Righteousness! Chapter Eighteen



In the last chapter I talked with you about hearing God's voice. Jesus said in John 10:27,


"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:"


Most Christians will tell you that God never has said anything to them and will tell you that God no longer talks to people because we have the Bible to teach us what God says about things. Religion has taught us so many things that are the exact opposite of what Jesus taught us in the four gospels. The above scripture is one of the things that religion has taught that no longer happens. If this is true Jesus and Paul are false prophets! Paul said in Phil. 2:12-13,


"Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."


Religion has told us that this passage of scripture tells us that we must work out our own salvation from sin with fear and trembling because if we fail in some point we will be eternally lost and end up in Hell! If religion is correct in this matter then Paul didn't know what he was talking about in his letter to the Roman Church when he said in Rom. 8:13-16, (NIV),


"For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 
because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father!"The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co–heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory."


Paul here says that when we were born again we did not receive a spirit that makes us a slave again to fear! He said just the opposite, that we received a Spirit that bears witness with our spirit that we are God's children and because of this we call God, "Our Father!"


Let me ask you a very important question, "Do you know beyond question that you are a child of God?" If you were dying today would you know beyond a doubt that you are going to be with God? Or would there be some doubt because you would remember something bad that you had done in your life?


I can remember when I was a teenager being in a class at Church and the teacher, who was a deacon in the Church, made the statement that he hoped when he died he would have lived a life good enough that God would grant him a home in heaven. I asked him the following question, "Did not John say in John 20:30-31,


"And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:    But these are written, that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through his name."


Religion teaches us that our eternal salvation is dependent upon our being able to live a life that is perfect before God in order to have a home in heaven. This is nothing more than self-righteousness! Our eternal salvation does not depend upon our being able to live a perfect life before God!!!! We are never told in the Bible that we must depend upon our righteousness in order to be saved. Jesus told us in the sermon on the mount in Matt. 6:33,


"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." 


This is what the Gospel is all about!  We don't have to depend upon our ability to live what we would call a perfect life in order to be saved. Our salvation is a done deal. It occurred when we accepted Jesus into our life and confessed Him to be Lord! Rom. 10:9-11 Today, we are righteous because Jesus is righteous and we have been baptized into Him. He is the Head of this body of Christ that we have been baptized into. Rom. 6 and Gal. 3:26-27


Lets go back to what Paul said in Phil. 2:12-13,


"Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."


We are not in this Christian life struggling to keep all the commands of Jesus by ourselves. Paul says that God works in us to both will, or have the desire, to do what pleases Him! How does He do this? To understand how God does this you have to understand that the real you is a spirit. God is spirit and our spirits have been united with His Spirit. Paul said in 1 Cor. 6:17,


"But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit."


When we are joined to the Lord we are as one spirit. The life we now live is under the direction of His Spirit that will bear witness with our spirits that we are God's children and just as in the natural we expect our children to grow up and be an adult in their thinking, so also our Father works within us to bring us to maturity so that we will become mature sons that He can be proud of. Paul said in Rom. 8:18-2, (NIV)


"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.


The whole creation is eagerly waiting in expectation for the Sons of God to be revealed. The world as we observed it today is fast becoming out of control and our rulers are blinded by greed and drunk with power and our society is drunk with entitlements. It looks as if this may be the end time that was prophesied by the Lord and everything seems to be setting up for the Sons of God to be revealed and the awesome power of God to be manifested through the Sons of God. It will be very pleasing to God to reveal Himself through His Beloved Church. Paul said that what we have had to endure will not compare with the glory that will be revealed in and through the Sons of God!


Religion has blinded so much of the Church to the plan and purpose of the Lord that we will be astounded as the plan of God for these latter days unfolds and we see so many doctrines of man and demons crumble and fall to the wayside. What a shock it will be for many to find out that God is not going to destroy mankind but just the opposite. He is going to destroy the darkness and the ignorance of mankind and every knee will bow and confess that Jesus is lord. John 3:16 will be understood in a very different light than what religion has taught us!


Jesus made a very profound statement as He was teaching about the parable of the sower. He said in Mark 4:9, (NIV)


"He who has ears to hear, let him hear."    


And in Mark 4:10-12, (NIV)



"The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!


Also in Mark 4:24-25, (NIV)


"Consider carefully what you hear," he continued. "With the measure you use (to hear), it will be measured to you—and even more. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him."


Tie this in with what He said in Jn. 10:27,


"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:"


You may say to me, "David, I have never heard the Lord speak to me! How do I learn to hear His voice?"  First, you must learn to walk by faith! If you ever become convinced that God will speak to you, then you must anticipate that God will speak to you! The rock solid fact of receiving anything from God is that you must receive it by faith. Why is this so? Because God so ordained that the righteous shall live by faith. Paul said in Rom. 1:16-17,


"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.    For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith." 


The first step in recognizing the voice of God is to anticipate Him speaking to you by faith! Expect Him to speak to you but stop listening for a voice to speak to you. In the Old Testament He would usually talk to His prophets that way but you must remember that the Holy Spirit had not been given to them to dwell within them. It wasn't until the day of Pentecost, in the book of Acts, that the Holy Spirit was given to the Church. Jesus said in John 7:37,


"In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified." 


Paul said in 1 Cor. 2:4-14,


"My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.

We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 


However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived  what God has prepared for those who love him” but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him?


In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. 

The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned."


And verse 16,


"For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.


Religion has failed to teach us about how to discern the voice of the Lord because religion has been mans way of thinking and not the Lords! In religion man has tried to understand the Word of God, which is spiritual, with the carnal mind. Paul said in 1 Cor. 2:14 that the man without the Spirit cannot accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, because they are foolishness to him because he cannot understand them.


God can speak to you audibly if He chooses to, however, He will speak to you without saying a word. This is why we must learn to discern the voice of the Lord. I don't remember the Lord ever speaking to me audibly. He doesn't need to talk to me that way.


Back in 1973 when I received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, the Bible came alive to me! I begin to see and understand what scriptures were saying that I had studied for years! 


I will dare to say to you that you have been studying the Bible and suddenly a verse of scripture that you have read many times comes alive and you see something that you have never seen before. You now have a deeper understand what the Word was saying. When this happens, have you ever said to the Lord, "Thank you Lord?"


The Holy Spirit is our teacher and He has been given to us so that we can know our Father and know His will for us! Jesus said in John 14:16-17, (NIV)


"I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 


And in John 14:26, (NIV)


"But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."


Learn to talk to the Lord in every thing you do during your waking moments. Learn to share your life with the Lord. By this I mean that you can laugh and talk to Him just like you would talk with me. Paul said in 1 Thess. 5:16-18,


"Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.


Those of you who are teachers, preachers, or are talking with others about the Lord have experienced words coming out of your mouth that you had never thought of before. Recognize that this is the Lord using you to speak to others.


Learn to recognize the Lord's voice within you and when you do, thank Him for His great love for you!