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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Body of the Anointed One, #14
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14—NIV)
For two thousand years the churches for the most part have placed "evangelizing" ahead of witnessing, although the nature of evangelizing has been changed in some instances. The true role of evangelizing, the bringing of the good news of the coming of the Kingdom of God to all creation, has sometimes been changed to an emphasis on collecting members for our group and indoctrinating them in the theological viewpoints we believe to be accurate.
Then the convert is informed he now has his ticket and is waiting to die and go to live forever in a mansion in Heaven. He is told he has eternal life. But eternal life is presented as living forever in Heaven, in the spirit Paradise, rather than in the Divine resurrection Life we receive today in our personality. Yet it is Divine resurrection Life that makes it possible for us to keep God's commandments. It is Divine resurrection Life that prepares us to be raised from the dead when the Lord appears.
In our day, while true evangelism is to proceed, it is God's will that the witness be formed by bringing the members of the Body to the stature of the fullness of Christ. Righteousness and praise is to spring forth in the sight of the nations. It is to this end we have been chosen in Christ from the beginning of the world.
The necessity for righteous behavior. It is time for the holy nation, the Body of Christ, to be born at once, as Isaiah says. Because the Body of Christ must be righteous as the Head is righteous, the Spirit of God is making clear to us why and how we must move from imputed righteousness to actual righteousness of behavior.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matthew 28:19,20—NIV)
Notice in the Great Commission (above) the apostles are commanded to make disciples, to teach them to obey the commandments of Christ.
We are not doing this. We are making church members and are telling them it is not necessary to obey the commandments of Christ because they are saved by grace.
This change in the Great Commission may be a major reason why the moral testimony of the Christian churches has been destroyed in America; why we have a very difficult time grasping the need for the change from imputed (ascribed) righteousness to actual righteousness of behavior.
Until we are willing to forego our desire to add numbers of church members to our rosters, and concentrate on instructing the believers in the necessity for righteous behavior, the Body of the Anointed One, the Servant of the Lord, cannot possibly come to maturity; therefore the Lord cannot return and bring justice to the nations. (from The Stature of the Fullness of Christ)