Righteousness! Chapter Twenty
The great Apostle John said in 1 Jn. 3;1,
"Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knows us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that has this hope in him purifies himself, even as He is pure."
Have you ever stopped and mediated on this verse of scripture? First of all, he said that we should be called the sons of God! Notice, he did not say the children of God! There is a vast difference between being a child of God and being a son of God. In the natural, we know that children need to be taken care of and protected until they have become mature enough to take care of themselves. This requires a growing process as they learn to be responsible. The same is true in the spiritual realm.
Have you ever said or heard someone say, "Well, they certainly aren't acting like a Christian?" Or about someone who has been baptized, "I am not sure that they ever were a Christian?" Does that mean that one can stop being a Christian? Let me ask you a question! In the natural, can someone stop being a human being just because they want to without killing themselves? Of course not and neither can you stop being a child of God just because you decide to leave the Church.
In the natural, we don't throw out a baby just because they spill something or fail to go to the bathroom like an adult, however, we are so quick to denounce our brothers and sisters that do something we consider wrong. As in the natural, some kids seem to never grow up and become mature adults and the same is true in the spiritual.
In the past, because of hell's fire and damnation preaching, many people came to the Lord just because they didn't want to go to hell. They try to do what they are told is right just because they are serving the Lord our of fear and not because they want to do right.
When we accept Jesus as our savior and we come to Him out of gratitude for what He has done for us , we are told by Paul in Rom. 12:2,
“Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
We must learn to think and act like God and this is a process. We are not alone in this process because we have the Spirit of God to teach us. Paul said in Phil. 2:12-13,
“Wherefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, 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.”
The salvation Paul is talking about is the renewing of our way of thinking! We must learn to think like God! Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would teach us in John 14:25-26,
“ These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
Paul said in Col. 1:23,
“You must remain firmly established and steadfast in the faith, without being moved from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.”
And in verses 26-28,
“This secret was hidden throughout the ages and generations but has now been revealed to his saints, to whom God wanted to make known the glorious riches of this secret among the Gentiles—which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. It is he whom we proclaim as we admonish everyone and teach everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ.
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”
And David said in PS. 100:5,
“For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endures to all generations!”
There is a stance that you can take to ensure your rights as a child of God. You cannot let what people say about the stand that you take bother you. It is not enough to simply take a stance once and forget it. We must be convinced that the Word of God is true and no matter what, confess it. Your attitude and faith will determine your success in the area of your mind. Inferiority, condemnation and guilt come from within. Your righteousness is going to be settled or lost in the battleground of your mind. This is why we are told to renew our minds.
Paul said in Heb. 10:22, (AMP)
“Let us all come forward and draw near with true (honest and sincere) Hearts in unqualified assurance and absolute conviction engendered by faith (by that leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom and goodness) Having our hearts sprinkled and purified from a guilty (evil) conscience and our bodies cleansed with pure water!”
How strong is your faith in God? Do you believe what Paul said about the fact that God is working in you to both will and do His good pleasure? If God is working in me to will and do His good pleasure then He must be inspiring me and causing me to think according to His will. David said in Psalm 37:4,
"Delight yourself also in the LORD; and he shall give you the desires of your heart.”
The carnal mind will say of this scripture, “Well, if I delight myself in the Lord, then I can have whatever I desire!” But what this verse is saying is that if I will delight myself in the things of the Lord then He will give my heart the desires that He wants me to have! This goes right along with what Paul was saying. He works within us, our spirit, to give us the desires that we should have to do His good pleasure. Because of what we have been taught about who we really are it is hard for our minds to understand that the real us is spirit! We don't have a spirit, we are a spirit and as such, we will never die! Our body of flesh that we now live in this world with, will one day die, but we will continue to live!
"Brethren, what I am saying to you is that we are not in this life, that Jesus came to give us, alone! Jesus said in John 14:18-20, (NIV)
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.”
When you are born again there is a desire within you to learn about this new life that you have been given and if you continue to pursue that desire you will grow in the Lord and mature in Him and learn of His thoughts and His way of living. However, if you stifle that desire, you will remain a child in the Lord!
Don't ever allow yourself to become complacent in your learning about the deeper things of the Lord. Many do this and become set in their ways and don't want to know of the deeper things of the Lord because they know that they will have to change. So many people are like a coil in electricity or electronics. A coil will resist any change. Add more voltage to it and it resist changing and add less voltage to it and it will resist changing. It is just satisfied in remaining where it is.