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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Righteousness of God, #7
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:24—NIV)
Now, how do we go about having our sinful nature destroyed and its place taken over by the righteousness of God in Christ?
We have to do what Christ and His Apostles commanded. First of all, we have to count that we have been crucified with Christ and now are to live by His life. Our born-again inward nature already has been raised in Christ to the right hand of God.
We must—we absolutely must—deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Jesus. We must do this each day. Each day we must look to Jesus for His will for the day. We must turn aside from our love of the world, the lusts of our flesh, and especially our self-will. We must deny our self! Until we deny our self-will we cannot possibly enter the Kingdom of God. All the Christian religious activity in the world will never, never, never compensate for our unwillingness to surrender our will to Jesus Christ.
The great fork in the road that faces the Christian believer today is whether or not he is willing to forsake his own religious ambitions and strivings and bring all of his gifts of Jesus, so that Jesus may use them as He will. We hear of many exciting programs that will save all the people in the world, but we do not hear very often of someone who is dropping his own notions of "doing great things for God" in favor of turning to Jesus to find out what He desires.
If we would become the righteousness of God we must pray every day until we know we are in tune with the Lord Jesus. We must meditate in the Scriptures every day. We must, if possible, gather regularly with fervent believers, placing ourselves under the oversight of the godly elders of the assembly.
We must give of our means, serve, and seek the ministries and gifts of the Spirit that we may help build each member of the assembly to maturity as measured by the stature of the fullness of Christ.
We absolutely must offer our body a living sacrifice to God, being transformed by the renewing of our mind. Only through this means can we discover the will of God for ourselves.
We absolutely must walk before the Lord in the open confession of our sins. When the Holy Spirit points out something in our personality that is not according to the moral image of Christ, we must quickly, fervently, with all the strength we can muster denounce and renounce such behavior. Then we must draw near to God and in the future resist the devil when he tempts us along this line.
As we read the Bible consistently and prayerfully, being ready to do what God points out to us, the Lord will show us what must be done that day to change us into the Glory of the Lord. If we are faithful and obedient we shall be changed into the image of the Glory of the Lord.
And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (II Corinthians 3:18—NIV)
To be continued.