Doing Right Is Our Righteousness

September 10, 2013

Friends,
Moses warned the Israelites to love, obey, and serve God whole-heartedly, and to prove their heart condition by keeping all of God’s Law. (See Dt. ch. 6) The chapter ends with his admonition, “And if we are careful to obey all this law before the LORD our God, as He has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.” We see then, that careful obedience to what God commands is what makes a person righteous before God.

“Oh, but we live in the New Covenant,” many people claim. What they are saying, and many brazenly admit this, is that because of Christ, a Christian can sin all he wants and still be righteous in God’s opinion, for God looks at Christ, not at the person rebelling against His moral law. But how wrong they are. And how shockingly horrible for them will be that Day when they stand before the Almighty Judge. A place with the wicked, the foolish, the hypocrites, the negligent, the lazy, the fearful, and the self-focused, will be their eternal abode. (Mt. chapters 23-25) Believing in Christ, being a servant in His Kingdom, and waiting for His return will show to be no guarantee. (25:1-13) For as goes unnoticed by most people, the parable of the ten virgins begins, “At that time the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten virgins…” (v. 1) Are we taking note that all ten virgins were in the Kingdom of Heaven?

People often like to quote Rom. 8:1, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Many quote this as they rely on the falsehood that being “in” Christ is synonymous with believing that He is the Savior of mankind (which even the demons believe and know), and that saying a past prayer of repentance keeps them secure “in” Christ. But again, they are wrong. For being “in” Christ comes only through continued obedience to Him. (John 14:15-24 // 1 John 2:3-6)

People should go on to read and study the whole passage of Rom. 8:1-17. Verse 2 finishes the sentence for verse 1, saying, “because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” So we are being taught that if we are in the Life (who is Jesus –John 14:6) / if we are born of the Spirit, then we are free from the law that keeps people in bondage to sin and the realm of spiritual death.

Rom. 8:3 goes on to teach us that though the Old Testament Law could not deliver us from our bondage to Sin / the sinful nature, Christ, by being the Payment for sin, broke Sin’s rule! Because of this, verse 4 goes on to teach, we are thereby freed up to uphold God’s righteous requirements, able to do so as we live controlled by His Spirit instead of by Sin. (v. 4,9,13,14)

God has always, and will always, retain the requirement that people obey Him in order to be saved from His wrath against sin, and He has provided Christ, the Way, and His Spirit, the Power, by which we do so. Being slaves to this obedience is what leads to righteousness, as Rom. 6:16 clearly states. 1 John 3:7 confirms this Truth, for it says, “He who does what is right is righteous, just as He [Christ] is righteous.” And as 2:29 says, “everyone who does what is right has been born of Him.”

So, if a person does not remain faithfully obedient to Christ’s teachings (John 8:31-36), then that citizen of God’s Kingdom will have “no permanent place in the family.” (v. 35) His position in the Kingdom will be only a temporary one –the reason due to the fact that he refuses to consistently obey God, but instead allows himself to remain a slave to sin. (v. 34)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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