Righteousness

December 17, 2020

Righteousness

Philippians 3:9

And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

                Righteousness, in a broad sense, is defined as the state of a person who is, as he ought to be. This is the condition acceptable to God.  This involves integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking, feeling and acting.  It is the definition of who we are in Christ.  As Paul so aptly puts it here in this scripture from Philippians, it is “not having our own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ.”  While it is by faith it is not even of our faith. It is “through the faith of Christ.”  The Word is very clear here that God’s righteousness is not through the enactment of our will, but the product and dispensation of His life, appropriated by His grace through faith that is active within us.  Ephesians 2:8-10 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”  Our salvation and consequently our righteousness are the products of God’s grace and again it is not even from a faith that is from us, it is a gift of God.  We can never earn our way into heaven by being good enough; it is just not going to happen.  True righteousness is a God thing; it is not a man thing.  Only God has the power to impart righteousness in us and through us.  Now, it is important, having said that, to understand that we are the “Righteous.”  We are the standard bearers of God’s holiness and expression in this earth.  If we are the only Bible most people will ever read then they really need to be seeing the nature and character of God in our lives.  Isn’t it disturbing that the greatest turn off for the world at large toward Christianity is the hypocrisy and double-mindedness they see in those who proclaim to be Christians?  How do we think God must view this, that He is disgraced by His own people?  This is not said to be a condemnation, but we all do bear the shame of living less than fully committed lives for Christ.  The early Church set the world ablaze with Christianity because the world, in that time, saw something in them that was worth living and dying for. They saw lives truly changed and transformed by the power of God and they saw the Spirit of God alive and living through the people who embraced Christ.  Should it be any less true today?  Has God changed?  Doesn’t it say, “He is the same yesterday, today and forever”?  Where is our righteousness?  It is never going to be seen in a people that have merely embraced religion and the mental assent of being a Christian.  It is only going to be seen in a people whose eyes and hearts are steadfastly fixed on Christ and who are running every day and every moment deeper into Him.  As His people pursue Him with hungry hearts full of faith, He is filling and flowing through their lives in righteousness.   “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself ” (Philippians 3:20-21).  We are a work of righteousness in progress.  Let us press in by the faith, which our Lord has placed within our hearts to possess Him who possesses us, that we would indeed be and show forth the righteousness of God, which we are, in Him.

Blessings,

#kent

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