The Daily Word of Righteousness

Iron, Fire, and Stern Obedience, continued

No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. (I John 3:6—NIV)

One time a stewardess on an airplane asked me what I was writing about on my notebook computer. I told her the subject was righteousness.

She said she was a Christian and hated that word.

I am telling you the truth. This incident actually took place some years ago.

Do you know why this young Christian said she hated the word righteousness?

Because she had been taught, as so many are being taught today, that any attempt to live a godly life in Christ is legalism. Jesus has "done it all" and whenever we try to behave ourselves we are attempting to improve on our imputed righteousness.

This is the sorry state of Evangelical doctrine in our day.

I believe God is grieved with this tremendous departure from His intention to make, through the new covenant, people who keep His eternal moral laws of righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God.

Can you get a sense of how grieved Christ is to see His people ignoring His commandments and those of His Apostles?

We are so utterly inconsistent! During the last decade several ministers have fallen either through sexual lust or the dishonest handling of money.

The churches rise up in dismay and remove the sinning minister from his place of responsibility. Then the same churches preach that we are saved by a sovereign grace and covered with the righteousness of Christ independently of our behavior. Can you make sense out of this?

The Holy Spirit is putting a burden of repentance on the churches of America. To repent is to turn from what we are doing and begin to obey the commandments of Christ and His Apostles. If this is not repentance, then what is?

Christians are repenting. But if our doctrine were true, and God sees us only through Jesus Christ, of what are we repenting? Our imputed righteousness?

In this we are utterly inconsistent. It is no wonder the churches get into the trouble they do. It is because of immoral conduct and the foolish behavior that springs from a silly attitude toward God and His commandments.

No, God has not changed his requirements concerning those with whom He is willing to have fellowship. God is the God of the Bible. The God of the Bible will not have fellowship with darkness whether the darkness is that of a believer or an unbeliever.

I know someone will protest, "You are correct in what you say but I am still saved even though I do not act righteously, because I am saved by grace."

An Evangelical believer will move Heaven and earth to prove he can sin all over the place and still be saved. "Thou shalt not surely die."

I tell you, we are incorrect in this. If we do not bring forth the fruit of righteous behavior in our life we will be cut off from Christ, from the Vine. If we are cut off from Christ we are removed from salvation for there is no salvation outside of Christ! As Paul says in Romans, "If we live according to our sinful nature we will die."

To be continued.