Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Life Shape Prayer & Discipleship Module One Block Ten – Righteousness



Adam and Eve were created “right” with God. They initially lived in “right standing” with God, and were granted the “right to stand” in God’s holy presence. In other words, Adam and Eve were righteous, not because of anything they did but because they were created by God in righteousness. They were covered by the righteousness of God much in the same way as the robe of a King cloaks and identifies him.

When they disobeyed God sin separated them from that righteous covering. Uncloaked and on their own they stood, disrobed for all creation to see. They felt naked and ashamed and attempted to establish their own covering which could never restore the righteousness of God.

Adam and Eve hid from God while He called out to them. In shame they came and confessed their sin to Him. A sacrifice was made, the blood granted reprieve and the skins covered their nakedness for a while, but this was only a temporary measure. The eternal debt would take a greater sacrifice than man could afford. Only the blood of Messiah, the perfect Lamb of God, could take away the unrighteous stains of sin forever.  

Throughout history until today mankind has gone about endeavoring to establish his own righteousness. He has covered himself with good works and well meaning attempts to do right things. Many sacrifices have been made which can never relieve the eternal burden of sin. Righteousness, both in this life and in eternity, comes only by grace through faith.

Romans 10:3  For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.

Righteousness is the state of a person’s life when God is pleased with them. We cannot count on our good works to please God. Rather, we please Him when we believe Him and put our trust in Him. (Romans 4)
Philippians 3
8  Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ
9 ¶  and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;

Like Paul we must also count all of our achievements nothing but rubbish in the face of what Jesus gave in exchange for our righteousness. In and of our own selves, we can never achieve righteousness or be deserving of all the grace of God affords. Righteousness only comes by God’s mercy through Christ Jesus because we believe.

Titus 3:5  not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us …

Life Block lesson #9 taught us the “Roman’s Road to Salvation”:
·        Romans 3:23  All have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.
·        Romans 6:23 The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
·        Romans 10:13 Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

To more fully understand the process of salvation we need consider Romans 10:13 in context. (To view one scripture’s truth in light of the other scriptures surrounding that truth)

Romans 10
9  that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
10  For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Once again the scriptures confirm that ‘Righteousness” is by faith, not by works. We access the grace of God and have the right to stand with God when we believe Him, trust Him and exercise our faith in Him. Our faith is the access code which opens the door through Christ into God’s grace wherein we now stand.  We are made righteous through Christ.

Key Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:21  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.

The “Great Exchange” occurred when Jesus took our place and we took His. He was made sin and we were made righteous.

Romans 5:19  For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

Important Points:
1.   It is not the sin we commit which eternally condemns us, but rather it is the “sinner” we are.
2.   Righteousness is the state of a person’s life when God is pleased with them.
3.   It is not the right things we do, it is the righteousness we are that secures us.
4.   We have been given a garment of salvation and a robe of righteousness by Christ Jesus. (Isaiah 61:10)
5.   The temporary stain of sin is cleansed by confession to God alone.

Just as Adam and Eve came before God, ashamed of their sin, and made their confession to Him, we too are admonished to seek His forgiveness in that same way.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Supporting Scriptures:
·        Romans 4
·        Isaiah 61:10
·        2 Peter 2:7&8
·        Luke 5:32
·        Matthew 22:2,3 & 9-14
·        Revelation 19:7-9; 21:2