousness until we come to the fullness of the measure of the stature of Christ.

We need to separate ourselves as believers in Christ from the world so that we can attain victory over sin.  Ezekiel teaches in chapter eighteen that we cannot indulge in the common sins of man and our society and please God.   We cannot involve ourselves in sexual sins or sins of greed or in oppression of the poor and weak.  We have to continually choose what is right and good in our day to day lives.  The Holy Spirit enables this choice for believers.  If this is not working for you then you should pray and ask God to give you the Holy Spirit and be ready to change your mind and accept what is it that God presents to you as from himself.


Righteousness vs Wickedness

In scripture the apostle Paul says that we are in a fight and that we are to win this fight as followers of Jesus.  This fight is between righteousness and wickedness. Internally within ourselves, and externally in our world.  We have to be ready to give it our all in this fight. Paul says don’t beat the air ineffectually, but understand what you are doing and how to do it.  Follow the leading of the Spirit of God in your life.

This fight is the fight of faith.  Staying faithful to God, listening to him, and obeying him.

This fight might be costly.  The Bible says we are to count the cost, put our hands to the plow, and don’t look back.  We are either for righteousness or against it. These are the two positions in our world at the present time.

The Bible says that if we fight for righteousness God will be at our right hand.  He will  teach our hands to war and our fingers to fight.  He will be our shield all around.  If we stand he will be our helper to deliver us from our enemies.

Scripture is clear.  Believers have enemies.  Those who want to destroy righteousness, kill God, and live in the lusts of their flesh.  King David says that God’s enemies are his enemies and that he hates them with a pure hatred.

What we are seeing in the USA today is dizzying  The divide that has occurred between  people who want to throw off all restraint of righteousness and people who are trying to maintain some kind of righteousness in the land.  This is not a political divide. It is not a racial divide.  It is righteousness and wickedness fighting each other within both groups of people.

As Believers we need to declare ourselves on God’s side.  Take this stance in our lives and come what may stand in it.  God will help us and show himself faithful to us.  We have this well known quote from Joshua, ‘Choose you this day who you will serve.. but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.’

 

 


Keep What We Have and Add To It

I think what we need to do as believers today is appreciate what we have in the Lord and add to it.  Something is happening in the world in our day and I think that most people can attest to this.  Many times we do not understand what is happening.  We have ideas, or thoughts about what the problems are.  We think we have some solutions, but they may not be as effective as we think they will be if  in fact these ideas were implemented in our culture and our nations.  There is a  point where people will not do as God asks them to do.  In reading the book of Jeremiah I read where God’s people were totally rejected and forsaken and were led away to Babylon by their captors.  It was one generation (70 years) before the people began to return.  It was the children and grandchildren of those who were exiled who made the journey back to Judah and Jerusalem.  It was when they went into captivity that the people who were exiled made the decision that they were going to serve God only.  Before that time they were into all kinds of things that God had asked them not to do through his prophets and his word.

What about us?  We need to treasure what we have in God.  We can be free from sin and we need to take advantage of this grace given to us by Jesus through the Holy Spirit.  We have our needs met and we need to thank God everyday for his goodness and mercy.  We can talk to God directly and petition him.  We need to recognize what a privilege this is.  We have the ability to do what God has asked us to do through the Holy Spirit.  We need to seek the Holy Spirit in our lives and accept his conditions for us.  We’re not running our lives, He is.  If you are running yours then I think you may be in danger of going into captivity.  You may never be able to return to God.  The Bible says ‘the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom’.  Many Christians have not reached this point.  God is a teddy bear, a sugar daddy, for their wishes and excesses.  This is destruction for their soul.   God hasn’t changed his mind about sin.  The blood of Jesus does not excuse sin or cover for it forever.  We have to work at living the way God wants us to.  He provides the ability.  Any Christian who says that they do not have the power to refuse sin is in danger of being overcome by that sin.  They may  find themselves in a place they had never imagined they would be.  Just like the exiles in Jeremiah’s time.

We have teachers today who scratch our itchy ears, and tell us what we want to hear.as North American Christians.  We need to wake up and save ourselves in the midst of this ungodly generation.  ‘Work out your salvation with fear and trembling’, is the Bible’s admonition.