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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 18 No. 18      What Righteousness???

 

Can we be righteous?  How can one be righteous?  We must consider scripture to answer both of these questions, and to do that we must consider what is “un”righteousness?

Know ye not

that the unrighteous shall not inherit

the kingdom of God?

Be not deceived:

neither fornicators,

nor idolaters,

nor adulterers,

nor effeminate,

nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

10 Nor thieves,

nor covetous,

nor drunkards,

nor revilers,

nor extortioners,

shall inherit the kingdom of God.

11 And such were some of you:

but ye are washed,

but ye are sanctified,

but ye are justified

in the name of the Lord Jesus,

and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Romans chapter 1 deals intently with this subject as well, reminding us that (in Blanche’s paraphrase) unrighteousness is contagious.

And even as they did not like to retain God

in their knowledge,

God gave them over

to a reprobate mind,

to do those things

which are not convenient;

29 Being filled with all

unrighteousness,

fornication,

wickedness,

covetousness,

maliciousness;

full of envy,

murder,

debate,

deceit,

malignity;

whisperers,

30 Backbiters,

haters of God,

despiteful,

proud,

boasters,

inventors of evil things,

disobedient to parents,

31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers,

without natural affection,

implacable,

unmerciful:

32 Who knowing the judgment of God,

that they which commit such things

are worthy of death,

not only do the same,

but have pleasure in them

that do them.”  Romans 1:28-32

For you see, even as Paul also mentions in the book of Romans, we are all sinners/unrighteous:

For all have sinned,

and come short

of the glory of God;”  Romans 3:23

As it is written,

There is none righteous,

no, not one:

11 There is none that understandeth,

there is none that seeketh after God.

12 They are all gone out of the way,

they are together become unprofitable;

there is none that doeth good,

no, not one.”  Romans 3:10-12

But now being made free from sin,

and become servants to God,

ye have your fruit

unto holiness,

and the end everlasting life.

23 For the wages of sin

is death;

but the gift of God

is eternal life

through Jesus Christ our Lord.”   Romans 6:22-23

Even as Isaiah said long before the Apostles:

All we like sheep

have gone astray;

we have turned every one

to his own way;

and the LORD hath laid on him

the iniquity of us all.”  Isaiah 53:6

So, what does all of this have to do with righteousness?  The message is clear– sin IS the issue—we have it, yet we can’t fix it, for only Jesus can provide the “cure”; the cure is HIS blood which HE shed at Calvary for our SIN!  No matter what the world says, no matter how much those around us deny the reality of sin; no matter how popular sin becomes; no matter how much we paint it, fluff it up, disguise it, rename it, or justify it—the rules haven’t changed, for God says that “the wages of sin IS death”!

For I have not shunned to declare unto you

all the counsel of God.

28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves,

and to all the flock,

over the which the Holy Ghost

hath made you overseers,

to feed the church of God,

which he hath purchased

with his own blood.”  Acts 20:28

But if we walk in the light,

as he is in the light,

we have fellowship

one with another,

and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son

cleanseth us from all sin.

8 If we say that we have no sin,

we deceive ourselves,

and the truth

is not in us.”  1 John 1:7-8

Without Jesus we have no hope; but with, in, and through Jesus we can have eternal life.  Eternal life that relieves us of the penalty and condemnation of sin (hell), even as Jesus Himself said!

And as Moses

lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,

even so must

the Son of man be lifted up:

15 That whosoever believeth in him

should not perish,

but have eternal life.

(for=Because– my commentary)

16 For God so loved the world,

that he gave

his only begotten Son,

that whosoever believeth in him

should not perish,

but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son

into the world

to condemn the world;

but that the world through him

might be saved.

18 He that believeth on him

is not condemned:

but he that believeth not

is condemned already,

because he hath not believed

in the name of the only begotten

Son of God.

19 And this is the condemnation,

that light is come into the world,

and men loved darkness

rather than light,

because their deeds

were evil.”  John 3:14-19

If you remember the story from Numbers, Moses ‘lifted up’ the brazen serpent and whoever looked unto it for healing lived—so Jesus would be ‘lifted up’(crucified for our sin).  So, when we choose to follow Him, and receive the salvation that HIS death, burial, and resurrection provides, we can walk in the light “as he is in the light”!  Just as Paul gave the Corinthians a list of sins (inclusive but not exhaustive) in contrast to what they now had become (and we can be) through Jesus’ righteousness:

 “such were some of you:

but ye are washed,

but ye are sanctified,

but ye are justified

in the name of the Lord Jesus

All due to the exchange that God makes when we come to Jesus—the work of salvation that only God can accomplish.

Therefore

if any man be in Christ,

he is a new creature:

old things are passed away;

behold, all things are become new.

18 And all things are of God,

who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ,

and hath given to us the ministry

of reconciliation;

19 To wit,

that God was in Christ,

reconciling the world unto himself,

not imputing their trespasses

unto them;

and hath committed unto us

the word of reconciliation.

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.”  2 Corinthians 5:17-21

I said earlier that I believe that “sin” is contagious, and I think scripture proves this out, both in Paul’s writings as well as throughout the Proverbs and Psalms. We must be careful of the things and people that we allow to have influence in our lives.  As the author of Proverbs warns:

Keep thy heart

with all diligence;

for out of it

are the issues of life.”  Proverbs 4:23

And just one from the Psalmist:

Search me, O God,

and know my heart:

try me, and know my thoughts:

24 And see if there be any wicked way in me,

and lead me

in the way everlasting.”  Psalm 139:23-24

In closing, a few words of warning from the Apostle Paul, that we ought to take to heart in our own lives and the lives of our little ones.  You can make a difference in the life of a child, but you must choose to be involved, and exercise parental control, by being a real example of “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (See Colossians 1:27).   Choose wisely, righteous, or unrighteous—there is a test?

Be not deceived:

evil communications

corrupt good manners.”  1 Corinthians 15:33

That we henceforth be no more children,

tossed to and fro,

and carried about

with every wind of doctrine,

by the sleight of men,

and cunning craftiness,

whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

15 But speaking the truth in love,

may grow up into him in all things,

which is the head, even Christ:”   Ephesians 4:14-15

Amen and Amen!!!