Have you been striving? Trying to live a good Christian life? Being a good Christian or being ‘good’ doesn’t mean striving…It doesn’t mean that you carry a burden of living righteously…wondering how come?
Let’s first set the framework for this. If you believe in the son of God, Jesus, *the only name under heaven by which man will be saved), you become a child of God**.
*(Acts 4:12..read 11 too or the whole book of Acts for that matter
**(1 John 5:1- Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.)
Jesus will then impute*** (take a dictionary break if necessary) his righteousness to you. It isn’t your righteousness, but his…
(***imputes – Romans 4:3-5 NKJV – “For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness..”)
So this is the most important part of understanding why righteousness in Christ is not about how ‘good’ you can be. Once you believe in Christ, he counts you righteous because of faith.
Ok, so what’s next? The Spirit now living in you will guide you into righteousness.
How? By your obedience to Him..obey each step of the way, repent by turning away from every wrong way that you are convicted of…leave behind thinking patterns that the Spirit will continue to show you the evil of. Do not put trust in your way of doing things in this area but trust the God upon whose salvation you have staked your life upon (i.e. by believing in Jesus).
The role of the Holy Spirit is to teach you, mentor you to ‘walk out’ or ‘exhibit’ this righteousness that you have literally, inherited by believing in Jesus Christ. Listen to Him and he will reward you with peace..(since ”…the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit’. – Romans 14:7)
So, about this righteousness…(my notes are in blue and italicised..the rest are scriptures verse by verse from Romans 10:1-13)
..and this will break it all down even if you haven’t yet believed in Jesus Christ, son of God.
Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.
So, although this verse is about the Israelites, whose religion (given by God through Moses) was Judaism, this is an example for anyone because it speaks about how you can have religion and still not be saved.
For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.
Take care not to be very enthusiastic about God (here still referring to God, father of Jesus Christ) and still not understand in a transforming way the awesome life and power inherent in the life of Christ. Be very careful of religious zeal, that lacks growth, power..and as Romans 14:7 puts it ‘righteousness, peace and joy..’
For they, being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.
You could be toting bigger bibles than lifetime theologians and still not understand the essence of Christianity…have you submitted to the righteousness of God or created your own, with your own set of rules and precepts, that, surprise surprise, only apply to you.
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
Christ is the end, the goal, the finish line, the full stop, the touchdown of the ‘law’ (which includes the Ten Commandments). How do you get this righteousness? Simply, it is for everyone who believes.
For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, “The man who does those things shall live by them.”
But, of course if you choose to go on living by the law of your making or even the Mosaic law, then go ahead and live by that, but know this****…
But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down from above )
****Know that, this righteousness is not up in heaven…
or, “ ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).
****..nor is it down in hell..
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach):
****It’s right here, right now, available and free..what do you need to do?
that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
..you just need to confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is Lord and that God has raised him from the dead.. Why? Hey, that’s God’s system, not mine..ask Him..
But listen, the two must be equal..don’t say it with your mouth but in your heart of hearts you don’t mean it..and if you believe it in your heart, but have not gotten the confidence to exhibit it in your life..know that God has not ‘given you a spirit of fear..’
For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Look at the beauty of this thing though!!! Righteousness is through the heart and confession. You don’t need to find the neighbourhood shaman or priest or pastor. I’m a good example, I received the free gift of Christ with nobody around in an empty Catholic church…Ok, I lie, there was another young man up in front of the church.. It has nothing to do with place, person, thing or animal and everything to do with your heart condition.
For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”
And doh ‘fraid…if ya love him…live it..he will not shame you..ya might get laugh at yes, but the abundant life in Christ have much bigger things, much deeper rewards than a l’il picong.
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.
And check it, shhh, everyone..hear that EVERYONE can call on Jesus…
For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
..and yes, you will be saved..
1 John 3…is a good chapter to read right now…yes, right now..
[picture credit: blogher.com ]