Reigning (Holy & Victorious) Through The Gift Of Righteousness

March 12, 2013

Friends,
Through God’s grace we have been given “the gift of righteousness” (Rom. 5:17) by which we “reign in life through the one [perfect] man, Jesus Christ.” (same verse) This we do by being “baptized into His death” (6:3) –which makes sin powerless over us (v. 6), because through the atonement, Christ nullified its power (v. 10 & 8:3 // Col. 2:10-15)– and so by being “united with Him in His resurrection” (Rom. 6:5), we live the new born-of-the-Spirit life. (v.4 & 8:11) By being “set free from sin” (6:18) we have been freed up to obey God wholeheartedly (v. 16,17), completely able and eager to meet the righteous requirements of God’s moral law (8:4) through the power of the Spirit now in us. (v. 2,4 // Gal. 5:16 // 2 Peter 1:3,4)

I realize that’s a mouthful I just gave, but it is the basics of the Truth (put into a nutshell) which are not being widely understood. The gift of righteousness is not only justification for all who believe (Rom. 5:18,19), but the Gift is the Spirit Himself (Acts 1:4-8 & 2:33,38) through whom we receive the other gifts –including those of power, righteousness, holiness, and eternal life. Through faith in Christ, we turn from sin to Him, and receive the “living water” (John 4:10), which, when a person drinks, “becomes in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (v. 14) This stream of living water is the Spirit. (7:38,39) But He must be allowed to well up within us for our eternal life –which happens only as we obey the Truth found in God’s Word. (14:23 // Acts 5:32)

Therefore, for those who claim to believe the Truth and who even receive it with joy (Luke 8:13), yet, for various reasons, do not continue to obey it (v. 13,14), the Spirit is suppressed. He cannot flow out from them, nor can He flow in, for disobedience has plugged up the flow. The water within, no longer a spring or stream, dwindles, and so Life, having been stifled, leaves the person wilting and fruitless. Such a person, if he does not repent, will be eventually cut off and tossed to the fire. (John 15:2-6)

The way to know if a man is inheriting eternal life is if he has the Spirit flowing out from him. The way to see that is to see his obedience to God’s commands. (1 John 3:24) Yes, it should be obvious, for let’s remember, the streams are flowing out –out to the world. (Acts 1:8 w/ Matt. 28:18-20) It should be clear as day, for that’s what “letting your light shine” is about. (See Matt. 5:14-16) That’s what, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel or Christ’s words” is about. (See Mark 8:38 // Rom. 1:16)

The gift of righteousness is given to us so that we will do right, so that we will act righteously, and so that we will have all the power necessary by which to do so. Since only he who does what is right is righteous (1 John 3:7), then only he who does what is right is in and under God’s grace. There is no “declared righteousness” for anyone who is not behaving righteously.

If the church would make this clear, then those who claim to believe Christ’s words would turn and do right, and so reign victorious through Christ’s life like they should.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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