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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Righteousness of God, #5
Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. (I Peter 2:12—NIV)
I do not think any Christian would disagree with me that we have been called to show forth the righteous Character of Jesus Christ in our life. The problem in today's thinking pertains to how we are to arrive at the place where God's righteousness is revealed in us.
If I am correct, the assumption is made, in Christian thinking, that somehow in the future God is going to remove our sinful nature and replace it with His own righteous Nature, without any effort on our part. In the meantime we are "saved by grace," meaning God's righteousness is attributed to us because we believe in Christ; and while we ought to behave righteously, our salvation is not critically harmed if we do not.
This is horrific error! The result is, other religions and governments of the world despise Christian America as "the great Satan." Why is this? It is because of the way we behave.
We do not understand the new covenant. We have made the grace of God a license for immoral behavior.
For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. (Jude 1:4—NIV)
How does one change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny the Lordship of Jesus Christ? By doing as we do today. When we are warned about fornication, pornography, profanity, the love of money, gossip, hatred, jealousy, strife, and the other works of the flesh, we say, "But I am saved by grace, not by works of righteousness I have done," quoting a Bible statement out of context. Thus we turn the grace of God into a license for immorality. Also, we deny the claims of Jesus Christ. We are willing to accept Jesus Christ as Savior, but not as our personal Lord who has the absolute right to tell us what we can and cannot do.
Previously we mentioned three questions that must be answered from the Scripture, if we are going to maintain that to have God's righteousness means only that we have believed in Jesus Christ and God therefore attributes righteousness to us.
The three questions are as follows:
First, if the Christian salvation consists primarily of Christ's righteousness attributed to us, why does the Apostle Paul state if we believers continue in unrighteous conduct we will not inherit the Kingdom of God?
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; Idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions And envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
I have never heard a minister of the Gospel address this issue clearly and scripturally. It always seems to be avoided.
To be continued.