Category Archives: Righteousness

about jesus 1

The Spirit is confirming our identity in Christ

Listen to good news: https://soundcloud.com/gracelovetruth/jesus-our-identity
There is a move of the Spirit that is re-establishing us in our identity in Christ; we have grace, favor, blessing, abundance, life etc. because we are children of Abba Father. We are not sinners, but saints. We are nor servants but sons who’s nature is righteousness not sin. Hear the good news of what Jesus has done for us and who we are as part of him.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
download

BELIEF AND GRACE GO TOGETHER

THOSE WHO ARE SAVED BELIEVE THE GOOD NEWS OF GOD’S GRACE

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

Eph 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God

BELIEF IS OUR RESPONSE TO THE GOSPEL OF GRACE

Believe: (Greek pisteuo) The word believe is found 140 times in the New Testament.  Thayer Definition: 1) to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in 1a) of the thing believed 1a1) to credit, have confidence 1b) in a moral or religious reference 1b1) used in the NT of the conviction and trust to which a man is impelled by a certain inner and higher prerogative and law of soul 1b2) to trust in Jesus or God as able to aid either in obtaining or in doing something: saving faith

Rom 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile…. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed–a righteousness that is by faith

Belief is our response to God’s sovereign initiative of love and grace. Belief is evidence that the good news (gospel) has been received, accepted as true and effective in bringing about repentance and transformation.

 

BELIEF (FAITH AND TRUST IN GOD) IS THE PERSONAL CATALYST OF SALVATION

Act 16:30  He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Act 16:31  They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved–you and your household.”

Rom 10:9  If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Luk 8:12  Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.

Joh 8:24  I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.”

Heb 11:6  And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Belief, and confession of what we believe, are products and part of the evidence of God’s loving and graceful outreach to us. Belief and confession are a product of the good news of salvation (It is God’s grace alone that is the root of salvation). In a sense  the grace that was released through Jesus’ finished work on the cross is the foundation stone on which belief, repentance and the wholeness and eternal life of salvation (Greek:sozo) rests. It is Jesus’ grace that is the carrier of salvation and it is the response of personal belief that activates personal salvation for each individual. We are saved by grace through faith (trust and belief in God) and not by our own effort or works (Eph.2:8-9).

 

JESUS DIED TO SAVE US (Greek: sozo) 

Joh 3:16  For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. Joh 3:17  For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.

Jesus died to save us from  the wages of sin; a cursed life, destruction and eternal death. Having said that, there are actually two aspects of what it means to be saved (Greek: sozo);

1) the present “now” component which brings us spiritual life (Greek: zoe), wholeness, well being, healing, forgiveness and  deliverance from evil. etc.

2) the “future” component of being saved from eternal separation from God (eternal death / hell) and the receiving of eternal life with God.

Rom 6:22  But now since you have been set free from sin and have become the slaves of God, you have your present reward in holiness and its end is eternal life. Rom 6:23  For the wages which sin pays is death, but the [bountiful] free gift of God is eternal life through (in union with) Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

 THOSE WHO DON’T BELIEVE ARE CONDEMNED AND LOST

The scriptures are clear; no belief, no salvation. Those who do not believe do not belong to Jesus Christ.

Joh 10:26  but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. Joh 10:27  My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. Joh 10:28  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.

Joh 3:36  Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.

Joh 3:18  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

Mar 16:16  Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

2Th 2:12  and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

Jud 1:5  Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord at one time delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe.

A loving and sovereign God takes the initiative of reaching out to people in love and grace. No one can come to know God unless the Spirit of God initiates. Those who reject the message of God’s grace and choose to continue in unrepentant in sin, unrighteousness and unbelief are sadly destined for eternal condemnation. They have rejected the gospel of Jesus Christ which is God’s cure for eternal death, they have chosen not to be rescued by God.

 

ETERNAL LIFE IS BELIEVING JESUS

Joh 20:31  But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Joh 11:25  Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; Joh 11:26  and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

Act 13:48  When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.

Joh 5:24  “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.

Joh 6:40  For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

Joh 6:47  Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life.

1Ti 1:16  But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.

1Jn 5:13  I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

Again it can be seen from the above scriptures that the evidence that someone has eternal life is that they believe in Jesus Christ. Salvation is not just about being whole and blessed in this lifetime. The greatest gift of salvation is eternal life.

 

JESUS HAD ISSUE WITH THE SIN OF UNBELIEF.

Joh 16:8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: Joh 16:9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; Joh 16:10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; Joh 16:11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

Joh 6:29  Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

Rom 10:11  As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”

Joh 6:36  But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe.

Joh 8:45  Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!

Act 13:40  Take care that what the prophets have said does not happen to you Act 13:41  “‘Look, you scoffers, wonder and perish, for I am going to do something in your days that you would never believe, even if someone told you.’

In terms of John 16:8 the sin that the Holy Spirit convicts humankind of is the sin of unbelief. The original sin of the fall was rooted in unbelief in God’s goodness and goodwill.  The sin of unbelief is the root sin of all moral sin. The sin of unbelief is the sin that condemns people to eternal death. Many place a great emphasis on moral sin. Bad as it is moral sin is not the central sin issue. The central issue and root of all sin is the sin of unbelief; unbelief in a good, kind and loving God who is “Abba” Father to His children.

 

THOSE WHO BELIEVE ARE FORGIVEN

Act 10:43  All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Act 13:39  Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses.

Act 13:39  Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses.

There is a direct link between belief and the forgiveness of sins.

 

RIGTHEOUNESS IS FOR THOSE WHO BELIEVE

Rom 3:22  This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.

Rom 4:11  Abraham received circumcision as a sign, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them.

Rom 4:3  What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

Rom 4:24  but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness–for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.

Rom 10:4  Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

Righteousness; our right standing with God, cannot be obtained through our works or self effort. Right standing with God comes about though belief in the gospel in which the righteousness of God is revealed (Ro.1:17). God’s righteousness is by His grace and is received by faith and belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

 

THERE THOSE WHO ARE SAVED, AND, UNBELIEVERS WHO ARE PERISHING

2Co 4:3  And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 2Co 4:4  The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

2Co 6:14  Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 2Co 6:15  What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?

Rev 21:8  But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars–they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

New Testament scriptures clearly distinguishes between “believers” who are saved and who have received eternal life, and “unbelievers” who are lost and condemned to eternal death. The call on every believer is to reach out to unbelievers with the good news of God’s love, grace and the wonderful gift of salvation.

 

THERE ARE CHILDREN OF EVIL

Joh 10:26  you do not believe because you are not my sheep.

Mat 23:15  Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you travel over sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes one [a proselyte], you make him doubly as much a child of hell (Gehenna) as you are.

Mat 23:33  You serpents! You spawn (offspring) of vipers! How can you escape the penalty to be suffered in hell (Gehenna)?

Joh 8:44  You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires.

Mat 13:38  The field is the world, and the good seed means the children of the kingdom; the darnel is the children of the evil one,

Act 13:10  And said, You master in every form of deception and recklessness, unscrupulousness, and wickedness, you son of the devil

All of humankind are created in God’s likeness (Gen.1:26) but not all are “children of God” (Joh.1:12). All people have prophetic potential through Jesus Christ to become children of God, as God’s desire is to adopt all those who respond to His grace into His eternal family (Rom 8:9 &15). A defining characteristic of the “children of God” is that they believe and trust in God. Those who do not believe are not God’s children and yet with repentance (a change of mind and heart). In a sense God is out to plunder the “family” (followers) of the evil one and his kingdom of darkness and adopt them into His family.

1Ti 2:3  For such is good and right, and pleasing and acceptable to God our Savior, 1Ti 2:4  Who wishes all men to be saved and to perceive and recognize and discern and know precisely and correctly the Truth.

GRACE AND BELIEF GO TOGETHER

Act 18:27  When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers and sisters encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. When he arrived, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed.

 

THE HOLY SPIRIT AND POWER COMES ONLY TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE

Eph 1:13  And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,

Joh 7:38  Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”

Joh 7:39  By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Joh 11:25  Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.

Eph 1:19  his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength

Those who believe in the good news of the gospel of grace are sealed with the Holy Spirit who comes to live within them. The Holy Spirit can touch unbelievers but He only indwells those who believe and are “born again” (regenerated) by the Spirit of God (1Pet.1:23). It is through the indwelling presence of the Spirit that believers receive the power for ministry to reach out in love to the lost.

 

OUR MISSION IS TO PREACH TO GET PEOPLE TO BELIEVE AND RECEIVE LIFE NOW AND ETERNALLY

Rom 10:10  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved….Rom 10:14  How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?

1Co 1:21  For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.

Act 18:8  Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard Paul believed and were baptized.

People cannot be saved unless they hear the good news and believe. We are all called to mission. We who are saved, are saved only by grace and it is a grace that needs to be shared. When we see someone lost and in sin our attitude needs to be one of love and compassion and  “there but for the grace of God goes me!”  Our mission is to preach the good news of “Abba Fathers” love and grace and call all people to be saved and “born again”. Any doctrine that opposes this call plays into the hands of the evil one who would keep humankind in blindness (2Co.4:4) and darkness.

Eph 5:8  For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Joy

JESUS & THE ANOINTING OF JOY

JESUS CAME TO ANOINT WITH JOY

Heb 1:9  You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.”

Isa 61:2  to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3  and provide for those who grieve in Zion– to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.

(Joh 15:11) Jesus said I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12  My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

(Joh 17:13)  “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.

Today, the time of God’s favour (2Co.6:2), jubilee, is the time of grace

Unmerited favour & empowerment. Grace & blessing came in Jesus (Jn.1:16-17)

I believe Jesus was the most joyful person who ever lived….full of the Spirits joy (Lk.10:21)

Jesus had fun: e.g. Wedding feast. A boat load of fish. Multiplying food. Walking on water. Reading people thoughts etc.

 

JESUS GREAT EXCHANGE OF THE NEW COVENANT

(Jer.31:13)  Then young women will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow…. (v33) the New Covenant

Joh 16:20  Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn (have sorrow (KJV)) while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.

Part of the great exchange of the cross. He became a man of sorrow so we can have joy.

Sorrow was part of the fall – women give birth in sorrow.

 

PERSONAL JOY IS A GREAT BLESSING

Neh 8:10  Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

The anointing is one of joy. Joy is a great blessing. Being joyful is a strength. A manifestation of presence.

We have a lot to be joyful about: forgiven, immortal, union, blessed….. all the promises.

 

HOLY SPIRIT PRODUCES JESUS JOY AS A CHARACTER

Act 13:52  And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

(Gal.5:18) Led by the Spirit…..  (v22) the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace…….

1Th 1:6  You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.

1Pe 1:8  Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.

It’s all about presence, God in us, God upon us, hidden in Christ, abiding in Him, alive in Christ (Gal.2:20)….

There is an emotion of joy, but also a fruit – joy becomes part of the Christian character, and it’s wonderful and attractive!

The Spirit in us produces a joyful character within, the Spirit on us imparts joy without.

 

THE COURT FOOL

(1CO.4:9) We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to men. 10 We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored!

(1CO.1:26) Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

One day the Lord asked me “Garry will you be a fool for Christ? Because people will mock & laugh at your childlikeness, your laughter, your simplicity- especially fellow (wise) Christians“.

It’s interesting that in the old days the king would have a Court Fool (a Jester) who was there to bring joy to the king and comfort him when things were getting the king down. The interesting thing is that because the Court Fool was normally looked down upon and scorned  by the court nobles, he was the “kings man” because he did not side with one faction or another (as he was not considered insignificant by those who plotted intrigue and formed factions) and because he was devoted to the king. Because of this the “Fool” was trusted by the king and knew the kings inner most secrets and struggles. He was often sent as a neutral ambassador for the king when messages needed to be passed discretely to visiting people of power or to help defuse a dangerous situation. A Fool was one that had overcome his pride and self consciousness, one who was prepared to do anything to bring the king joy. He laid down his own agenda and ambitions to serve the king at all times, he dwelt in the house of the king and was on call all hours. The Fool was looked down upon, mocked and scorned by the “wise” for his simple childlike devotion to the king, some may have even considered him mad or simple. But the Fool who laid down his pride, enjoy a relationship of intimacy with the king that few others ever knew.

 

THE LINK BETWEEN JESUS, GRACE, RIGTEOUSNESS AND JOY

Rom 5:21  so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness

1Co 1:30  It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

Rom 1:17  For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed–a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

Isa 61:3 We are Oaks of righteousness

Knowing we are right with God through Jesus is the foundation of joy – it’s all a gift of grace

 

JESUS’ KINGDOM, RIGHTEOUSNESS & JOY

Mat 6:33  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Rom 14:17  For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,  18  because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God.

The missing link: Spirit righteousness that produces joy and carefree attitude.

Kingdom living is joyful living.

The kingdom came by the Spirit and people thought they were drunk (Acts 2:15)

Be filled with the Spirit and sing heart songs (Eph5: 10) ….. sounds like a spiritual drunkeness –  not wine drunkeness

Psa 23:5  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Joy is spiritual warfare – we laugh at the enemies schemes

 

LAUGHTER AND JOY IN THE CHURCH

Psa 126:2  (Zion) Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” 3  The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.

Luk 6:21  Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.

Laughter is the most common and natural expression of joy

It’s real medicine – we all need to smile and laugh a lot – it has physiological and phycological affect

Laughing people are healthier people, attractive people.

Abraham our spiritual father was righteous by faith…. he knew the gospel from the king of righteousness.

His son, his only son, his son of the promise; Isaac = He who laughs

 

LAUGHTER & MANIFESTAIONS

There are many examples of physical signs or manifestations throughout the bible. In fact the bible teaches that we can expect signs to accompany the preaching of the Gospel and the presence of God among us. Sometimes these signs may appear strange to people watching.

(Gen.15:12) Abraham fell into a deep sleep…. and the Lord spoke to him

(Ezek.3:23) God’s glory came and Ezekiel fell down… and the Lord spoke to him.

(1Sam19:24) King Saul lays down and prophesies non-stop for 24 hours.

(Daniel 10: 8-17) In the presence of a visitation Daniel lost his strength, fell down, trembled all over, experienced fear, was unable to speak, and was unable to breath properly.

(John 18:6) When Jesus spoke, people involuntarily fell to the ground.

(Acts 9:4) When Paul heard Jesus’ voice he involuntarily fell down.

(Rev. 1:17) John fell down when Jesus appeared to him.

(Jeremiah 5:22) Says that we can expect to tremble in God’s presence.

(Jeremiah 23:9) When God’s word is preached Jeremiah trembled and appeared to be drunk.

(Habakkuk 3:16) He heard God’s word, his heart pounded, his legs trembled and he got weak.

(Acts 2:15) When the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost the disciples appeared to be drunk.

(Eph. 5:18) Paul equates the experience of being filled with the Spirit to that of being drunk.

(Neh. 8:9) People wept as scripture was read.

(Psalm 126:2) People who have been set free laugh and sing for joy.

(Mat. 3:11) Jesus baptizes us with the Holy Spirit and fire, where there is spiritual fire, we can expect to get hot.

 

MANIFESTATIONS ARE HISTORICAL

The personal diaries and journals of great men and women of the Church record such signs.

Jonathan Edwards the main leader of the Great Awakening in America (1725-1760) in The Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God records in detail such physical signs coming upon people as he preached.

John Wesley (founder of the Methodists) and his close friend George Whitefield were both amazed at such things happening as they preached. Whitefield noted people having a type of “harmless convulsion” and other strange physical manifestations.

Charles Finney (1792-1875) one of the greatest 19th century evangelists also recalls such physical signs coming upon people as he evangelized.

George Fox (1624-1691) founded the Quakers – why do you think they were called Quakers? His journals are full of amazing physical signs as God’s power was released.

Charles H. Spurgeon says in his Autobiography p124 that “there is as much holiness in a laugh as in a cry…. I may laugh the laugh of sarcasm against sin”

  1. Martyn Llyod-Jones states in Revival p134-136 that in the presence of God people may fall, faint, go into trances, become unconscious.

Quakers and Shakers (org.17thcentuary) were called by this name because of their shaking and trembling.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Righteous dddd

PART 5: RIGHTEOUSNESS & GRACE

PART 5: RIGHTEOUSNESS IS A GIFT OF GRACE

(We highly recommend that you request the PDF copy of this teaching as it comes with pictures and charts and in a better format. Email study@gracelovetruth.com. These teachings may be freely used and distributed. There is no cost).

Share this with your friends by using this quicklink http://gracelovetruth.com/?p=1234

INDEX
INTRODUCTION AND TESTIMONY

PART 5. LESSON 1. WHAT IS RIGHTEOUSNESS?
1. GETTING RIGHT WITH GOD
1.2 TWO PATHS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
2. THE SCRIPTURES ARE ABOUT GRACE AND RIGHTEOUSNESS THROUGH CHRIST
2.1 THE FLOW OF RIGHTEOUSNESS RIGHT THROUGHOUT THE SCRIPTURES
2.1.1 WHAT DID THE RISEN JESUS REVEAL TO PAUL?
2.1.2 WHAT DID JESUS SAY WHILE HERE ON EARTH?
2.1.3 WHAT DOES THE HOLY SPIRIT SAY IN THE OLD TESTAMENT?
2.2 THE LETTERS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
2.3 THE KEY ISSUE IN THE GOSPELS
3. RIGHTEOUSNESS IS THE KEY TO THE GOSPEL OF GRACE
3.1 SPIRITUAL MATURITY
3.2 WHAT IS TRUE, GOD DEPENDANT, RIGHTEOUSNESS?
3.3 JUSTIFICATION
3.4 WE CAN REST IN THE WORK OF THE CROSS
4. SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS
4.1 WHEN GOOD WORKS GO BAD
4.2 SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS BREEDS ANGER AND JUDGMENTALISM!
4.3 JESUS EXPOSED THE SIN OF SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS
4.4 SCRIPTURAL EXERCISE.
4.5 REPENT OF THE SIN OF SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS
5. THE BOOK OF ROMANS: THE LETTER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
5.1 A SCRIPTURAL EXCERCISE
6. THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND RIGHTEOUSNESS
6.1 GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS AND RESURRECTION POWER
6.2 GOD’S KINGDOM
6.3 THE KINGDOM AND RIGHTEOUSNESS – THE MISSING KEY
6.4 JESUS AND THE VICTORY OF THE CROSS
6.5 SATANS SCHEME IS TO UNDERMINE OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS
6.6 RIGHTEOUSNESS IS OUR WEAPON

PART 5. LESSON 2. THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF ABRAHAM
7. WE ARE CHILDREN OF ABRAHAM
7.1 ABRAHAM WAS RIGHTEOUS BECAUSE HE BELIEVED GOD
7.2 ABRAHAM IS OUR SPIRITUAL FATHER
7.3 ABRAHAM WAS RIGHT WITH GOD
7.4 ABRAHAM MET THE KING OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, JESUS
7.5 ABRAHAM’S ENCOUNTER WAS WITH JESUS
7.6 ABRAHAM HAD INTIMATE COMMUNION WITH HIS SAVIOUR
7.7 WE ARE RIGHTEOUS LIKE ABRAHAM
7.8 ISRAELS ERROR OF SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS
8. JOB AND THE SUFFERING OF THE SELF RIGHTEOUS
9. GROUP EXERSISE
10. EMAIL AND SOCIAL MEDIA LEARNERS
___________________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION AND TESTIMONY
Grace is like the highway the prophet Isaiah describes ( Isa.35:8-10)(Isa.40:3-4) where the road has been made straight, the valleys have been raised up and the mountains made low by the hand of the Lord. Living in the grace of Jesus is a blessed higher-way of God’s favour. For many years I had heard about grace, I had even taught on grace but I was not living in God’s grace. I wanted to but I just couldn’t seem to get there, I could not accept the promises of grace for myself, I couldn’t believe I was worthy enough or had done enough for God to deserve to live in grace, which for m seemed to be a cop out. If I was honest my Christian walk felt I was pushing an old car along an badly maintained secondary road while in the distance I could see a highway with others zooming along. I wanted to get onto that highway of grace but didn’t know how to. One day after crying out to the Lord in prayer over a period of time I heard the Holy Spirit clearly say to me “The entry ramp onto the highway of grace is righteousness. Garry you are self righteous and you don’t understand the righteousness of the Lord.” Well that was quite a shock to me. Through prayer and Bible reading I started to seek a revelation from the Holy Spirit as to what righteousness actually was. I soon found the need to repent of my old understanding. I came to see that righteousness what not something I did or earned but that it was a gift from my loving Abba Father imputed to me by Jesus, my Lord and Saviour. Suddenly I found myself on the highway of grace and understanding that my righteousness in Christ is the key to receiving grace and living in Jesus’ grace and blessings. Without the righteousness of Christ there is no grace! The two are in a sense an expression of each other and one of the same thing.
As Eugene Peterson, author of The Message, said: “Discipleship is a process of paying more and more attention to God’s righteousness and less and less attention to our own.”

PART 6. LESSON 1. WHAT IS RIGHTEOUSNESS?

1. GETTING RIGHT WITH GOD
Since mankind’s expulsion from the garden of Eden, the key issue is how do we get into and remain in a right relationship with God? So many of people can’t receive God’s love and blessings because they don’t feel, or believe they are worthy. They feel “unright” with God and unqualified to have a intimate relationship with their Abba Father. Understanding our righteousness in Christ is a key to appropriating and living in the blessings and love that Abba has given us through Jesus. The issue of righteousness is crucial to every single person. It determines our today and our future! Without being right with God (righteous), on God’s terms, we cannot receive immortality, nor God’s grace, blessing and enabling. The purpose of this part of the course is to firmly establish us in an understanding of true, God dependent, righteousness, which comes by the grace of Jesus Christ alone.

1.2 TWO PATHS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
Isa 64:6 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags (actual meaning is menstrual cloths).
There are basically two paths open to anyone seeking righteousness. One of them is true and one of them is false! One of them God loves and one of them God hates.
1) God dependent righteousness: Righteousness through grace and faith in Jesus, given as a free gift from a loving and forgiving God.
2) Self righteousness: Righteousness through self-effort, good works and the keeping of religious laws. (This is what Isaiah was referring to in the above scripture).
Christianity is founded on the first form of righteousness while all other religions rely on the second. Therefore we will be looking at both of these in more detail so that we can repent of the second and receive a deeper revelation of the first.

2. THE SCRIPTURES ARE ABOUT GRACE AND RIGHTEOUSNESS THROUGH CHRIST
2Ti 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.
Heb 5:13 (KJV) For every one that uses milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.
As stated in previous parts, it is important that we have a Biblical foundation and Holy Spirit revelation for what we believe. To do this we must use the Scriptures in a correct way. The Scriptures should always bring life and blessing to a believer that leads to a deeper understanding of what it means to be truly righteousness through Christ. The Bible warns us that when scriptures are used incorrectly they can manipulate, control, condemn, bring fear and death. (2Co.3:6-9). The Scriptures are powerful, Jesus used scripture to counter the attacks of Satan and the Pharisees. The word of God recorded in the scriptures is a mighty spiritual weapon, one which we should all be skilful in using. Satan recognized this truth and used the scriptures in his attack against Jesus (Mat.4:1-10). Both Satan and Jesus’ enemies, the Pharisees, use scripture for their own purposes and agendas, and they still do today! Therefore it is essential that we understand how to correctly use the scriptures and recognize when they are being misused by false teachers and prophets. The purpose of scriptural teaching should always be to bring us to maturity in Christ (Eph.4:11-14). The Scriptures teach that Christian maturity is about understanding and righteousness (Heb.5:13). The Scriptures reinforce true, God dependent, righteousness. As New Covenant believers we should reject any use of scriptures that undermines our identity as righteous and beloved children of God. When used correctly, scripture will always point to Jesus and God’s gift of grace or alternately, expose self righteousness. Grace and true righteousness can come only through faith in Jesus Christ and therefore the centrality of Christ throughout the scriptures has to be recognized and sought out at all times. Grace and righteousness are all about Jesus. He is our ultimate goal!

2.1 THE FLOW OF RIGHTEOUSNESS RIGHT THROUGHOUT THE SCRIPTURES
From the time of mankind’s fall, recounted in Genesis 3, God’s starts to reveal His plan to restore mankind’s right standing with Him (righteousness). God’s call to true righteousness, through His Saviour/ Messiah, is the key theme of all Scripture. Before we look at righteousness in more detail here is a brief thread showing the Scriptural emphasis on righteousness:-

2.1.1 WHAT DID THE RISEN JESUS REVEAL TO PAUL?
Rom 1:17 In the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last.
Rom 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking (rules and regulations), but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Rom 3:20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the law (of Moses); rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. But now righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ.
Rom 10:3 Israel did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness (by religious law keeping). Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

2.1.2 WHAT DID JESUS SAY WHILE HERE ON EARTH?
Mat 5:6 blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Mat 5:20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 6:33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

2.1.3 WHAT DOES THE HOLY SPIRIT SAY IN THE OLD TESTAMENT?
Gen 15:6 Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
Psa 7:17 I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness.
Isa.51:1 “Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness and who seek the LORD: Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn look to Abraham, your father, and to Sarah, who gave you birth.
Isa 61:3 They will be called Oaks of Righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendour.
Isa 61:10 God has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness.
Jer. 23:6 Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, “The Lord our Righteousness”.

2.2 THE LETTERS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
Many erroneously believe that the Christian life must be first and foremost be founded on the four gospels. The reasoning being that these were the actual teachings of Jesus himself – thus red letter Bibles. This reasoning denies the validity of the Word later revealed by the same Spirit of Christ to the Apostles. This over emphasis on the gospels at the expense of the epistles (letters) can lead to confusion and an under valuing of the later letters written by the Apostles under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. In fact these New Testament letters are a continuation of the gospels. They add to the progressive revelation of the full gospel of Jesus Christ, his kingdom, his righteousness and his grace. They are the very means by which the gospel teachings should be interpreted and clarified. The Apostle Paul makes it clear that he received his teachings by direct revelation (Gal.1:12) from the risen, glorified, Jesus. Teachings found in letters such as Romans and Galatians, clarify and reveal foundational Christian truths some of which are only hinted at in the gospels e.g. the righteousness of Christ, justification by faith, grace, sonship, Christ in us, Abba, etc. It would be extremely difficult to derive these key foundational Christian doctrines from the gospels. In fact if one was only to study the gospels one could well end up concluding that salvation may primarily be by good works and law keeping! An over emphasis on the four gospels can lead to legalism. It is the epistles that clarify the gospels and bring the full revelation of grace and freedom that is ours in Christ. It is therefore important that we distinquish between the purpose of the gospels and the purpose of the epistles and read the gospels in the context of Jesus later teaching given through the letters of the Apostles (the Epistles).

2.3 THE KEY ISSUE IN THE GOSPELS
There are obviously many truths and themes in the gospels. E.g. Jesus, the way, truth and life, the revelation of God as a Father, the need to be born again, the coming of the Holy Spirit. etc.
However, there are two key and primary interrelated themes have often been understated and sidelined by gospel teachers. They are;
1) What is true righteousness.
2) The (spiritual) Kingdom of God.
When reading the gospels these important two intertwined themes need to be emphasized if we are to correctly interpret and apply the gospel’s teachings today. Throughout the gospels Jesus sought to rectify Israel’s (Mt.15:24) misconceptions concerning these key spiritual truths and started pointing to a new way and new understanding of righteousness and the kingdom which he could only be fully revealed at a later time. It is the issue of “What is true and Godly righteousness?” that this part of the course will address.

3. RIGHTEOUSNESS IS THE KEY TO THE GOSPEL OF GRACE
3.1 SPIRITUAL MATURITY
Heb 5:12-13 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.
In the Scriptures God defines spiritual immaturity as not understanding righteousness. That’s a big surprise to most people. Surprisingly many Bible teachers battle to actually give a sound New Covenant definition of righteousness, by far the majority of teachers define righteousness as the right things we do rather than the right standing we have been given by being “in Christ” (Ro.3:21-22). This is because so many of us have mixed law and grace and still have an works mentality and an Old Testament based theology. The concept of being spiritually mature is important for the kingdom of God and for discipleship as only adults can reproduce i.e. make disciples for the kingdom. Thus we have even more reason to look at this subject carefully. We all want to be mature in Christ.

3.2 WHAT IS TRUE, GOD DEPENDANT, RIGHTEOUSNESS?

This is the work and purpose of the cross, to impute righteousness to the children of God. Without true, God dependant, righteousness there is no salvation, there can be no relationship with Abba, Father. True righteousness is :
i. Jesus’ righteousness.
ii. Dependant on God.
iii. A gift from God.
iv. Imputed to us by Jesus.
v. Our right standing with God that comes by grace.
vi. A right and loving relationship with God through Christ.
vii. The condition of man that is acceptable to God.
viii. A state approved by God.
ix. An inner spiritual state of holiness.
x. Justification through the cross – sinless in God’s eyes.
xi. A state where our sins are no longer recorded or remembered.
xii. Freedom from God’s condemnation and judgement.
Many think that righteousness is based on what we do, but actually the New Testament Scriptures reveal that true righteousness is dependent on God and based on faith in his goodness expressed in Jesus Christ. It is this faith and true righteousness that then leads to right doing and living. It is not right doing, or works, that produces righteousness. Righteousness is a root not a fruit. Righteousness practiced by Jews and all other religions is an external self righteousness based on good works and the keeping of religious laws. This form of righteousness never made Israel or anyone else right with God (Ro.3:10). It always falls short of true Godly righteousness (Mt.5:20). Religious self righteousness is in fact totally foreign and opposed to true, God dependant, righteousness. The gospels reveal that Israel and her leaders had become proud, boastful and self-righteous; dependent on self-effort and a legalistic religious system for their righteousness, instead of depending on God. Jesus came to change all that and show the way back to true righteousness which Abraham had foresaw and received by faith (Gen.15:6) but which the Jews had rejected.
Martin Luther has this to say, “At last meditating day and night, by the mercy of God, I began to understand that the righteousness of God is that through which the righteous live by a gift of God, namely by faith. Here I felt as if I were entirely born again and had entered paradise itself through the gates that had been flung open.”
Watchman Nee said, “The Bible does not say that we have put on the righteous garment of Christ. It only says that we have put on Christ.” Galatians 3:27 says that we have put on Christ. Today we have not put on the righteousness of Christ, but Christ Himself. The righteousness of Christ is something that is in Christ Himself, and it is history. Today Christians come to God through putting on Christ. Christ Himself has become our righteousness, and we can come to God at any time because Christ lives forever.”

3.3 JUSTIFICATION
Act 13:38 “Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses.
God has declared us totally righteous, all sin debt totally was paid by Jesus death. The amazing thing is that Scripture teaches that Jesus was raised from the dead because of our justification (Ro.4:25) by God. It is emphasising that if any sin debt was outstanding then Jesus could not have been raised as justice would not have been complete – it is finished, justification for all sin is complete, we are not guilty nor condemned any longer.
A righteous person is one that is justified. i.e. just as if they had, and never will have, sinned. Justice has be served upon us and we have been found not guilty. The words righteousness and justification are often interchanged as they are very similar in meaning. The connection is that through Jesus’ grace we have been redeemed and justified and this makes us righteous. We are now in right standing with God because it is just as if we never sinned. Jesus paid the price for our sin, he redeemed us from the sentence of death and died in our place. Justice has been served and we are justified.
The Greek work justify is dikaioō which Thayer defines as to render righteous or such he ought to be, to show, exhibit, evince, one to be righteous, such as he is and wishes himself to be considered; to declare, pronounce, one to be just, righteous, or such as he ought to be. Strong defines justified as to render (that is, show or regard as) just or innocent, free, be righteous.
Here are some other scriptures on justification.
Isa 53:11 After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.
Rom 4:5 However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.
Rom 4:25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.
Rom 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
1Co 6:11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

3.4 WE CAN REST IN THE WORK OF THE CROSS
(Rom 4:5) However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.
Godly living and good works come out of the inner condition of the heart (Mt.15:18). This right heart condition is founded on a revelation of grace (Rom.4:16) and that we are the righteousness of Christ (2Co.2:21). It’s not because of what we do but because of who we are; a part of Christ. Jesus is in us, we are dead, he is alive (Gal 2:20). Our sins are no longer taken into account (Rom 4:8). Our righteousness is Jesus’ righteousness. Our life is now Jesus life. We have glorious freedom from condemnation (Rom 8:1-16). The cross has done all we need to make us right with God. It is from this position that agape love, Godly good works and right living is manifest in our lives. The cross has imputed the righteousness of Christ to us and we can now rest from our own “good” works and striving to make ourselves right with God.
This is how the great Evangelical preacher David Martyn Lloyd -Jones put it “The man who has faith is the man who is no longer looking at himself and no longer looking to himself. He no longer looks at anything he once was. He does not look at what he is now. He does not even look at what he hopes to be as the result of his own efforts. He looks entirely to the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work, and rests on that alone. He has ceased to say, “Ah yes, I used to commit terrible sins but I have done this and that.” He stops saying that. If he goes on saying that, he has not got faith. Faith speaks in an entirely different manner and makes a man say, “Yes I have sinned grievously, I have lived a life of sin, yet I know that I am a child of God because I am not resting on any righteousness of my own; my righteousness is in Jesus Christ and God has put that to my account.”
(Gal. 2:20)(MSG) Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

4. SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS
Rom 10:3 Since the Jews did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.
Some times reading the gospels without reference to the grace teaching of the epistles (letters of the Apostles) we can be led to think that righteousness is by works. Therefore it is important that we correctly understand the gospels, the context of Jesus’ gospel teachings and what his purpose was. Jesus preached to Jews. All His disciples and the large majority of His listeners were Jews. They were living under the religious laws of Moses. They were waiting for the Messiah to re-establish Israel’s kingdom. (Mt.15:24) Jesus boldly proclaimed “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel!” His first concern was dealing with God’s chosen people who had been chosen to take the good news of God to the world. However the Jews had totally missed God’s message and Spirit. (Gen 15:6). Through Abraham Israel had been given the message of a good and loving God. Abraham was the father of the Jewish nation and all those who live by faith. Abraham also had a revelation of true Righteousness that came through faith. But Israel rejected Righteousness by faith and instead sought a religious self-righteousness based on their goodness and self-effort. Thus the law was given to expose their sinful self-righteousness. (Jer. 23:11) (Rom. 11:26) They in fact had become Godless. Israel became proud and boastful. They did not want an intimate relationship with a loving God. They chose by their actions and hardness of heart to seek righteousness through law keeping. They rejected the faith of Abraham. God gave Israel the law and His conditional blessing based on them keeping every single one of the 613 laws. Read Deut 28 and you will see the impossibility and horror of this. They honestly thought they were good enough to do it! It was into this context that Jesus came. This very issue He addressed through the gospels. He came to reveal to Israel that the righteousness they thought they had attained through the law. They actually fell completely short of God’s holy standard…..what a shock this was to them! The Jews knew that the gentiles were Godless and unrighteous but never suspected they were!
(Rom.3:9) Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”

4.1 WHEN GOOD WORKS GO BAD
Mat 19:17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”
The issue for most religious people is that they think they can do enough good works to qualify themselves for eternal life and blessing. They honestly think they can keep all God’s commandments all the time, as the Law demands (Deut.28:15). Most religious people simply don’t realise that their good works are just as sinful as their bad works. Wow, now there’s a shocker for you! Let me explain… Firstly, just to clarify from the start; God loves it when we do the good works He prepared for us to bless others (Eph2:10). But God hates good works when we use them to try to get right with him or to get something from him (Eph2:9). Why? Because it denies that his grace is sufficient for you. Those who do good works to get right with God are self righteousness and are just as sinful as those who do evil. Doing good and avoiding bad to be righteous with God, is sin. Both things are rooted in pride, self effort, unbelief and a denial that we need to be saved. Both reject God’s gift of grace and true righteousness through Jesus. Our good works rooted in self-righteousness need to be repented of. The Pharisees were a perfect example of those who were trying to use good works to be righteous. Pharisee were the only people Jesus ever condemned. Jesus called the Pharisees “sons of the devil” (Joh8:44), because they followed Satan’s lie of righteousness through good works. Job was a man who also trusted in his good works (Job32:) and look where that got him. Sadly and painfully Job learnt the hard way. Abraham on the other hand was a man who simply believe God (Gen15:6) and received God’s free gift of Righteousness. Abraham took the easy path and was blessed in everything he did. We will be looking at the contrasting lives of Abraham and Job in the coming teachings.

4.2 SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS BREEDS ANGER AND JUDGMENTALISM!
Act 7:53 you who have received the law that was put into effect through angels but have not obeyed it.” When they heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him.
Watch out, when peoples self righteousness is expose, they can get really angry and judgmental. They can even become murderous like Cain (who is a type of self righteous person). The self righteous Pharisees wanted to kill, Jesus, Paul and anyone else preaching the righteousness of Christ apart from the Law of Moses. The anger comes because they find that all their self effort of Law keeping has been in vain and their pride in self, is exposed. Angry people are often legalistic and judgmental. Moses, who represents the Law ended up angry and bitter because Israel couldn’t make the grade and couldn’t obey God. Ironically within the first few minutes of meeting God Moses did the same thing he judged Israel for, he totally doubted everything God said or commanded him to do (Ex.3&4). The Law produces angry, judgmental and self righteous people who oppose grace. The other fruits of self righteousness are; control, in ability to delegate, anxiety, perfectionism, lack of trust etc.

4.3 JESUS EXPOSED THE SIN OF SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS
Mt.5:28 I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart….If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
Jesus taught and acted with the specific purpose of challenging the legalistic unbelieving hearts of the Jews, including his own Jewish disciples. Many disciples followed Jesus as a Rabbi and some as Israel’s Messiah. They claimed to believe His message but in fact many disciples totally misunderstood. Many eventually turn away from Him. (John 6:66) From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. Including Peter in Matt. 26:34. Jesus confronted head on the issue of the Jewish Kingdom and the legalistic, self righteousness taught by the Jewish religious leaders. He condemned this system and its leaders outright. We find Jesus condemning the religious Pharisees in the strongest possible terms (Mat.23:1-33). But he showed mercy and grace to those struggling with moral sin (Jn.8:11). He did not go about exposing the hypocrisy of legalism as we would expect. He in fact used law to destroy the law for those in Christ. To those practicing and preaching law and righteousness through works Jesus preached a form of hyper-law (Mat 5:28) – pluck your eye out, cut your arm off if it causes you to sin, even being angry with someone is murder. Yes, this may seem like simple hyperbole but to the Pharisees who regularly stoned people to death for their sins this was something very real. Jesus did this to expose the shortcomings of their law keeping and the righteousness they thought it had earned them.
In his earthly ministry Jesus often preached law and conditional salvation. There are numerous examples of in the gospels of Jesus laying down conditions for the Jews to receive salvation (Matt.5:20, 6:14, 7:21, 10:33, 18:35, 19:21, 25:46. etc.) this was Jesus attempt to drive the Jews and their Law preaching teachers to a place where they would eventually understand that they just could not do it by themselves – they needed God’s grace. Jesus was revealing that it was the Jew’s pride and self righteousness that was a problem and this sin was the key issue for God. For example Jesus preached (Mat 5:48) ” Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect”. See what I mean, who can do such a thing? Likewise in the story of the Rich Ruler (Mark 10:17-27) the self righteous rich man missed the point while the disciples understood to a degree – but not fully. When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

4.4 SCRIPTURAL EXERCISE.
Read the story of the Rich Ruler and reflect on what it is teaching about self righteousness and grace.
___________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

4.5 REPENT OF THE SIN OF SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS
(Mt.4:17) Repent for the Kingdom of heaven is near.
Repentance and Righteousness are two keys to the Kingdom! Jesus’ gospel teachings were primarily a call to the Jews and his own Jewish disciples, and then ultimately to all mankind to repent. The teachings of the gospels are not just a call to Sinners, it’s a call to the Jews and by extension to all religious people to repent from a self-centred, self righteousness, legalism, and a worldly kingdom view. It is a call to turn back to a complete dependence on, and belief in God. The repentance Jesus was looking for was not repentance from moral sin as he knew that the foundational sin of unbelief in God’s goodness and grace was the root of all moral sin. God hates all sin but there is a primary, foundational sin in which all moral sin is rooted. This root sin of pride is the sin of mankind’s independent, self righteousness and unbelief in a good and loving God. At its core all moral sin is a manifestation of man’s unbelief and pride! Unbelief and self-righteousness is the sin that the Holy Spirit has come to expose. (John 16:8) When the Holy Spirit comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me.
The Pharisees and the average Jew of Jesus’ time generally lead morally up right lives because of the strict imposition in society of the laws of Moses. But this was exactly the problem, they had become self righteous, moralistic and judgmental of others. They trusted in their own goodness and in their own efforts of law keeping instead of in God. This is a position that is most offensive to God. This is the great sin of mankind, superbly manifest in the Jewish religious society of Jesus’ day, the Pharisees. Today Islam probably most typifies this attitude, thus the importance of us understanding these issues if we are to penetrate Islam and reap the harvest among Muslims and other legalistic, religious, peoples. Jesus understood and proclaimed that it was the inner heart condition that God was concerned with. His focus was not the apparent external keeping of the law or morality.

5. THE BOOK OF ROMANS: THE LETTER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
Paul’s letter addressed to the early believers living in Rome is probably the most important book in the Bible. It sums up the very essence of the whole Bible message, the good news, which is God’s love and acceptance of us as His children in Christ. We are beloved children of grace who are forgiven, blessed, righteous and victorious. It is good to meditate on the key scriptures that reveal Jesus’ righteousness, the finished work of the cross and what it means for all who would believe. Here are some of the key scriptures on righteousness from the letter to church in Romans.
Rom 1:16-17 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
Rom 2:4 Do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?
Rom 3:20-24 No one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
Rom 4:6-8 David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.”
Rom 5:1-2 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
Rom 5:15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!
Rom 5:17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
Rom 6:1-2 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?
Rom 6:14-15 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!
Rom 7:7 What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “Do not covet.”
Rom 8:1-2 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
Rom 8:14-17 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…
Rom 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Rom 8:37-39 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Rom 9:30-32 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works.
Rom 10:3-4 Since Israel did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
Rom 13:8-10 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” Love does no harm to its neighbour. Therefore love is the fulfilment of the law.
Rom 14:17-18 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.

5.1 A SCRIPTURAL EXCERCISE
Reading through the above scriptures summarize some of the key points in your own words.
___________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

6. THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND RIGHTEOUSNESS
Rom. 5:17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
The reign and rule of the kingdom of Jesus Christ comes about by grace founded on Christ’s gift of righteousness. We are called to reign with Christ. To reign, is to have authority and control over ones events and circumstances. Kings reign over their kingdoms. All things are submitted to them. Jesus is our king and we are His representatives here on earth. When we understand that we are perfectly righteous with God it gives us confidence and authority. When we are firmly established in righteousness we cannot be overcome by the enemy. We are called to reign over our lives through the righteousness of Christ.

6.1 GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS AND RESURRECTION POWER
Php 3:9-10 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 on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ–yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death…
There is a link between our revelation, understanding and acceptance of the righteousness of Christ and moving in resurrection power. We are called to move in the power of the gospel (1Cor 2:4) and the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8) that comes by the grace of Jesus Christ. Legalism and self righteousness leads to intellectualism and a quenching of the Holy Spirit. Accepting the complete, full work of the cross and the righteousness that comes there from is the grace leads to freedom and power of the Spirit.

6.2 GOD’S KINGDOM
(Act 1:6) “Lord are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
Jesus teaching and preaching was (Mt.4:23) the good news about the kingdom. The Jews and even Jesus’ own disciples, thought that the Messiah/ Christ had come to establish a physical kingdom. They wanted to see Israel glorified among the nations of the earth. (Jn.12:13) The Jews thought the new “King of Israel” had come. They turned on Jesus very quickly when they discovered that this was not his plan! Even after Jesus’ resurrection, the disciple still did not understand Jesus’ teachings on His kingdom. (Acts 1:8) It’s significant that Jesus’ reply was to point them to the coming Holy Spirit, for the Kingdom is Spirit! They did not understand that the Kingdom of God is a spiritual (Lk.17:21) inner kingdom based on true righteousness. The Jews and even Jesus’ own disciples mistakenly sought a kingdom and a righteousness that was physical and external (Rom.9:31-10:5) rather than internal. Jesus proclaimed a direct link between the Kingdom of God (Mt.6:33, righteousness from God and blessings.

6.3 THE KINGDOM AND RIGHTEOUSNESS – THE MISSING KEY

Rom 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
The link between The Kingdom and righteousness from God can be seen in these scriptures. The majority of present day teachings on the Kingdom of God say very little about righteousness. The Kingdom of God and righteousness are inextricably intertwined. Without a solid grounding in God’s righteousness we cannot fully take hold of the truths of the Kingdom nor will we see the kingdom reign and rule of Jesus manifesting in an ongoing way in our lives. Therefore we need to look carefully at the issue of our righteousness and understand the difference between our own self generated righteousness and Christ dependant righteousness that pleases God and qualifies us to move in the power of the kingdom.

6.4 JESUS AND THE VICTORY OF THE CROSS
Col. 2:13-15 He forgave us all our sins having cancelled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
Rom. 10:4 Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
These are key scriptures in spiritual warfare. In the past the Law gave Satan legal spiritual rights to attack God’s people. This was because the Law was based on self righteousness. Self righteousness is by our self effort, own works or legalistic, a fear based, sacrificial system. We see the weakness and the terrible result of self righteousness and self justification in the life of Job. ( Job 40:8). At that time, Job, which by the way means “hated” was the most righteous man on earth, but it was self righteousness based on his own efforts and doings. Job was motivated by fear and his righteousness was not based on faith. (we will look more at Job and Abraham in the end section). Satan will always test self righteousness, because it is always insufficient as it does not depend on God’s goodness but on self effort. God allows Satan to test any righteousness that is not based on faith in His saviour (Job1:8). In contrast to Job, Abraham had a righteousness from God that was by faith and consequently he was always protected and blessed. The good news is that the Righteousness from God through faith in Christ cannot be overcome by Satan. Through the cross we are perfectly and permanently righteous through God’s gift – Satan no longer has any right to attack us! On the cross Jesus cancelled the Law that gave Satan rights to afflict Believers. If we see these truths and believe them, then Satan and his allies fear, sickness and death, becomes totally powerless in our lives.

6.5 SATANS SCHEME IS TO UNDERMINE OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS
1Co. 1:30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.
We are to take our stand against Satan’s schemes (Eph6:11),. His scheme from the beginning has always been to sow doubt about God’s promises and our relationship with God (Gen. 3:1). He does this by speaking lies that sound true. Satan’s scheme is to try to convince us that he has rights into our lives because our lives are not right in some way. He undermines our righteousness and tries to get us to believe that it is based on our actions instead of faith. He will always try to undermine our identity as God’s Children who are blessed and right with God. He tries to convince us that we are sinners who are unworthy and deserve punishment.

6.6 RIGHTEOUSNESS IS OUR WEAPON
2Co. 6:7 In truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left.
Our righteousness in Christ is our weapon against Satan. Our response to Satan when he attacks or accuses us is simply to point to Jesus Christ and that we are righteous through him alone. This totally disarms Satan. Satan can only afflict your life if you allow him to convince you that you are not righteous and therefore deserve to be punished or attacked. When under attack always point to your worthiness and righteousness in Christ – speak it out loud, use this truth as a weapon and see victory.

_____________________________________________________

PART 5. LESSON 2. THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF ABRAHAM

7. WE ARE CHILDREN OF ABRAHAM
7.1 ABRAHAM WAS RIGHTEOUS BECAUSE HE BELIEVED GOD
Gal 3:6-8 So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.
The history and life of Abraham is of great significance to all believers. He was truly righteous and dependant on God. If we grasp the truths taught by Abraham’s life we will be blessed by coming into a deeper understanding of what God considers to be true righteousness and how this state comes about.

7.2 ABRAHAM IS OUR SPIRITUAL FATHER
Gen 22:17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”
Abraham is a shadow and type representing the New Covenant believer. Abraham was the founding father of a great a spiritual nation i.e. all believers who are righteous and saved through faith (Gal.3:7). This includes both Jews and Gentiles who choose salvation by grace through faith.
The New Covenant is clear that all those who are “Born Again” are spiritual children of Abraham.
The key to his life is that Abraham’s great blessings, promises and righteousness were received only through trust in God (Rom.4:1-3). He was the first example of the man of faith who was properly righteous in God’s eyes. It is vitally important for us as believers to look carefully at Abraham; what he believed, what he did , how God responded to him and how he was blessed? This will help us to understand the way God relates, saves and blesses those who are righteous by faith.

7.3 ABRAHAM WAS RIGHT WITH GOD
Rom.4:3-9 What does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” …. the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.
The Righteousness that is acceptable to God and has nothing to do with our good or bad works, our sinlessness or sinfulness. It is based solely on our trust and belief in God’s goodness and plan of salvation (which is Jesus). Abraham understood this truth, he was tight with God and he was blessed in every way. Abraham trusted God and God revealed himself to Abraham. Abraham was given the revelation that salvation is through the gift of Righteousness that comes only through Grace by the faith of Jesus. Abraham did not trust in his own righteousness, good works or sinlessness as he understood they could never make him perfect enough for God. Abraham trusted solely in God’s goodness and God’s free gift of the Saviour’s Righteousness that was imputed to him purely by faith.
So how did this revelation come about? What was it that caused Abraham to be so radically different. There was a foundational event in Abraham’s life that lead him into truth, completely changed him and through him, changed history.

7.4 ABRAHAM MET THE KING OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, JESUS
Gen. 14:17-23 Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth.
Abraham did not just hear about God but encountered him face to face. Abraham met with a King called Melchizedek…. well so what, you may ask! Although not a lot is said about this encounter it is one of the most significant events in the Old Testament. Many seemingly small and insignificant events recorded in scriptures prove to be amazingly significant spiritually. This brief but amazing encounter was the foundation of Abraham’s faith and righteousness. In Genesis there is no historical explanation of who this King Melchizedek was, where he came from or where he actually ruled. However we know that the Old Testament always has shadows or types of Christ (Joh.5:39). The Old Testament is actually all about Jesus (Luk.24:27) and God’s plan of salvation through him – if we are prepared to look carefully with spiritual eyes we can see this. As the saying goes, “The Old Testament is Christ concealed, the New Testament is Christ revealed”. We can see these truths about Jesus in Abraham’s encounter with a King who was unknown and only mentioned once in the Old Testament. Through this encounter the gospel of salvation by Grace, was revealed to Abraham.
The book of Hebrews sheds light on this most important encounter.

7.5 ABRAHAM’S ENCOUNTER WAS WITH JESUS
Heb.7:1-3 This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, his name means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever. Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder!
This Melchizedek was not just a type of Jesus but he was Jesus himself. This may be hard for us to get our heads around, but this Priest/ Messiah King was Jesus in everything but name. This event is the clearest and boldest revelation of the physical Christ found anywhere in the Old Testament. This physical King, Melchizedek, had no beginning or end (Heb.7:3) – only Jesus exists in this way, no other. Only Jesus can be called “The King of Righteousness” and “The King of Peace”, no other can take this role or title. This Melchizedek was a Priest of the most High God, he was not an earthly priest, he was the heavenly priest, Jesus, described in the Book of Hebrews. This was an pre-incarnation appearance of Jesus, the High Priest of the heavenly Jerusalem (Heb.12:22). Jesus, who is not constrained by time, miraculously appeared to Abraham and shared the gospel with him. For Abraham, his personal encounter with his saviour was a “today, now event”. Abraham had a personal salvation encounter with Christ, even though Christ never revealed His name. Abraham’s faith was in God’s goodness and love that was still to be fully revealed in a future event; The cross of Jesus. Similarly, our faith is in God’s goodness and love that has been revealed in a past event, The same cross of Jesus! We look backwards to the cross of Jesus and have faith. Abraham looked forward to the cross and had faith.

7.6 ABRAHAM HAD INTIMATE COMMUNION WITH HIS SAVIOUR
Gen.14:17-23 Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine.
Or in plain language: The King of Righteousness and Peace shared bread and wine with Abraham. So how did Jesus reveal the plan of salvation to Abraham? It was through communion! (Luk.22:17-20). Although Jesus did not reveal His name to Abraham, He did reveal God’s plan of salvation. The gospel was announced to Abraham before the cross Gal.3:8. Communion is an extremely important and spiritually significant act, an act which most of us under estimate (1Co.11:23-29). Jesus as Melchizedek, revealed God’s salvation plan to Abraham by having communion with Abraham right there on the road. He took bread and wine and shared it with Abraham – “This is My Body and this is My Blood. The New Covenant will come. Have faith Abraham!” Abraham was given spiritual revelation of salvation as he ate the bread and wine…. his spiritual eyes were opened. Jesus also showed Abraham the fruit of pure Grace by blessing him. Because of the grace shown and the gospel revealed to him, Abraham freely submitted to this King (Jesus). In those days a king would demand a tenth from his subjects as a sign of their submission. Jesus demanded nothing from Abraham but Abraham willingly and submitted to the King. That’s why Abraham was saved, because he had saw God face to face, heard the good news and this resulted in believing faith. By the way, the Emmaus Road experience of some of the disciples was similar to Abraham’s, Jesus revealed Himself to them in the breaking of the bread.
(Luk.24:30). When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.

7.7 WE ARE RIGHTEOUS LIKE ABRAHAM
Gal 4:22-31 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. His son by the slave woman was born according to the flesh, but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a divine promise. These things are being taken figuratively: The women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem tat is above is free, and she is our mother. For it is written: “Be glad, barren woman, you who never bore a child; shout for joy and cry aloud, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband.” Now you, brothers and sisters, like Isaac, are children of promise. At that time the son born according to the flesh persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. But what does Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.” Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.
We are righteous! The importance of Abraham’s life to us who believe, is that we are righteous the same way he was. The righteousness of a believer is by faith in Jesus’ finished work on the cross. Interestingly Abraham was married to Sarah who Gal 4:24 say represents freedom and the New Covenant of grace. Their son came through a promise of God and he was called Isaac which means laughter. Very symbolic, freedom, righteousness, grace and laughter all go together in God’s family – represented by Abraham’s family.

7.8 ISRAELS ERROR OF SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS
Rom. 9:31-33 Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works.
Even though Abraham was the physical father of all Jews the Jews forgot the faith covenant between Abraham and God and chose firstly to turn to the god’s of Egypt and then to self righteousness through the Law. One of the errors revealed throughout the Old Testament is that many of God’s people thought that being good and avoiding sin would make them right with God. They believed that right standing with God could come about through their own righteousness and works. This self righteousness was based on the fallen notion that God accepts people based on our good and bad deeds – called dead works (KJV.Heb 6:1). But God hates self righteousness because the spirit behind it is one of pride and independence from God. Israel fell into this trap and suffered (and still suffers) the terrible consequences of living by their own righteousness and the Law. Israel is a lesson for us to turn away from self righteousness, dead works and law keeping.

8. JOB AND THE SUFFERING OF THE SELF RIGHTEOUS
Job. 32:2 These three men stopped answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. But Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became very angry with Job for justifying himself rather than God.
In contrast to Abraham who was righteous by faith, the Scriptures tell of another good man who lived in the time before the Law of Moses had been given, probably in the land of Arabia (today’s seat of Islam). However unlike Abraham this man relied on his own righteousness. This man was called Job. His name means hated! Ever wonder why? We all know Job was a upright and perfect man (Job.1:1) who suffered greatly because God invited Satan to test him (Job.1:8). Why would God do that? It’s scary and not good news when interpreted in the traditional way! Most people secretly fear something like Job happening to them at some time. However if we start to look at Job in a correct way and ask what he represents we will see that that the story of Job is actually good news for those who trust in God for their righteousness. The revelation from the book of Job is not that God afflicts, or that God gives and takes away, willy nilly, but that God hates self righteousness and, as in Job’s case, always allows it to be tested by Satan, the Accuser. Job was the most righteous man on the earth in his day but his righteousness was not based on faith but works. Job, in a sense, is the exact opposite of Abraham. Unlike Abraham, Job had heard about God but never saw Him (Job 42:5), Job’s relationship with God was distant, fear based (Job1:9)(3:25) and works driven (Job7:1). Job was highly sin conscious and had even set up his own religious sacrificial system to appease God (Job 1:5) who he believed was out to punish him for his sins (Job 10:13). He lived in the fear of God while Abraham live by faith in God. Sadly, a close study of Job reveals that he suffered because ultimately he trusted in his own righteousness, he could not see his lack of true righteousness and the need for a saviour. Like so many people, he muddled up goodness with righteousness (Job.12:12:4). Job had a defence against God’s afflictions (13:18-23) based on his good works and goodness (29:7-17) which he thought had produced righteousness that was acceptable to God (27:6). He boasted of his good works and listed them out in his defence (31:1-33). This show his complete lack of revelation of how to be saved, and yet this is exactly what so many people do, even today. Although Job had a vision that he could be saved (19:25) he , unlike Abraham, had not met God, nor Jesus, and did not understand that salvation is by faith. Eventually it was a young man Elihu who spoke by the Spirit (33:4) and pointed out to Job that the issue was that he was justifying himself instead of relying on God (32:2-2). The Lord himself rebukes Job for this sin of self justification, self righteousness (40:8) and pride in his own goodness. In the end, thank God, Job concedes that he was deceived and misguided (42:3) and he repented. When Job repented and put his trust in God, he was restored and blessed. The blessed later part of Job life represents that of a New Covenant believer, the early part represents that of a unsaved, self righteous men who trust in their own religion of good works instead of in God.
The threefold lesson of Job is firstly, that as New Covenant believers under grace we are righteous in Christ and therefore God will never test and afflict us like Job. Secondly, trusting in one’s own righteousness and good works is deadly to both us and those around us. Thirdly, we are sons of Abraham not sons of Job. Despite most Christians identifying with Job more that Abraham, the simple truth is that we are not Job nor are we like him, so we don’t need to live in the fear that what happened to Job will happen to us – unless of course you are self righteous and unrepentant. That’s the whole purpose of God gift of righteousness – to free us and bless us.
1Co 1:30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.
Now that we have established that we are the righteousness of Christ and therefore in grace we can always point to Jesus both our holiness and righteousness. We can live in the confidence that we are worthy to be blessed and to receive all the empowering of the Holy Spirit to minister in Jesus name. We are Abba’s beloved children. We will look at this in the next part.

9. GROUP EXERSISE
Discuss the difference between self righteousness and true righteousness. List some of the characteristics of each.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Group exercise and questions
1. What is God dependant righteousness?
2. What is self righteousness?
3. What is justification?
4. List five characteristics of self righteousness.
5. Discuss the link between grace and righteousness.
6. What is spiritual maturity?
7. Discuss good works in the context of righteousness.
8. What are the issues within us that true righteousness overcomes?
9. How did Job defend himself?
10. How did Abraham become righteous?
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

10. EMAIL AND SOCIAL MEDIA LEARNERS
If you are doing this course by Email it should ideally be done in a networked group setting with a minimum of five people so that an active discussion can take place and different viewpoints explored. Those doing the course at a distance by Face Book or Email should discuss the questions below in a study group either on line or at an actual group meeting. Individual should then answer the questions and email a copy to us at study@gracelovetruth.com for evaluation as this will help us to see the effectiveness of the teachings and how to improve them. We will endeavour to answer any questions that are unresolved by the end of the course. This course is free but we do ask that you help promote its use by telling your friends and other churches about it. Also please send us the names and emails of all participants so we can keep in contact with further course updates. All Email information will be kept private and confidential. Please answer the following questions.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
A Murray

The Old and New Covenant: Andrew Murray (1828-1917)

Some interesting insights on the New Covenant and the Spirit from a man of God of long who saw the Holy Spirit moving in power with signs and wonders.

Andrew Murray (1828-1917) Famous South African teacher and preacher

Some insights on Ex 24: Old and New Covenant

“And Moses took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do and be obedient. And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you concerning all these wards.”-Exo 24:7, 8; comp. Heb 9:18-20.

HERE is a new aspect in which to regard God’s blessed Book. Before Moses sprinkled the blood, he read the Book of the Covenant, and obtained the people’s acceptance of it. And when he had sprinkled it, he said, “Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made concerning all these words.” The Book contained all the conditions of the Covenant; only through the Book could they know all that God asked of them, and all that they might ask of Him. Let us consider what new light may be thrown both upon the Covenant and upon the Book, by the one thought, that the Bible is the Book of the Covenant.

The very first thought suggested will be this, that in nothing will the spirit of our life and experience, as it lives either in the Old or the New Covenant, be more manifest than in our dealings with the Book. The Old had a book as well as the New. Our Bible contains both. The New was enfolded in the Old; the Old is unfolded in the New. It is possible to read the Old in the spirit of the New; it is possible to read the New as well as the Old in the spirit of the Old.

What this spirit of the Old is, we cannot see so clearly anywhere as just in Israel when the Covenant was made. They were at once ready to promise: “All that the Lord hath said will we do and be obedient.” There was so little sense of their own sinfulness, or of the holiness and glory of God, that with perfect self-confidence they considered themselves able to undertake to keep the Covenant. They understood little of the meaning of that blood with which they were sprinkled, or of that death and redemption of which it was the symbol.

In their own strength, in the power of the flesh, they were ready to engage to serve God. It is just the spirit in which many Christians regard the Bible; as a system of laws, a course of instruction to direct us in the way God would have us go. All He asks of us is, that we should do our utmost in seeking to fulfil them; more we cannot do; this we are sincerely ready to do. They know little or nothing of what the death means through which the Covenant is established, or what the life from the dead is through which alone a man can walk in covenant with the God of heaven.

This self-confident spirit in Israel is explained by what had happened just previously. When God had come down on Mount Sinai in thunderings and lightnings to give the law, they were greatly afraid. They said to Moses, “Let not God speak with us, lest we die; speak thou with us, and we will hear.” They thought it was simply a matter of hearing and knowing; they could for certain obey. They knew not that it is only the presence, and the fear, and the nearness, and the power of God humbling us and making us afraid, that can conquer the power of sin and give the power to obey. It is so much easier to receive the instruction from man, and live, than to wait and hear the voice of God and die to all our own strength and goodness. It is no otherwise that many Christians seek to serve God without ever seeking to live in daily contact with Him, and without the faith that it is only His presence can keep from sin. Their religion is a matter of outward instruction from man: the waiting to hear God’s voice that they may obey Him, the death to the flesh and the world that comes with a close walk with God, are unknown. They may be faithful and diligent in the study of their Bible, in reading or hearing Bible teaching; to have as much as possible of that intercourse with the Covenant God Himself which makes the Christian life possible-this they do not seek.

If you would be delivered from all this, learn ever to read the Book of the New Covenant in the New Covenant Spirit. One of the very first articles of the New Covenant has reference to this matter. When God says, I will put My law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, He engages that the words of His Holy Book shall no longer be mere outward teaching, but that what they command shall be our very disposition and delight, wrought in us as a birth and a life by the Holy Spirit. Every word of the New Covenant then becomes a Divine assurance of what may be obtained by the Holy Spirit’s working. The soul learns to see that the letter killeth, that the flesh profiteth nothing. The study, and knowledge of, the delight in, Bible words and thoughts, cannot profit, except as the Holy Spirit is waited on to make them life. The acceptance of Holy Scripture in the letter, the reception of it in the human understanding, is seen to be as fruitless as was Israel’s at Sinai. But as the Word of God, spoken by the Living God through the Spirit into the heart that waits on Him, it is found to be quick and powerful. It then is a word that worketh effectually in them that believe, giving within the heart the actual possession of the very grace of which the Word has spoken.

The New Covenant is a ministration of the Spirit . All its teaching is meant to be teaching by the Holy Spirit. The two most remarkable chapters in the Bible on the preaching of the gospel are those in which Paul expounds the secret of this teaching (1 Cor. 2:1-162 Cor. 3:1-18). Every minister ought to see whether he can pass his examination in them. They tell us that in the New Covenant the Holy Spirit is everything. It is the Holy Spirit entering the heart, writing, revealing, impressing upon it God’s law and truth, that alone works true obedience. No excellency of speech or human wisdom can in the least profit God must reveal by His Holy Spirit to preacher and hearer the things He hath prepared for us. What is true of the preacher is equally true of the hearer. One of the great reasons that so many Christians never come out of the Old Covenant, never even know that they are in it, and have to come out of it, is that there is so much head knowledge, without the power of the Spirit in the heart being waited for. It is only when preachers and hearers and readers believe that the Book of the New Covenant needs the Spirit of the New Covenent, to explain and apply it, that the Word of God can do its work.

Learn the double lesson. What God hath joined together, let no man put asunder. The Bible is the Book of the New Covenant. And the Holy Spirit is the only minister of what belongs to the Covenant. Expect not to understand or profit by thy Bible knowledge without seeking continually the teaching of the Holy Spirit. Beware lest thy earnest Bible study, thy excellent books, or thy beloved teachers take the place of the Holy Spirit! Pray daily, and perseveringly, and believingly for His teaching. He will write the Word in thy heart.

The Bible is the Book of the New Covenant. Ask the Holy Spirit specially to reveal to thee the New Covenant in it. It is inconceivable what loss the Church of our day is suffering because so few believers truly live as its heirs, in the true knowledge and enjoyment of its promises. Ask God, in humble faith, to give thee in all thy Bible reading, the spirit of wisdom and revelation, enlightened eyes of thine heart, to know what the promises are which the Covenant reveals; and what the Divine security in Jesus, the Surety of the Covenant, that every promise will be fulfilled in thee in Divine power; and what the intimate fellowship to which it admits thee with the God of the Covenant. The ministration of the Spirit, humbly waited for and listened to, will make the Book of the Covenant shine with new light, even the light of God’s countenance and a full salvation.

All this applies specially to the knowledge of what actually the New Covenant is meant to work. Amid all we hear, and read, and understand of the different promises of the New Covenant, it is quite possible that we never yet have had that heavenly vision of it as a whole, that with its overmastering power compels acceptance. Just hear once again what it really is. True obedience and fellowship with God, for which man was created, which sin broke off, which the law demanded, but could not work, which God’s own Son came from heaven to restore in our lives, is now brought within our reach and offered us. Our Father tells us in the Book of the New Covenant that He now expects us to live in full and unbroken obedience and communion with Him. He tells us that by the mighty power of His Son and Spirit He Himself will work this in us: everything has been arranged for it. He tells us that such a life of unbroken obedience is possible because Christ, as the Mediator, will live in us and enable us each moment to live in Him. He tells us that all He wants is simply the surrender of faith, the yielding ourselves to Him to do His work. Oh! let us look, and see this holy life, with all its powers and blessings, coming down from God in heaven, in the Son and His Spirit. Let us believe that the Holy Spirit can give us a vision of it, as a prepared Gift, to be bestowed in living power, and take possession of us. Let us look upward and look inward, in the faith of the Son and the Spirit, and God will show us that every word written in the Book of the Covenant is not only true, but that it can be made spirit and truth within us, and in our daily life, This can indeed be.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
righteousness

RIGTHOUSNESS IS THE KEY TO THE GOSPEL

RIGHTEOUSNESS:  THE KEY TO THE GOSPEL

right1

KEY THEME SCRIPTURES: How do we get right with God?

(Mt.6:33) Seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness and everything else will be added unto you.
Here a direct link can be seen between His Righteousness and the Kingdom.

 (Rom.1:17) For in the gospel a Righteousness from God is revealed, a Righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The Righteous will live by faith.”
True Righteousness is a key theme of the gospels; a righteousness based on faith not works.

 (Phil.3:9) 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.
Here the link between Christ centered Righteousness by faith and Kingdom power is seen – resurrection power!

THE GOOD NEWS

goodnews

The good news and revelation of the New Testament is that we are saved by God’s grace through faith (Eph2:8). Salvation is a free gift from a loving God to an undeserving, sinful people.This salvation is activated purely by faith. All are saved if they will receive the gift. God has reconciled us to himself through Jesus (Rom.5:10). We are now in right standing with our heavenly father, we are righteous. Our Righteousness is from Jesus only.
It is not a self-righteousness that comes through our own good works or sinlessness.

A CLASH IN THE GOSPEL?

which one

Luke 16:16  The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.

Some of the gospel teachings seem to oppose this good news of grace and seem to still be preaching The Law. Parts of the gospels seems to  imply that salvation and true righteousness is actually conditional  on us continuing to do good works. There appears to be a dichotomy between some of parts the gospels and the teachings of grace revealed to the Apostle Paul by the Risen Lord Jesus.

STARTING OFF IN GRACE

start

Gal 3:2  I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard?  Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?
Many are saved by grace, only to find that they end up living a driven, legalistic Christian life. Legalism denies the effectiveness of the work of the cross. It leads to spiritual dryness, death, sin and control. The truth is that not only are we saved by grace but we are called to live in Jesus’grace daily.

A CORRECTION IN READING THE SCRIPTURES

bible

The Lord wants to address this issue and bring about a correction. Legalism often comes about due to the wrong interpretation and application of certain scriptures. It is vitally important therefore, that we re-examine the gospels and other New Testament scriptures that appear to promote legalism and conditional acceptance by God. To deal with this problem we have to understand:
1)      the primary purpose of these gospel teachings?
2)      in what context were they preached?
3)      what do they actually mean for us today?

1)      BEING CHRIST CENTERED

2Ti 3:16  All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.
We must recognize the value of all scripture and understand how to use it correctly. Being Christ centered is crucial and the very core of our faith (Lk.24:27). They and we are all about Jesus! (Col.1:16) The bible is a progressive unfolding revelation of God’s goodness and love for mankind. This love is centered on Jesus Christ (Jn.5:39) and His Kingdom. Firstly we use scripture to interpret scripture. The principle and significance of first mention is helpful. Progression; the gospels interpret and clarify the Old Testament and the Epistles interpret and clarify the gospels.

2)      A NEW COVENANT

Rom 6:14. You are not under law, but under grace
We affirm that as Christians we are not under the Old Testament Covenants as they are all fulfilled in Christ (Mt.5:17). We live under a New Covenant with God. This new agreement is based on the grace and faith released through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This new covenant can only be understood and lived out by the Holy Spirit within us (Jn 14:26 Ro.18:13 Jn3:3).We value, honor and seek to understand Old Testament scriptures.They are the very Word of God revealing mankind’s sinful, independent and self-righteousness nature.They are pointing us toward a Christ centered salvation (Jn.5:39).However it is the New Testament that is our primary scriptural authority.

3)      THE CONTEXT

We must consider scriptures in the context in which they were written. What was the spiritual and life issues that the Holy Spirit was addressing at the specific time? How are these revealed truths are to be applied in our own lives, times and context. To take any scripture out of context leads to abuse and deception and definitely can create confusion. Many today misuse scripture in this way to reinforce wrong doctrines or to over emphasize certain pet doctrines. A scripture taken out of context is a con!

THE LETTERS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

epistles

Many erroneously believe that the Christian life must be first and foremost be founded on the four gospels. The reasoning being that these were the actual teachings of Jesus himself – thus red letter Bibles. This reasoning denies the validity of the Word revealed by the same Spirit of Jesus to the Prophets and Apostles. This over emphasis on the gospels at the expense of the epistles can lead to confusion and an under valuing of the later letters of the Apostles. In fact these New Testament letters are a continuation of the gospels.They add to the progressive revelation of the full Gospel of Jesus Christ, His Kingdom and His grace. They are the very means by which the gospel teachings are to be interpreted and clarified. The Apostle Paul makes it clear that he received his teachings by direct revelation (Gal.1:12). These came direct from the risen, glorified, Jesus and not from himself or any other person. The teachings found in letters such as Romans, clarify and reveal foundational Christian truths. Some of these are only hinted at in the gospels e.g. the Righteousness of Christ, justification by faith, grace, “sonship”, Christ in us, etc. It would be extremely difficult to derive these key foundational Christian doctrines by just studying the gospels. In fact if one was only to study the gospels one could well end up concluding that salvation may primarily come about and be maintained by good works and law keeping! An over emphasis on the gospels at the expense of the epistles can lead to legalism. It is the epistles that bring us into the full revelation of grace and freedom that is ours in Christ. So what then is the purpose of the gospels?

THE KEY ISSUE IN THE GOSPELS

key

There are obviously many truths and themes in the gospels. E.g. Jesus as the way, truth and life, the revelation of God as a Father, the need to be born again, the coming of the Holy Spirit etc. However, the two primary significant themes have often been understated.
1)      True Righteousness
2)      The Spiritual Kingdom of God
3)      The relationship between  the two.
These need to be emphasized if we are to correctly interpret and apply the gospel’s teachings today.This will also help us avoid the trap of self-righteousness that denies God’s grace. Throughout the gospels Jesus sought to rectify Israel’s misconceptions concerning key spiritual truths. Mat 15:24  Jesus answered“I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” These misconceptions were also held by his own disciples. They were Jewish, these wrong beliefs were part of every Jews religious belief and culture. But it is importance of these very same truths also need to be recognized in our own lives:

1)      TRUE RIGHTEOUSNESS

This is a key issue for mankind! This is the work and purpose of the cross. Without true righteousness there is no salvation. True Righteousness is :
i)                    Our right standing with God that comes by grace.
ii)                   Being in a right and loving relationship with God.
iii)                 The condition of man that is acceptable to God.
iv)                 A state approved by God.
v)                  An inner spiritual state of holiness.
vi)                 We are justified through the cross.
vii)               We are without sin in God’s eyes.
viii)              A state where our sins are no longer recorded or remembered.
ix)                 Freedom from condemnation and judgement.
The righteousness practiced by the Jews of Israel and all religions is an external religious self- righteousness based on good works and law keeping. This form of righteousness actually never made Israel or anyone right with God (Ro.3:10). It fell far short of true Godly Righteousness (Mt.5:20). Religious self-righteousness is in fact totally foreign and opposed to true Godly Righteousness which can only come through faith in Jesus Christ. Israel had become proud, boastful and self-righteous; dependent on self-effort and a legalistic religious system, instead of on God.

2)      GOD’S KINGDOM

(Act 1:6)  “Lord are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
Jesus teaching  and preaching was (Mt.4:23) the good news about the kingdom. The Jews and even Jesus’ own disciples, thought that the Messiah/ Christ had come to establish a physical kingdom. They wanted to see Israel glorified among the nations of the earth. (Jn.12:13) The Jews thought the new “King of Israel” had come. They turned on Jesus very quickly when they discovered that this was not his plan! Even after Jesus’ resurrection, the disciple still did not understand Jesus’ teachings on His kingdom. (Acts 1:8) It’s significant that Jesus’ reply was to point them to the coming Holy Spirit, for the Kingdom is Spirit! They did not understand that the Kingdom of God is a spiritual (Lk.17:21) inner kingdom based on true Righteousness. The Jews and even Jesus’ own disciples mistakenly sought a kingdom and a righteousness that was physical and external. These two themes are critically important for us to understand. Jesus proclaimed a direct link between the Kingdom of God (Mt.6:33), true Righteousness and blessings.

THE CONTEXT OF THE GOSPELS: JEWISH SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS

pharisee

Rom 10:3 Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.
To correctly understand the gospels we have to understand the context in which Jesus’ gospel teachings took place. Jesus preached to Jews. All His disciples and the large majority of His listeners were Jews. They were living under the religious laws of Moses. They were waiting for the Messiah to re-establish Israel’s kingdom. (Mt.15:24)  Jesus boldly proclaimed “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel!” His first concern was dealing with God’s chosen people who had been chosen to take the good news of God to the world. However the Jews had totally missed God’s message and Spirit. (Gen 15:6) Through Abraham Israel had been given the message of a good and loving God. Abraham was the father of the Jewish nation and all those who live by faith. Abraham also had a revelation of true Righteousness that came through faith. But Israel rejected Righteousness by faith and instead sought a religious self-righteousness based on their goodness and self-effort. Thus the law was given to expose their sinful self-righteousness. (Jer 23;11) (Rom 11;26) They in fact had become Godless. Israel became proud and boastful. They did not want an intimate relationship with a loving God. They chose by their actions and hardness of heart to seek righteousness through law keeping. They rejected the faith of Abraham. God gave Israel the law and His conditional blessing based on them keeping every single one of the 613 laws. Read Deut 28 and you will see the impossibility and horror of this. They honestly thought they were good enough to do it! It was into this context that Jesus came. This very issue He addressed through the gospels. He came to reveal to Israel that the righteousness they thought they had attained through the law. They actually fell completely short of God’s holy standard…..what a shock this was to them! The Jews knew that the gentiles were Godless and unrighteous but never suspected they were!

(Rom.3:9) Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.  All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”

JESUS EXPOSES THE SIN OF SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS

eye

Jesus taught and acted with the specific purpose of challenging the legalistic unbelieving hearts of the Jews. Including his own Jewish disciples. Many disciples followed Jesus as a Rabbi and some as Israel’s Messiah. They claimed to believe His message but in fact many disciples totally misunderstood. Many eventually turn away from Him.  (Joh 6:66)  From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. Including Peter in Matt. 26:34. Jesus confronted head on the issue of the Jewish Kingdom and the legalistic, self righteousness taught by the Jewish religious leaders. He condemned this system and it’s leaders outright. We find Jesus condemning the religious Pharisees in the strongest possible terms (Mat.23:1-33). But he showed mercy and grace to those struggling with moral sin (Jn.8:11). He did not go about exposing the hypocrisy of legalism as we would expect. He in fact used law to destroy the law for those in Christ. To those practicing and preaching law and self righteousness He preached a form of Hyper-law. E.g. (Mat 5:28) I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart….If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. Yes, this may seem like simple hyperbole but to the Pharisees who regularly stoned people it was something else! This was to expose the shortcomings of their law keeping and the righteousness they thought it gave them. On earth, Jesus preached law and conditional salvation.  Examples of condition that expose the short coming or the self-righteous religious life and which can themselves lead to legalism are: Matt.5:20, 6:14, 7:21, 10:33, 18:35, 19:21, 25:46. etc. Jesus attempted to drive the law keepers to a place where they would eventually understand that they just could not do it by themselves. He was endevoring to reveal that it was the Jew’s pride and self-righteousness that was the problem and this sin was the key issue for God. (Mat 5:48)  Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. See what I mean, Who can do such a thing? (Mark 10:19-27)  In this story the self-righteous rich man missed this point while the disciples understood to a degree (not fully). When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”.

THE CALL TO REPENT

think

“Repent for the Kingdom of heaven is near (Mt4:17)”
Repentance and Righteousness are two keys to the Kingdom! Jesus’ gospel teaching were primarily a call to the Jews and His own Jewish disciples, an ultimately to all mankind to repent. The Greek work “to repent” actually means a change of mind that leads to a change of living, especially in regard to sin and sinful beliefs. Jesus was calling Israel to change their way of thinking and living – a call to acknowledge their erroneous world and religious view. The teachings of the gospels are not just a call to sinners. It’s a call to good religious people to repent from a self-centered, self-righteousness, legalistic, kingdom view. A call to turn back to a complete dependence on, and belief in, a good and loving God. The repentance Jesus was looking for was not repentance from moral sin as he knew that the greater and foundational sin of unbelief was the root of all moral sin. God hates all sin but there is  primary foundational sin in which all moral sin is rooted. This root sin of pride, is the sin of mankind’s independent, self- righteousness and unbelief in a good and loving God. At its core all moral sin is a manifestation of unbelief and pride! Unbelief and self-righteousness is the sin that the Holy Spirit has come to expose. (Joh 16:8)  When the Holy Spirit comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me…. The Pharisees and the average Jew of Jesus’ time generally lead morally up right lives. Because of the strict imposition in society of the laws of Moses.But this was exactly the problem, they had become self righteous, moralistic and judgmental of others. They trusted in their own goodness and in their own efforts of law keeping instead of in God. This is a position that is most offensive to God. This is the great sin of mankind, superbly manifest in the Phariseeical Jewish religious society of Jesus’ day. Islam probably most typifies this attitude today. Thus the importance of us understanding these issues if we are to penetrate Islam and reap the harvest among Muslims and other religious peoples. Jesus understood and proclaimed that it was the inner heart condition that God was concerned with. His focus was not the apparent external keeping of the law or morality.

THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCHES WERE BOTH JEWISH AND GENTILE

jew

This issue of Jewish legalism was not just something that Jesus addressed in Israel through His gospel teachings. It was in fact one of the main dividing issues every early church, whether in Jerusalem or Rome. Most of the early churches consisted of an almost equal mix of gentile converts from paganism and Jewish converts from Judaism. Judaism was widely spread and highly popular throughout the Roman empire. Most towns had a Jewish synagogue. This is evident when reading Acts. Paul always went first to the synagogue when entering a Roman Empire town. Paul had to repeatedly address the attempts of Jewish Christian believers to impose law in the new churches – thus his letters. Even the Apostles James and Peter promoted this heresy . The Judaizers that Paul so fervently condemned were not Jews sent by the Jewish Pharisees, they were Christians sent by James! They were Jewish converts to Christianity that had misunderstood the gospel of grace and were trying to add law to grace. Despite calling and thinking of themselves as Christians they in fact did not truly believe the true gospel (Gal.1:6-7) that the work of the cross was enough to make them right with God. In his letters Paul uses similar tactic to Jesus by pointing out their hypocrisy and their moral sin that is stirred up by law keeping.

NEW LEGALISM OPPOSES GRACE

gracelaw

We all have a natural fallen tendency to become legalistic. The modern church is still full of legalism. Legalism leads to an obsession with external moral sin instead of dealing with the issues of the heart. Don’t get me wrong when I say this. Let me be clear that moral sin is terrible and destructive and has no merit in any way. But Jesus has dealt with it on the cross and we are no longer slaves to sin. Focusing on it gives it strength and power that it is not due. In the New Testament believers are never addressed as sinners but always as saints; holy ones. When we sin we simply take it to the cross. Legalists become sin focused instead of Christ focused. Living by sets of rules, regulations, methods and techniques produce a dry, unloving and controlling environment. There is very little dependence on a real relationship with God. Even though grace may be taught, often the under laying message is that it is believers moral actions, adherence to rules, regulations and systems and attendance at meetings that make them righteous and acceptable to God and the church. Under such teachings we all fall short and tend to live in condemnation and passivity because law emphasis our short comings. The focus for many has become a form of self-righteous living rather than living in the Righteousness of Christ imparted to us by faith and lived out by the Holy Spirit. It’s all an issue of what comes first, where is our focus? Us and our effort, or Jesus, the cross? His Righteousness and grace at work in us leading us to true good works and holiness?

TRUE RIGHTEOUSNESS AND RESURRECTION POWER

ressur

There is a link between our revelation, understanding and acceptance of the Righteousness of Christ and moving in His resurrection power. Phil.3:9-10   2Cor.6:7. We are called to move in the power of the gospel 1Cor 2;4 that comes by grace and the Spirit. Legalism leads to intellectualism and a quenching of the Spirit. Accepting the complete, full work of the cross and the Righteousness that comes there from is the grace leads to freedom and power of the Spirit. (Heb.10:29) How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 

 WE CAN REST IN THE WORK OF THE CROSS

rest

Godly living and actions come out of the inner condition of the heart Mt.15:18. This right heart condition is founded on a revelation of grace Jn.1;17 Rom.4:16 and that we are the Righteousness of Christ 2Co.2;21. It’s not because of what we do but because of who we are; a part of Christ.  (Rom 4:5) However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. Jesus is in us, we are dead, He is alive Gal 2:20. Our sins are no longer taken into account Rom 4:8. Our righteousness is HIS righteousness. Our life is His life. We have glorious freedom from condemnation Rom 8:1-16. The cross has done all we need to make us right with God. It is from this position that agape love, Godly good works and right living is manifest through our lives.

CONCLUSION

We live under grace not law – this has to have a daily reality for us. Any New Testament scripture that seems to imply that our salvation and acceptance by God is based on our good works or law keeping we must remember to whom these scriptures were actually addressed; to Jews living by law not to believers living by grace.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

ABRAHAM’S RIGHTEOUSNESS

ABRAHAM’S RIGHTEOUSNESS

abraham2

ABRAHAM WAS RIGHT WITH GOD = RIGHTEOUS
(BUT JOB TRUSTED IN HIS OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS)

The history and life of Abraham is of great significance to all Believers.
He was truly Righteous, i.e. in right standing with God.
If we grasp the truths taught by Abraham’s life we will be blessed by coming into a deeper understanding of what God considers to be true Righteousness and how this state comes about.
An understanding of Righteousness is critical to your maturity as a Believer Heb_5:13
Without true Righteousness we cannot receive the empowering and blessings God has for us.
In fact without true Righteousness we will battle in our walk as a Christian.

ABRAHAM IS OUR SPIRITUAL FATHER

Abraham was the founding father of a great a spiritual nation i.e. All Believers who are Righteous and saved through faith Gal_3:7.
This includes both Jews and Gentiles who choose salvation by grace through faithEph_2:8.
The New Covenant is clear that all those who are “Born Again” are spiritual children of Abraham.
The key to his life is that Abraham’s great blessings, promises and Righteousness were received only through faith Rom_4:1-3.
He was the first example of the man of faith, who was properly Righteous in God’s eyes.
It is vitally important for us as Believers to look carefully at Abraham: what he believed, how God responded to him and how he was blessed?
This will help us to understand the way God relates, saves and blesses those who are Righteous by faith.

RIGHTEOUSNESS IS THE KEY ISSUE OF LIFE AND OUR FAITH
Gen_3:1-24  The Serpent said: “For God knows that when you eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 
Righteousness by dead works or by faith???
Without true Godly Righteousness and perfection no one can ever come to God, no one can ever be saved.
The Scriptures deal with this core issue of human existence, “What is it that makes us right with God and leads to godly immortality?”
At the fall,  Adam and Eve choose to seek perfection, righteousness and immortality independently from God by doing good and avoiding evil.
They were deceived into believing that they could become as gods through good and bad (works).
However, the root message of Abraham life is that  “Righteousness” (True Right Standing with God) is a gift from God that is by Grace through Faith”
Abraham knew that true Righteousness could not be obtained through dead works based on knowing and doing what is either good or bad.

ABRAHAM WAS RIGHT WITH GOD
Rom_4:3-9  What does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” ….5  the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.
The Righteousness that is acceptable to God and has nothing to do with our good or bad works, our sinlessness or sinfulness. It is based solely on our trust and belief in God’s goodness and plan of salvation (which is Jesus).
This is the critical truth that all Christian life must be founded upon if we are to experience a right relationship with our heavenly Father.
All the promises of God only come about based on God given Righteousness that is received purely by faith.
Abraham understood this truth, he was tight with God and he was blessed in every way.
Abraham trusted God and God revealed himself to Abraham.
Abraham was given the revelation that salvation is through the gift of Righteousness that comes only through Grace by the faith of Jesus.
Abraham did not trust in his own righteousness, good works or sinlessness as he understood they could never make him perfect enough for God.
Abraham trusted solely in God’s goodness and God’s free gift of the Saviour’s Righteousness that was imputed to him purely by faith.
So how did this revelation come about? What was it that caused Abraham to be so radically different.
There was a foundational event in Abraham’s life that lead him into truth, completely changed him and through him, changed history…..

ABRAHAM MET THE KING OF RIGHTEOUSNESS & PEACE, FACE TO FACE!
Gen_14:17-23  Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19  and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. 
Abraham did not just hear about God but encountered Him face to face.
Abraham met with a King called Melchizedek…. well so what, you may ask!
Although not a lot is said about this encounter it is one of the most significant events in the Old Testament.
Many seemingly small and insignificant events recorded in scriptures prove to be amazingly significant spiritually.
This brief but amazing encounter was the foundation of Abraham’s faith and Righteousness.
In Genesis there is no historical explanation of who this King Melchizedek was, where he came from or where he actually ruled.
However we know that the Old Testament always has shadows or types of Christ Joh_5:39.
The Old Testament is actually all about Jesus Luk_24:27 and God’s plan of salvation through Him – if we are prepared to look carefully with spiritual eyes we can see this.
As the saying goes, “The Old Testament is Christ concealed, the New Testament is Christ revealed”.
This is the way to read all scriptures- always look for Jesus and the cross hidden in symbols and types.
We can see these truths about Jesus in Abraham’s encounter with a King who was unknown and only mentioned once in the Old Testament.
Through this encounter the gospel of salvation by Grace, was revealed to Abraham.
The Book of Hebrews sheds light on this most important encounter….

ABRAHAM’S ENCOUNTER WAS WITH JESUS
Heb_7:1-3 This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him,  2  and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, his name means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” 3  Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever. 4  Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder! 
This Melchizedek was not just a type of Jesus but he was Jesus himself.
This may be hard for us to get our heads around, but this Priest/ Messiah King was Jesus in everything but name.
This event is the clearest and boldest revelation of the physical Christ found anywhere in the Old Testament.
This physical King, Melchizedek, had no beginning or end (Heb.7:3)…. only Jesus exists in this way, no other.
Only Jesus can be called “The King of Righteousness” and “The King of Peace”, no other can take this role or title.
This Melchizedek was a Priest of the most High God, he was not an earthly priest, he was the heavenly priest, Jesus, described in the Book of Hebrews.
This was an pre-incarnation appearance of Jesus, the High Priest of the heavenly Jerusalem Heb_12:22 .
Jesus, who is not constrained by time, miraculously appeared to Abraham and shared the gospel with him.
For Abraham, his personal encounter with his saviour was a “today, now event”
Abraham had a personal salvation encounter with Christ, even though Christ never revealed His name.
Abraham’s faith was in God’s goodness and love that was still to be fully revealed in a future event; The cross of Jesus.
Similarly, our faith is in God’s goodness and love that has been revealed in a past event, The same cross of Jesus!
We look backwards to the cross of Jesus and have faith. Abraham looked forward to the cross and had faith.

bread wine 2

ABRAHAM HAD INTIMATE COMMUNION WITH HIS SAVIOUR
Gen_14:17-23  Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (or in plain language: The King of Righteousness and Peace  shared bread and wine with Abraham).  
So how did Jesus reveal the plan of salvation to Abraham? It was through communion!Luk_22:17-20.
Although Jesus did not reveal His name to Abraham, He did reveal God’s plan of salvation.
The gospel was announced to Abraham before the cross Gal_3:8.
Communion is an extremely important and spiritually significant act, an act which most of us under estimate 1Co_11:23-29
Jesus as Melchizedek, revealed God’s salvation plan to Abraham by having communion with Abraham right there on the road.
He took bread and wine and shared it with Abraham – “This is My Body and this is My Blood. The New Covenant will come. Have faith Abraham!”
Abraham was given spiritual revelation of salvation as he ate the bread and wine…. his spiritual eyes were opened.
Jesus also showed Abraham the fruit of pure Grace  by blessing him.
Because of the grace shown and the gospel revealed to him, Abraham freely submitted to this King (Jesus).
In those days a king would demand a tenth from his subjects  as a sign of their submission.
Jesus demanded nothing from Abraham but Abraham willingly and submitted to the King.
That’s why Abraham was saved, because he had saw God face to face, heard the good news and this resulted in believing faith.
By the way, the Emmaus Road experience of some of the disciples was similar to Abraham’s, Jesus revealed Himself to them in the breaking of the bread.
Luk_24:30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31  Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.

WE ARE RIGHTEOUS LIKE ABRAHAM
Rom_3:21-24  But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.22  This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,23  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,24  and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
You ARE Righteous!
The importance of Abraham’s life to us who believe, is that we are Righteous the same way he was.
The Righteousness of a Believer is by faith in Jesus’ finished work on the cross.
This is the only Righteousness that is acceptable to God.
We do not obtain or maintain Righteousness by doing good works  and avoiding bad or evil.
We reject way of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil Gen_2:17.
We repent (i.e. change our minds) concerning Adam’s decision of using the knowledge of good and bad to obtain heavenly perfection and godliness Gen_3:5.
We do good works because we are saved and loved by God not to get saved nor to maintain God’s love.
When we understand we are Righteous we are able to receive from God, we feel worthy to be blessed.
When Satan tells us we are no good and  separated from God, our (Jesus) Righteousness tells us otherwise…. it’s good news.

THE ERROR SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS
Rom_9:31-33  Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. 32  Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works.
One of the errors revealed throughout the Old testament is that many of  God’s people thought that being good and avoid ding sin made them right with God.
They believed that right standing with God could come about through their SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS.
This self righteousness was based on the fallen notion that God accepts us based on our good and bad deeds – called dead works in the New Testament.
But God hates self righteousness because the spirit behind it is one of pride and independence from God.
God will allow the righteousness of the SELF Righteous to be tested and to be proven to be short of His perfection.
God’s longing is for all to simply call on him for Righteousness that is given through His son Jesus.
It is crucial for us to be established in true righteousness if we are to experience the fullness of the kingdom and God’s blessings.
The mark of a mature believer is that they understand these truth on righteousness!Heb_5:12-13
If you are self righteous you are headed for trouble for God hates self righteousness…..

Job1

JOB AND THE SUFFERING OF THE SELF RIGHTEOUS
Job_32:-2  These three men stopped answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. 2  But Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became very angry with Job for justifying himself rather than God.
In contrast to Abraham who was justified (just as if he never sinned) and righteous by faith, the Scriptures tell of another man of God who relied on his Self Righteousness.
This man was called Job. His name means hated! Hum I wonder why?
We all know Job was a upright and perfect man Job_1:1 who suffered greatly because God invited Satan to test him Job_1:8 …  yeah I know it’s scary,…this is not good news when interpreted in the traditional way!
However if we start to look at Job in a correct way we will see that it is actually good news, because the issue of Job is not that God gives and takes away, willy nilly, but that God hates self righteousness.
Job is the exact opposite of Abraham.
Job had heard about God but never saw Him, Job’s relationship with God was distant, fear based and works driven.
Job suffered because he trusted in his own righteousness, Abraham received one blessing after the other because he trusted in a righteousness that was by faith.

Be blessed.

garry@gracelovetruth.com          +27 845562786

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

VICTORY THROUGH JESUS’ GRACE

WE HAVE VICTORY THROUGH GRACE AND RIGHTEOUSNESS
(Plus nine points of victory)

Share this link http://gracelovetruth.com/?p=687
IF YOU ARE ACCESSING THIS VIA FACEBOOK -PLEASE BEFRIEND US ON:    https://www.facebook.com/garry.hare    OR CLICK THE FB TAB ABOVE RIGHT. THIS WILL  ENSURE YOU GET ALL OUR POSTS ON YOUR FB. OR YOU CAN SUBSCRIBE TO THIS BLOGG.

victory

WE ARE JESUS FOCUSED

God is good and God is love, He expressed His love in and through Jesus & His defeat of Satan by the Cross. Through Jesus we have victory over all evil but sadly many Believers still give far too much attention to Satan.When we are established in the Righteousness and Grace of Jesus our attention shifts. The more we set our spiritual eyes are on Jesus, and on who we are in him, things change for the better.Through the cross, we are Righteous, beloved, blessed, healed children of a loving “Abba” Father – this is our victory in Christ!

RIGHTEOUSNESS IS THE KEY TO VICTORY

THE VICTORY OF THE CROSS

Col.2:13-15 He forgave us all our sins having cancelled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.  And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. 
Rom.10:4 Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. 

victory cross

These are key scriptures in spiritual warfare as in the past The Law gave Satan legal spiritual rights to attack God’s people. This was because the Law was based on our own effort and self righteousness, which always fell short. Self righteousness is by our works, our Law keeping, our ways, our obedience, our sweat, our sacrifice…..it’s all about me, me, me, instead of about God and His ways.
The good news is that we are like Abraham and the Righteousness we have from God, through faith in Christ, cannot be overcome by Satan, as through the cross we are perfectly and permanently Righteous through God’s gift of grace. Satan no longer has any right to attack us as on the cross Jesus cancelled the Law that had given Satan rights to afflict Believers.
If we see these truths and believe them, then Satan and his allies fear, sickness and death, becomes totally powerless in our lives.
Be warned, self righteousness is a disaster! This is what the scriptures teach…..

TWO TYPES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS: JOB AND ABRAHAM.

Rom 4:16  Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all.

job

We see the terrible result of self righteousness and self justification in the life of Job  (Job.40:8) : In his time, Job was the most righteous man to be found on earth, but his righteousness was a self righteousness based on his own efforts and doings. Job was motivated by fear and not faith in a good God. When Satan sees self righteousness he attacks and test self righteousness, because even Satan knows self righteousness always falls short. God Himself hates self righteousness and God ALLOWS Satan to test any righteousness that is not based on faith in His Saviour and goodness (Job1:8). Job did not trust in God’s goodness and lived in a wrong relationship with God as he had a (wrong) fear of God that denied God’s Grace. Sadly Job was an anxious and fearful man that let his fears control him. The very things that Job feared came upon him (Job3:25). He was fearful because deep down he knew he was depending on his own righteousness (Job40:8). In Job’s case, Satan simply fulfilled what Job was already thinking and fearing. Unlike Abraham, Job had a very low opinion of God’s love and goodness. Job always suspected that God was out to punish him and his family for their sins (Job1:5). He did not know God as “Abba” Daddy (Rom8:15) and he was not set free of the fear of God’s punishment (1Jn.4:18). After all the arguments and lament, in the end Job acknowledged that he had only known about God but did not know God nor understand God’s ways (Job.42:1-6). When Job repented and turned to God’s grace he was blessed (Job.42:12).
In contrast to Job, Abraham had a righteousness from God that was by faith (Gen.15:6) and consequently he heard God, was always protected, blessed and prosperous.
Funnily, more Christians seem to identify with Job rather than with Abraham. Who do you see yourself like?

REIGNING IN RIGHTEOUSNESS

Rom.5:17  For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. 

king

Jesus is our Righteousness, it’s His free gift to all who would believe. To be Righteous means to be in a completely right relationship with God; intimate, sons and daughters who are qualified, forgiven, blessed and empowered by the Spirit. Righteousness means we are justified, which means, it’s just as if we had never sinned. When we are firmly established in righteousness we cannot be overcome by the enemy.
To reign, is to have authority and control over events and circumstances. Kings reign over their kingdoms and all things are submitted to them. Jesus is our king and we are His representatives ambassadors (small kings) here on earth. When we understand that we are perfectly righteous with God it gives us authority of the King to reign and rule, right here, right now.

ISAIAH PROPHESIED A HIGHWAY OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

Isa. 35:8-9  And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it. No lion will be there, nor will any ferocious beast get up on it; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there.

Highway Isa 35.8

Spiritual warfare is all about where you believe you are positioned in Christ. Isaiah prophesied that New Covenant living would be like a highway – a higher way of living. He prophesied a highway of Grace and Righteousness in Christ. When we live in the belief that we are walking on the highway of Jesus’ Righteousness instead of our righteousness, then Satan has no access to us. In the above scripture wild animals represent Satan and his demons. Isaiah states that on the highway of the Lord no lion or wild animals can come. We know what happens on highways, wild animals don’t last long.
We have to overcome the lie that Satan has access into our lives and is entitled to attack us. Let’s get it right – Satan must flee from us because Christ lives in us (Gal.2:20), not the other way around…..simply run him down if he gets in your way!

NEW COVENANT: JESUS WAS PUNISHED AND AFFLICTED FOR US

Isa.30:20  (The Old Covenant): Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them.
Because of the Cross, what was true under the Old Covenant of the Law is no longer true for those under the New Covenant of Grace, especially with regard to God afflicting us and punishing us.

THE OLD COVENANT: Under this old agreement no one was “Born Again”, no one was called a “Child of God”, no one was “filled with the Spirit” (The Spirit of God only came upon certain people at certain times),  Prophets had to hear God for the People, Priests had to present prayers on the peoples behalf. Righteousness was based good works and perfect Law keeping. Punishment and curses (Deut.28) came upon those those who sinned, backslid and disobeyed until they repented and turned back to God. Adversity, affliction,  sickness and hardship was used to train God’s people (Isa.30:20). It wasn’t good news, as Israel’s history proved, they never made the grade and suffered greatly for it (Rom.9:30-10:4).

THE NEW COVENANT: Under this new agreement. Believers are “Born Again” and are a ‘New Creation”, we are “Children of God” , the Holy Spirit  permanently live in us, we have a personal relationship with God, we hear Him and He hears us when we pray. Our righteousness is Jesus and is imputed to us by faith. We are not under the Law. We do good works because we are under grace and not to get right with God. Our punishment and curses where take by Jesus on the cross. God trains and teaches us through the Holy Spirit and by the scriptures not through adversity, affliction and sickness.

So what is the bread of adversity and the water of affliction in a New Covenant sense? Simple, we point to Jesus. His Body suffered adversity and affliction for our sake and it becomes for us the bread of adversity and affliction, and thus the bread of Life as it reminds us of His suffering for us. That’s why we regularly celebrate communion. When Jesus was afflicted with the speared in His side on the Cross, the water flowed out along with the blood, this becomes for us the water of affliction.

bread 1

To walk in victory it is critical for us to be clear which Covenant we are under otherwise we will wrongly believe that God is cursing us, God is making us sick, God is giving us poverty  etc. etc. to teach us a lesson and train us. We then  justify this wrong belief from scriptures taken from the Old Testament instead of looking to Christ and the Cross. We call Satan’s works God’s work wrongly suffer instead of standing firm in Christ against Satan’s schemes (Eph.6:11)

 SATAN’S SCHEME

1Co.1:30  It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 
Yes, there are times when we have to take our stand against Satan’s schemes and plans (Eph.6:11). But let’s understand that Satan’s scheme from the beginning, has always been to sow doubt about God’s promises (Gen3:1) by speaking lies that sound true. Satan’s biggest scheme is to try to convince us God is punishing us or afflicting us and that he has rights into our lives because we sin or fall short of holiness ….lies, lies, lies.
The way he does this is to undermine our righteousness and get us to believe that it is based on our actions instead of on faith. He always tries to undermine our identity as God’s children who are loved, blessed and right with God. He always tries to convince us that we are sinners who are unworthy and deserve punishment – which he loves to inflict. Our response when under attack, is simply to point to Jesus Christ and that we are Righteous through Him, our deserved punishment and afflictions are on Jesus on the Cross – this totally disarms and repels Satan.
Be aware that Satan can only afflict your life if you allow him to convince you that you are not Righteous and deserve to be punished.

CHRIST IS IN US

1Jn. 4:3   You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 

Simply put: You have amazing power in you : The person of Jesus. You can overcome any evil spirit, because Jesus HAS already defeated them and Jesus lives inside us by His Spirit. We are never alone.
He, who lives in us is greater than any evil. The problem is that most Believers simply can’t accept the enormity of this truth. Yet the truth that “Christ Lives In You” is the key to overcoming in every area of life.
Jesus, living in us,  overcomes both the attacks of the devil and the temptations and of the world.

WE ARE DEAD: CHRIST IN YOU IS NOW YOUR LIFE

Gal.2:20  I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in of (KJV) the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

Christ in

(MSG)  Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 
This is an amazing truth and mystery, Christ lives in us and at the same time is seated at God’s right hand interceding for us. Christ is constantly there within us, to remind us and heaven that we are now Perfectly Righteous so that we no longer have to prove ourselves Righteous with anyone – including Satan.
When Satan tries to accuse us before God  just like with Job.1:6-12, Jesus, our great high priest simply intervenes (Heb.7:24-25) to remind all that we are now perfectly Righteous by his blood sacrifice on the Cross, and Jesus, living in us, speaks the same words of Righteousness to us, if we will listen and believe!
Our whole live is now Jesus’, we are not separate from Him in anyway, we have union with Him, even when we sin. Do not set aside the Grace of God by believing your sin can somehow take Christ out of you. He doesn’t come and go based on your actions. He is always in you – you and Christ are welded together by the Spirit. You are clean, sinless, righteous and holy because of Him!

SATAN IS A BLUFFER AND A LIAR

1Pe. 5:8-10 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 

Lion 1

At one time under the Old Covenant Satan had rights and had weapons, but no longer!
If you have ever been in a bush camp when a lion is prowling around  – it is scary, just hearing the roar of a lion makes one afraid. Well this is the kind of scheme Satan employs – he tries to get our attention by making a big noise. Satan loves to scare Believers. He sows fear and anxiety and intimidates us because he knows that when people are afraid they become vulnerable to attack.
HOWEVER, Satan is not a lion, the scripture says he acts like a lion – it is all bluff. If he is a lion then he is one that just makes a big noise but actually has no teeth and claws because he has been disarmed through the cross (Col.2:15). He does not have weapons any longer but he does have tools called Fear, Anxiety and Temptation, and he uses these against us.
Satan is a conman that cons Believers into giving him power and access that he has no right to. Once we fall for his schemes and lies by listening to him and his fears and anxieties, he  jumps in and robs us (Joh.10:10).
We need to be like the old evangelist Smiths Wigglesworth, who when the devil appeared to him one night, simply rolled over and went back to sleep as he knew Satan had absolutely no right or business with him.

RIGHTEOUSNESS IS OUR WEAPON 

2Co.6:7  ….. in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left… 

weapons

Our Righteousness in Christ is our weapon against the Devil and when we come under attack we always point to our Righteousness in Christ, this defeats Satan, so speak it out loud and use this truth as a prayer weapon!

NINE PRACTICAL STEPS TO LIVING IN VICTORY

As a born again, Spirit filled Believer, establish yourself by renewing the way you think. Believe the following truths and you will find that Satan will just fade away and try elsewhere.

1) BE MATURE AND ACCEPT THAT YOU ARE PERFECTLY RIGHTEOUS

Rom.4:6-8  David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: 
Heb 5:13  Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 

baby

Understanding what true  Righteousness is – the key to Grace and Kingdom living.
Be mature. Immature infants cannot overcome but adults can fight.
Believe you are Right with God in every way.
Believe that you are free from all religious laws, are Righteous and this gives you a Right to peace and joy Rom.14:17 .
Believe your Righteousness is not based on your actions but on the faith of Jesus.
When attacked always declare the truth “I am Righteous in Christ”!

2) STOP LIVING UNDER LAW

1Co. 15:55-58  “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. 

ten 1

Understand that we are in a New Covenant of Grace and not the Old Covenant of Law.
Stop mixing the two, believe you are free from the Law.
Understand that Believers who live by rules, regulations and the Law give sin, death and Satan rights.
Ask the Holy Spirit to show you where you are living legalistically and trying to earn God’s favour or prove yourself.

3) ESTABLISH YOURSELF IN GRACE

Rom 5:17 ….to those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness …. 
Believe you are God’s favourite!
Know that Grace is the place of God’s favour and blessing.
Establish yourself in the free gifts of Christ’s Grace and Righteousness.
Study the scriptures and seek revelation about Grace and Righteousness.
Today grace and righteousness is the KEY REVELATION that the Holy Spirit is teaching the Church.
Choose to live in Grace and reject any teaching or thought that opposes Grace and the finished work of the cross.
Reject and teaching and belief that God is out to punish you, inflict sickness or bad circumstances on you to teach you a lesson. Loving Fathers simply don’t do this to their beloved children, it’s a lie and denies the Cross where Jesus took our punishment, curse, sin and sickness.

4) RENEW YOUR THINKING

 Rom.7:23 I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.

mind

2Co. 10:3-5  For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.4  The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 
Believe don’t doubt.
Understand that most spiritual warfare is in the mind.
It’s all about repentance – which means a change of mind.
Allow the truths and promises found in the scriptures to change your thinking and renew your minds. (Rom.12:2).
Replace lies from Satan that have taken hold in your thinking with truths from the scriptures.
Reject any thinking or teaching that says Satan, death and sickness ect. have a right to afflict you, is not from God.

5) SEE THAT YOU ARE SINLESS

Rom 4:6  David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works  “Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 

sinless
Believe that ALL your sins are forgiven, past, present and future – without condition – you don’t to do anything further.
Understand the difference between a Sinner and a Saint. A Sinner is and unsaved person. In God’s eyes a Sinner is an un-Righteous person who is enslaved by sin. Those who are Righteous in Christ are Saints and this identity no longer dependent on your actions, either good or bad. Talk about yourself as a Saint (Heb.10:10) not a Sinner (that’s what you used to be). You may be a Saint that sometimes sins but that is different from being a Sinner who cannot help but sin. You are not sinless because you never sin,  you are sinless because God has chosen to do away with the system of keeping records of peoples sins – that is Grace.
Believe that under the New Covenant sin DOES NOT give Satan access or a rights into a born again believers life – he has been completely disarmed and his rights through sin cancelled through the cross. Under the New Covenant God’s only issue with your sinful actions is that they hurt and rob His children and others of His blessings and well being.
See that under the New Covenant God does not relate to us anymore on the basis of our sin or lack thereof, God now relates to us as sinless children who are Right with Him through Jesus.
God remember your sins no more so why should you?

6) BE CLEAR ON YOUR NEW IDENTITY

2Co 5:17  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 
See yourself as God see you. You are now a new creation in Christ.

who am i
See yourself as the beloved, precious child of a loving, good, generous heavenly Father who wishes you no harm and is not angry with you any longer. You have a new identity and a new Father.
Accept your inheritance as a Righteous, born again, child of God and receive God given rights. You have rights to access every good promise of the Kingdom – it is your inheritance, right now!
Don’t let Satan undermine your identity by getting you to focus on your faults, sins and actions. Remember who you are in Christ, a child of a Holy and Awesome God.

7) REJECT ALL ANXIETY AND FEAR

1Pe 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 
Understand that there is a strong link between anxiety, the attacks of Satan and suffering. If you are anxious and fearful, you suffer! These emotions and thoughts are all based on unbelief in God’s goodness and His free gift of Righteousness (Mat.6:32-34)
See that fear and anxiety is rooted in the sin of “Unbelief” – repent and be set free.
Allow Grace in Christ to overcome your fear and worry – it’s the key to victory over Satan.
Understand that sickness, death and poverty is rooted in unbelief and are manifestation of anxiety, fear, stress and legalistic living.
Choose to believe that we are blessed, and blessed, and blessed, in Grace through Christ (Joh1:16).

8) GET HELP FROM GRACE

Heb4:16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. 
Tit.2:11-12 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.  It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.

throne
When we need help we can come to God without fear because we are now in a system of Grace through Jesus.
Understand that it is only Grace that enable us to live in a right way (Righteously).
See that right living is the fruit of Grace not the product of keeping laws.
When Satan attacks come to the throne where Jesus reigns and He gives us the help we need.

9) FINALLY -PUT YOUR EYES ON JESUS

Heb 12:2  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 

Hopegraph3
Christian living is all about Jesus so take your eyes off Satan and his evil works and fix your gaze on Jesus. The work of the cross is a finished and complete work which gives us victory – if we believe. Jesus is seated at rest in the place of favour and authority at God’s right hand, He defends us. He is beautiful, pure, loving and kind, look on Him and find peace, joy and the help you need. Apply these good news truths and see the fruit just grow naturally and without effort.
Be victorious and blessed, Garry.      www.gracelovetruth.com

SHARE AND LIKE IF YOU AGREE

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

JESUS’ CURSED SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS

IF YOU ARE ACCESSING THIS VIA FACEBOOK -PLEASE BEFRIEND US ON:    https://www.facebook.com/garry.hare    OR CLICK THE FB TAB ABOVE RIGHT. THIS WILL  ENSURE YOU GET ALL OUR POSTS ON YOUR FB. OR YOU CAN SUBSCRIBE TO THIS BLOGG.

Share the this link http://gracelovetruth.com/?p=677

fig

Jesus’ every act had meaning, revealed truth and was full of prophetic symbolism (i) that pointed to truth for those who wanted to seek truth. Nothing in the scriptures is superfluous. Everything is linked in Christ whose whole life was the fulfillment of the scriptures (ii), The Law (iii) and prophetic expectations.
It’s important that we believe this as it helps us to make sense of some of the many difficult scriptures and also see the links between the Old and New Covenants. Over and over the gospels declare “Jesus did this to fulfill the scriptures” (iv). This is because Jesus came in the context of all that had happened before.  The whole history of mankind and especially Israel, has always been inextricably moving and pointing to the coming of the Messiah/ Christ of God. Likewise today as we await Jesus’ second coming.

thorns

When we look at the scriptures, by the Holy Spirit, we seek to understand the symbolism that is contain in the stories. Grace and truth came in the person of Jesus (v)  and all scripture has to be interpreted in the context of God’s call  for mankind to be saved from their independent, self righteous, sin infected lives to a life that is dependent on God and His grace found in Jesus Christ.

Here are a few examples linking the Old  and New testaments and explanations of  some of the symbolism.

Ask the Holy Spirit to show you more as you read the scriptures. Not only is this fun and exciting but it’s revelation that will feed your spirit as you see the progressively revealed truth of the Gospel of Jesus’ Grace.

THE FIG TREE: (vi) Shame! Why did Jesus cursed the poor fig tree? –  Because it was fruitless and symbolizes the fruitlessness of Israel’s and mankind’s self righteousness works, Law keeping and independence from God’s provision. The link to the Old Testament is that Adam made his own covering of fig leaves to hide his shame, instead of trusting in God’s forgiveness, grace  and provision.
THE CROWN OF THORNS: (vii) Wow, painful! Why did Jesus wear a crown of thorns on the cross. What is the symbolism? – The Law and Ten Commandments were given on Mount Sin-ai in the dessert of Sin.  The word Sin in Hebrew means thorns (we all know what it literally means in English, again no coincidence in the scriptures!). We know that any ground covered with thorns is just useless. Jesus wore a crown of thorns to show that the curse of Law and Sin that has caused us so much pain, bloodshed and suffering (albeit due to our failure) was on His head.
THE CROSS WAS A TREE: Why was Jesus crucified on a tree? –
Check out Deut.21:23, Gal.3:13, Rev 21:2

tree cross

Jesus said that He came to fulfill the scriptures .i.e. not only to fulfill their demands but also to bring revelation of their true meaning –  mankind can only find right standing with God, true righteousness, through Jesus’ grace, there is no other way
_________________________________________________________________________

Scripture references:
(i) Heb 10:1  The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves.
(ii) John 5:39 You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me
(iii) Mat 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
(iv) Matthew 1;22, 4:14, 8:17, 12:17, 21:4………
(v) John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
(vi) Mar 11:13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then Jesus said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” 
(vii) Mat 27:29  They twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather