Rom 4:6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
The coming generation is going to be so sinful that it will require the abounding grace of God in us to receive those who come. If God does not impute sin to them (on the basis of His love), we are nobody to reject them. However, in accepting the next generation of sinners, we must learn to walk in a way that Jesus Himself walked amongst sinners. He was untouched by the sin of humanity but gave a solution to mankind in his teaching and ways of power and finally through His own death on the cross. Therefore, we are to emulate Him in all our dealings with sinners because we ourselves were once sinners.
There can be no compromise on how the next generation of sinners must receive Christ to live Godly lives. The disciples were faced with a similar situation in receiving the Gentiles into the fold and so they decided the following. Act 15:19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: Act 15:20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. No one is excluded from walking righteously. It is to this concept of righteousness that we need to come to in our understanding. Otherwise, we will walk in a knowledge that, all is forgiven and therefore we can walk in anyway after we have come to the knowledge of Christ.
There are two kinds of righteousness that we should be aware of. We should receive and practice them with all due diligence.
- The imputed righteousness of God 1Co_1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
- The acts of righteousness of man before God Deu_6:25 And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us.
Mankind is saved through the imputed (freely given) righteousness of God through the righteousness of Christ and the process that follows. Once Christ died and rose again, justification and sanctification became our portion before God. This however does not save anyone in their continued walk with God. It is through faith in Christ by His grace that we are saved with the added condition of confession of our sins, repentance of the same and acceptance of the forgiveness of Jesus. This act of God through Jesus brings each one of us to faith in God through Jesus. The just or justified shall now live by faith not by sight. That means, faith takes over from an external act of God who creates righteousness in us (totally separate to us) through Jesus and brings us into the future with God based on faith. Something called righteousness has to take place before faith could be activated in us. Even the Old Testament people were only totally made righteous after Christ because old and new was culminated in Christ. Therefore, all who now come to God are required to access righteousness through faith. Rom 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,
We who are of the faith have to walk in faith and access the imputed (given) righteousness of God through the keeping of His word and commandments. These are now categorized as acts of righteousness that are required of us. Once we come under the covering of righteousness, we cannot be involved in unrighteousness. Rom_6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. Righteousness has clear shape and form in holiness. There is nothing ambiguous about righteousness. It is clearly stated and defined in what Jesus asks of us in His commandments and instructions.
Many who have come to God have not dealt with their sin life because of the passions of their flesh which still remain strong in them. Added to this, they pick up new pressures from the devil by ways of temptation that they had not known before. When the fish (people) are caught, they have to be cleaned and taught righteousness and holiness. Rom 6:20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. Rom 6:21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. Rom 6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Do not be fooled about grace and its extremities that many preachers preach. Grace is not sovereign in itself. It is dependent on faith and the power of faith to access righteousness. No man goes hunting with only a bow. They take both bow and arrow. Likewise without faith and grace, it is impossible to be saved. So, one must walk by faith in the imputed righteousness of God through Christ and not desecrate this holiness by acts of sin. This knowledge has to be taught and disciplined in a person’s life in order for them to live free of sin and its consequences.
The reason many will come away from the world in the days ahead is because they would have reached the full cup of sin in their lives. Even now, they have become desperate for righteousness which is looking for a way out from within them. They are looking for a solution to their death situation perpetrated through sin that they know is taking them deeper and deeper into the jaws of hell. Yet, many after coming to Christ and have become aware that the wages of sin is death, still indulge in it. They live dual lives thinking that they are getting away with it. Little do they know, God is intolerant of sin in any guise. Sin packaged up in grace and Christianity is still sin. Holiness and righteousness has nothing to do with sin. They have everything to do with purity and a right standing before God. Many Christians live on the idea of imputed righteousness and proudly proclaim the righteousness of Christ over themselves but invariably live unrighteous lives. These are the modern day Pharisees. They claim extreme grace which allows them to live a sinful life to its fullest while claiming the imputed righteousness of God not realising the limitations of imputed righteousness. What hope do we have when we live like this? Is it not hypocrisy?
Grace is extended to us to deal with our sin lives, so that, we are not overcome by sin. Rather, that we overcome sin based on what Christ has done for us. God gives us a period of time called grace to deal with sin. Many have gone years and years in their sin but God has given them grace to come back. Yet, a day will come when they will fail grace if they continue on without restraint. Heb 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Heb 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Heb 12:16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.
The goodness of God leads us to repentance. We should take advantage of the goodness of God and change the way we live our daily lives.
The true power of righteousness is its ability to bring us to blessings in God through acts of righteousness. On the other hand, unrighteousness brings us to the curses of God. That should not be the case for a born again believer. He should function in the newness of life with the blessings that come from that newness. The newness can also be corrupted if not managed properly.
The blessings of God are as follows:
Eternal life – Prosperity - Good health - Security-Soundness of mind - Long life & favour. All these are wrapped up as a package deal in salvation. One must not just unwrap one aspect of their package and try to live in that but must seek to benefit from it all. The blessings are so much more powerful than the curses. We must recognize this because our hearts do not always recognize the blessing. Righteousness is such a blessed concept because it takes us from a world without hope and future to a living relationship with the loving God who is the Creator and Father of us all. The truth is; He requires us to be in right relationship with us in order for Him to bless us. Imagine a parent unable to bless their child because of a wrong relationship. Whilst the parent continues to provide and maintain a relationship as much as possible, the whole affair becomes untenable till the relationship breaks. This is also what happens with God.
Since God created us and Fathered us, we must give Him all the due that is His existence. This means we have to walk in a right relationship with Him. Many Christians have not understood this and still behave like spoilt children who indulge in the things around them and the world in opposition to God’s ways and expect God to still bless them. Though He loves us, He will not bless us. Instead, He will bring a loving correction to our lives. If this is unheeded, things will get really bad and there remains a strong possibility of the severance of that relationship. When this happened because of sin, Jesus fixed it and so we enjoy a right relationship that gives a chance to walk in it. However, we abuse that opportunity, there is no more recourse.
Lots of love