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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Blowing of Trumpets, #6
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. (Romans 8:29—NIV)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (II Corinthians 5;17—NIV)
Do you see the difference between regarding ascribed righteousness as a new way in which God deals with people, as distinguished from ascribed righteousness as a temporary provision while we are undergoing a transformation from moral chaos into the image of Christ?
Ascribed righteousness is not intended to be a permanent condition by which God is able to have fellowship with untransformed sons of Adam. Ascribed righteousness is a means of shielding the believer from God's wrath while Christ is building a new creation.
We are to keep the Words of Jesus and do what He commanded us, obtaining the necessary help from the Holy Spirit. Our efforts in the Lord bring to us a measure of sanctification, and the blood of the Lord makes up the difference between our conduct and the standard of conduct God requires.
Now the Lord is appearing to His people and completing the work of removing from us the love of the world, the love of sin, and the love of self-will. Our cooperation in the work of judgment and cleansing is necessary to the process. Israel must fight in order to overcome the enemies in the land of promise, the satanic adversaries presently occupying our inheritance.
Ascribed righteousness does not enable us to ascend the hill of the Lord, to stand in His holy place. Rather, ascribed righteousness suspends the wrath of God until we gain, through Christ, the spiritual strength to overcome the love of the world, the love of sin, and the love of self-will.
Then, as we overcome sin and grow in the holy ways of the Lord, we are able to ascend the hill of the Lord, into Zion, into eternal life. This is the true relationship between the grace that Paul taught and the moral conduct taught by Paul and all the other writers of Scripture.
Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
"He who has clean hands, and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to vanity nor sworn deceitfully." God's moral requirements never change.
Our hands are defiled when we practice immorality or violence or drunkenness.
Our heart is not pure when we dwell on lustful thoughts, or conceive evil against our neighbor, or harbor real or imagined insults, or entertain grudges, revenge, envy, jealousy, or covetousness.
Our soul is not right in us when we seek to exalt our lawless and lying self, pushing forward in our self-will and self-centeredness as we attempt to force people, circumstances, and God Himself to conform to our desires.
We are as a serpent when we strive to twist the simple truth, hoping through our multitude of words to convince people our scheming actually is righteous and worthy.
God is interested in actual righteousness. God has fellowship with those who love Him and keep His commandments. He hears the prayers of those who walk uprightly, who speak the truth, and who love mercy. But the ungodly never shall stand in the Presence of our holy God whether or not they name the name of Jesus.
He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. (Psalms 24:5)
To be continued.