Monday, November 19, 2018

Stop Trying to Be Righteous: You Have Been Made the Righteousess of God in Christ

"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." (2 Corinthians 5:21)

I have been meditating so much on Isaiah 54:14:

"In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee." (Isaiah 54:14)

It's not enough to know about righteousness.

It's not enough to know that we have received righteousness.

It's not enough to know that we are made righteousness.

We need to be ESTABLISHED in it.

No matter what happens in our lives, no matter how much we fail, no matter how many times we fall, no matter how bad the circumstances may become in our lives, no matter how many failures and bad circumstances occur in the world around us, or even in our own homes.

We need to recognize that we are righteousness, and not righteous based on our own efforts.

Isaiah dispenses with that narrow-minded arrogance summarily:

"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." (Isaiah 64:6)

Notice that the word "righteousness" is in the plural form, indicating not just man's works, but the plural of majesty. The most superlative of man's righteousness is nothing but filthy, soiled rags to God.

We have God's righteousness (Isaiah 54:17):

And yet it's even more than having something.

We are defined by God's righteousness, and we are reborn, redefined as the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus!

We are not just as righteous as Christ Jesus, who sits at the right hand of God the Father, but we have been made "The Righteousness of God" because we are now in Christ Jesus.

For this reason, among many others, John would write in his First Epistle:

"Herein is our love made perfect (lit. love perfected among us), that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4:17)

Now, here's the new learning point, the new departure point for faith.

We don't claim "I am the righteousness of God in Christ" to make it a reality. We claim this out loud to affirm what we have been made in Christ Jesus. This confession is not "name it and claim it", but rather "Name it, because it is so." Paul writes to the Romans:

"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." (Romans 12:2)

It's about renewing our minds to the truth of who we are in Christ, regardless of what people say or do to us.

So stop trying to make yourself righteous, whether by works or confession. Rest in the truth of your new identity in Christ, and let His righteousness take hold of you at every level of your being.

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