Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Our Righteous in Christ ~ Rabqa

The definition of righteousness is: the ability to stand in the
presence of the Father without guilt & without the sense of inferiority as if sin never existed. Upright, right standing, justified, (declared righteous).

The Greek word for righteousness is dikaiosune, which means the character or quality of being right or just. The righteousness of God means essentially the same as His faithfulness, or truthfulness, that which is consistent with His own nature & promises.

Rom 1:17 & Hab 2:4...The just shall live by faith ~ or in other words the righteous shall live by faith. Shall live in the Hebrew is chayah means to to live, to stay alive, be preserved, to flourish, to enjoy life, to live in happiness, to breathe, be alive, be animated, recover health, & live continuously.

The fundamental idea is to live & breathe, breathing being the evidence of life. In the Hebrew concept. It literally reads "the righteous person in his faithfulness (firmness, consistency, belief, faith, & steadfastness) shall live."

Keys to righteousness:
1. Authority in the spiritual realm (In Jesus name). Righteousness makes us fearless in the presence of the enemy Eph 6:14 which talks about the breastplate of righteousness which protects our heart from condemnation-in the soulish realm.

2. Fellowship with the Father. 1 Jn 3:18-21...have confidence with God.

Base your confidence on the witness of the Holy Spirit & growing obedience in your life.

2 Corinthians 5:21 tells us that God made Jesus sin who knew no sin. & made us righteous who knew no righteousness. Jesus took our sin upon Himself & faced the penalty of sin—death. We see from this that what we are made of isn't something we can work for.

Ps 117 Praise the LORD, all you nation Praise him, all you people of the earth. For his unfailing love for us is powerful; the LORD’s faithfulness endures forever.
Praise the Lord.

Though this Psalm is short it calls us to worship & finds it place in Paul's theology which includes the Gentiles in God's eternal plan. Rom 15:11

Mk 6:33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need

This verse tells us why it it is important for us to be righteous. Rather then being preoccupied with material things our ambition should be to seek first God's kingdom & His righteousness knowing that as we do so, He has pledged Himself with covenant faithfulness to respond "all these things shall be added to you."

Some people look to the things but leave out in looking to Jesus & God as the head of the spiritual kingdom. We need to look to the provider—not the provision. Righteousness should be of being in a position as though we had never done anything wrong.

In Luke 15 we read about the prodigal son, prodigal means wasteful living. The fact that a penitent sinner pleases God more then a ceremonially correct Pharisee is quite evident in this parable.

When we accept Jesus, as Lord God the Father gives us a position with His Son Jesus & puts us in right standing with Him without working towards it, it is done through faith, the good news is that we have the same privileges as Jesus.

I said earlier that Jesus is our sin substitute, the story of our salvation is centred around Jesus. God knew that Adam & Eve were going to fall in the garden of Eden, so He had already planed that Jesus would be our redemption, the day Adam fell God spoke of the seed of the woman that would crush the devils head & destroy the power of sin in our lives.

 Gen 3:14-15
"Then the LORD God said to the serpent, Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all animals, domestic and wild. You will crawl on your belly, grovelling in the dust as long as you live. And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.”

You are cursed carries the idea of coming under God's judgement. Although the exact meaning of the serpent's being cursed more then the rest of the animal kingdom is unclear. Paul later reinforces that all creation was affected by the fall (Rom 8:20-22)

On your belly you shall go does not imply that the serpent previously had legs, it is equally likely to be poetic language supporting the fact the animal kingdom will not be able to reverse it's post fall condition on it's own.

You shall eat dust is also figurative for humiliation. New Testament allusions to V 15 (Rom 16:20; Heb 2:14; Rev 12) seem to indicate that the curse of the serpent has broader application.

 Interpreted messianically, hostility represents the conflict between satan (your seed) & God's people, especially Jesus Christ (her seed means Jesus, the Son of God). He shall bruise His heel depicts the long struggle between good & evil, with God ultimately winning through Jesus Christ the last Adam. V 15 is often referred to as the first messianic prophecy of the Old Testament.

Only Jesus was able to accomplish what was essential for our deliverance. our redemption rest completely on what on what the Son of God did: * He took on flesh & blood, to become a man. * He lived a sinless life, never once to transgress as Adam did. * He died on a cross, to bear the penalty of our sins.

You may wonder why did God send Jesus in our place, why didn't He just overlook Adam's original transgressions & say, "well, that's all right, Adam; try not to let it happen again." Can't God do anything He wants? But the Bible says that God cannot deny Himself, He can't do anything that is not consistent with His nature. God is Holy! There is no sin of darkness in Him. If God had overlooked Adams sin, He would have denied His own holiness & purity. In short He would have come to the party of Adam's sin. In order to remain consistent with His own righteous nature, God had to be just when He justified the ungodly. He couldn't ignore Adam's iniquity. He had to deal with it in a righteous manner. The righteous penalty for sin is death. Someone had to pay that penalty. God redeemed us from sin justly by making His Son the punishment for sin.

 In Leviticus 16:5-10,15-22 we see that all animal sacrifices point to Jesus. They symbolise that Jesus would come & sacrifice Himself for our sins. God forgave iniquity under the old covenant on the basis of theses sacrifices, because He anticipated Jesus' death. The rituals themselves had no power to forgive sins.

Leviticus 16 describes the Day of atonement which is one of the most significant events in the Jewish calendar. This was the day on which the sins of the entire nation were dealt with. Two sacrificial animals were needed to complete Israel's cleansing for that year, each played a different part in the forgiveness & removal of iniquity. They used goats. The first goat was killed & it's blood shed for the forgiveness of iniquity. The second goat (called the scapegoat) was a sin bearer. When Aaron laid hands on it & confessed Israel's iniquity over it, God allowed the sin of Israel to pass into the goat. Bearing this iniquity, the animal was driven into the wilderness. What we learn here is what happened to these two animals graphically depicts what Jesus did on the cross.

 We see that there are two major aspects of His atoning death:

 1. Jesus shed His blood, so that our sins could be washed away.

 2. Jesus became our sin bearer. Blood is an absolute
requirement for forgiveness both under the Old covenant & the New covenant, under the old covenant, every
offering made for sin involved blood. If someone sinned he had to bring a sacrificial animal & kill it himself. unless the blood was shed there was no remission of sins. No one could be purified without it. God wanted the Israelites to be continually be reminded that sin results in death. Whenever a person sins someone has to pay the price, the penalty being death. Shed blood meant someone or something had died for the sin committed. That is why blood was so essential for forgiveness.

In Leviticus 17:11 for the life of the body is in its blood. I have given you the blood on the altar to purify you, making you right with the LORD. It is the blood, given in exchange for a life, that makes purification possible. God permitted the Israelites to kill animals, & look upon that blood as a payment for there sins. But He could only do so because He looked a head to Jesus' sacrifice. The blood of animals couldn't take away sin, it was merely a foreshadowing of the only thing that could truly cleanse us—The Blood of Jesus. 1Peter 18-19

For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.

The value of the human being can be inferred from the price to redeem man (Jn 3:16, Cor 6:20). God the Son the divine one through whom the worlds were created became flesh & died for the sins of humanity. That He willingly shed His blood & died for us reveals not only the value of human personality, but also the importance of salvation. Through Christ believers are forgiven, reckoned to be righteous, & by the New Birth are redeemed in image of God. Fallen men & women can only produce the works of the flesh. Only the Spirit by the New Birth can can renew that which was destroyed by the fall. (Jn 3:5-6). To reach highest human potential to have abundant life one must accept Jesus Christ by faith.

 The blood that Jesus shed signified that He gave up His life, the penalty for sin was inescapable. We were all doomed to die, eternally separated from the Father. But Jesus came to die in our place. His blood is the price that was paid to redeem us from the death-sentence that hung over us. God can justly forgive us on the basis of that precious blood, because Jesus' life was enough to pay our debt. The blood of Jesus is our receipt, showing that once & for all the price has been paid. It speaks for us in God's presence continuously saying: PAID IN FULL! - - FORGIVEN - - CLEANSED. That means nothing left out. No matter what the devil or our emotions may tell us, the blood is always speaking FORGIVENESS before the Father. But the work of the cross goes beyond the forgiveness of sins. Jesus not only shed His blood, He also BORE OUR SINS & iniquity of the entire world.

 Isaiah 53:4-12 Teaches us to believe that our sins & Iniquities were placed on Jesus the sinless Lamb of God. Choose to forgive others who have sinned against you. We may believe that if we sin we will be immediately aware of it; but sin is subtle, & our heart may not perceive or acknowledge our guilt. So those most in need of repentance & cleansing may have no awareness of their spiritual state, we must continually examine ourselves before the Lord, asking Him to enlighten our hearts to any unacknowledged sin & cleanse us from all unrighteousness. These verses also describe Jesus suffering. God caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Jesus, He didn't suffer for His own sin; for He was pure & spotless. He Suffered because OUR SIN was laid to His account. Jesus died on that cross at Calvary, bearing God's righteous judgement for all sin. We now understand that Jesus fulfilled what the sacrificial scapegoat symbolised, He bore our sins & died under judgement. Just as the scapegoat was banished from the camp, so Jesus was separated from the Father.

It was that iniquity that was upon Him that caused him to cry out on the cross "My God, My God why have you forsaken Me?" God righteously judged our sin by placing it on His Son, & judging Him. Only in this way could the Lord be Just in declaring us righteous. He overcame sin, when He let sin overcome Him.
2Cor: 5:21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. He overcame death when He let death over come Him. Rev 1:18 I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.

He overcame disease when He let disease overcome Him. Pet 2:24 He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed. He overcame satan when He let satan overcome Him. Col 2:15 In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.

When Jesus died, you died with Him. Col 2:20 You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world... When Jesus rose, you rose with Him. Eph 2:5-6 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. I really like the way the Message Bible puts Colossians 3:1-2 So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from His perspective. If you want to live the resurrection life that Jesus provides, then seek that new, powerful life by setting your mind & keeping it set on things above, not on things on the earth.

The apostle Paul is simply saying in these verses that if you & I want the good life, then we must keep our minds on good things. Many believers want the good life, but they passively sit around wishing for something good to happen. Often they are jealous of others who live in victory & are resentful that there own lives are so difficult.

If you desire victory over your problems, If you truly want to live the resurrection life, you must have backbone & not wishbone! You must be determined to have victory & refuse to settle for anything less then the best that God has for you. You must be active, not passive. Right action begins with right thinking. Do not be passive in your mind. Start today choosing right thoughts. Set your mind on things that are above & keep it there. AS we come into communion today let us thank Jesus for His faithfulness going to the cross He became sin, God placed our sin upon His one & only Son so that we may become righteous, We were doomed to die separated eternally from the Father Because of Jesus' faithfulness we now may live eternally with Him.

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