In Christ, Chapter Six
The Apostle Paul said in Phil. 3:7-11,
"But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead."
What does it mean to be righteous? Are you righteous and if so, how did you become righteous? What, then, does the word 'righteous' mean? It comes from a Greek word, G1342 δίκαιος, dikaios, dik'-ah-yos and it means to be equitable (in character or act, fair; reasonable); by implication innocent, holy (absolutely or relatively):—just, meet, right (-eous). As used here, to have a right standing with God, our Father. To be righteous in His sight.
Paul said that he did not want a righteousness that came from obeying some law or by something that he was able to accomplish but a righteousness that comes from God and is received through faith in what Jesus did. Then, how do we get this faith from God? Paul said in Rom. Rom. 10:8-11,
"The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed."
Whoever believes on Jesus shall be saved! We are righteous because Jesus is righteous and is the head of the spiritual body of Christ into which we have been baptized! John said in 1 Jn. 3:5-6,
"And you know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abides in him sins not: whosoever sins has not seen him, neither known him."
There is only righteousness in the body of Christ but we have not been taught that!!!
Remember Abraham? Paul said in Rom. 4:18-25,
"(Abraham) Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, either yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification."
Because Abraham believed in what God promised him, his faith was counted or imputed to him and made him righteous in God's sight. Thus, he became the Father of all those who walk by Faith in what God has said. Those who believe the Word of God and lean not unto there own understanding. All God is really asking us to do is to believe Him! Time and time again Jesus and the Apostles said over and over again, "To him that believes!" The righteous shall live by faith!
Last summer I wrote a 7 Part series on Imputation. If you didn't receive it, just email me and I will send it to you. It is a very powerful series and will open your eyes to what the Lord has done for us.
Religion has taught us to focus upon our works and deeds and to place our faith on what we have been able to accomplish but that just leads us to self-righteousness. As a result, we are never sure that we are righteous in the Lord's sight because we so often fail to live up to His standards and as a result, we are constantly sin conscious. We constantly ask the Lord to forgive us of our sins and our unforgiven sins. The reason for this is because we are sin conscious and as a result are guilty.
As long as you base your right relationship with God upon how well you have been able to keep God's Word, you are going to have this guilt consciousness. However, when you learn that your right relationship with God depends only upon what Jesus did and His righteousness, then, when you realize that you were baptized into Christ and into His righteousness, you will be set free to serve Him with a clear conscious. When you realize that it is only by His righteousness that we can boldly enter the presence of our Father without fear of looking upon His face and make our request known of Him. We can enter His presence knowing that we are righteous because of Jesus and have the right to approach Him.
Paul said in Col. 1:17-22,
"He (Jesus) is before all things, and by Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now has He reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight:"
Let me give you a personal example of what Jesus means to me. Paul said in Rom. 8:28-30,
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."
This verse of scripture says to me that Jesus is my big brother. He was the firstborn in my spiritual family and thus He receive the double portion of having been born first. I can relate this to my family because I was the last of five children that my parents had. My sister was the oldest and Kelsie was the firstborn boy in my family. All through my life, he was a big brother to me. My other brothers were also good to me as was my sister. But Kelsie was my big brother. When I was a little boy I slept with him and when I was a senior in high school, I wanted to buy a car from a friend of mine and Kelsie borrowed the money for me to get that car. Shortly after I bought it, it something happened to the motor and Kelsie help me fix it.
Later, after I graduated from college and was living in Kansas City, Mo., I wanted to buy a house and Kelsie borrowed the down payment for me and I was able to buy it. Then he and his family came out to KC the next summer to help me build in the basement. When I moved back to Parkersburg, WV, my Dad and Kelsie and another guy and I would go to Canada fishing and I would always pair up with my big brother and we would fish together.
Not only did he look after me but after my daughter was born and my wife had to be in the hospital for awhile, he and his family took care of my daughter for us. When my son, Scott, was a teenager, Kelsie painted several cars for him and before he died, gave Scott my grandfather's double barrel shot gun.
You may not have been so blessed to have lived in a loving family like I was but let me say to you loud and clear! You are in the family of God and this is how we act. So, don't you ever feel sorry for yourself because you have not had a loving family! You are now in the family of God and have a loving family because we are here for you! There is no greater family on earth! Let me encourage you to get to know your big brother because He loved you so much He died for you!
Jesus is our big brother and because He loved us, He gave His life for us to redeem us from the curse of sin that Adam caused to come upon us in the beginning. We now live free from the control of sin in our lives and are justified in the eyes of our Father because we believe in our big brother, Jesus! We are the righteousness of God because of our big brother who sits at the right hand of our Father forever making intercession for us. We are seated there with Him also!!! Paul said in Eph. 2:4-7,
"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened (made alive) us together with Christ, (by grace you are saved;) And has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. "
There were times when I was a teenager that my big brother, Kelsie, interceded with my dad and got me out of trouble. Even so, Jesus is there beside of our heavenly Father for us! When we fail in someway, I can hear Him say, "Dad! I'll take care of this!"
You probably have heard the old song that says, "Prayer is the key to heaven, but faith unlocks the door!" Well, here is what a knowledge of righteousness will do for you! It will give you the assurance that you can walk into the presence of our Father with no fear and talk to Him as your Father knowing that if you ask anything in accordance with His will, He always will listen to you and give you what you ask for. John said in 1 John 5:14-15,
"And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he hears us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him."
You never have to be afraid to come before our Father if you understand that He has imputed or granted to you a right standing before Himself because He loves you. Jesus said in John 3:16-17,
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."
Paul said in Rom. 8:48-49,
"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Paul also prayed in Eph. 1:17-25,
" That the God of our
Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom
and revelation in the knowledge of him:
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
Our big brother has whipped all of our enemies and for now has all the power and authority in both heaven and earth and there is nothing that is impossible for Him and our Father has given to Him the authority to be the head of the spiritual body of Christ which we are members of and because of this there is nothing impossible for us. Jesus said in Mark 9:23,
"If you can believe, all things are possible to him that believes."
My prayer for you this day is that you will be able to understand what God has done to demonstrate His love for us and to reconcile us back into His presence and for you to see that Jesus is our big brother and He has put down all our enemies and now we have nothing to fear!