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The Daily Word of Righteousness
An Examination of Current Teaching, #4
But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so we will not be condemned with the world. (I Corinthians 11:31,32)
There is such a thing as a "state of grace (forgiveness)" meaning God does not see our behavior except through the righteousness of Christ.
If we were in a state of grace (forgiveness) such that God does not see us, then the Lord would not judge and discipline us.
One would look in vain throughout the New Testament to find any passage that indicates God sees us through Christ. When we lie, it is not true that God sees the truthfulness of Christ in us. When we steal, God does not see the honesty of Christ in us. When we practice some unlawful lust of the flesh, God does not see the moral purity of Christ in us. None of this is remotely true.
If it were true that God sees us only through Christ, then there would never be a need for repentance.
In recent times there have been outstanding ministers of the Gospel who have been removed from their pulpits because of immorality. If God sees only the righteousness of Christ in them, then why were they removed?
It is true that when a sinner comes to Christ, the righteousness of Christ is ascribed to the sinner at that moment. Why? Because the sinner has obeyed God.
But if the sinner then does not set out to obey God the righteousness of Christ no longer is ascribed to him. Why not? Because he no longer is obeying Christ. It is not the old covenant, or the new covenant that is the critical factor, rather it is faith in God, a faith that leads to obedient behavior, that is counted for righteousness.
God will never bless or receive a disobedient person. God has provided a wonderful atonement for us through the blood of Christ. We must obey God in order to receive the atonement, and then we must obey God in order to remain under the covering of the atonement.
Christian teaching presents a perpetual, sovereign grace (forgiveness) that shields the sinner from God's sight whether or not the individual chooses to walk in the Spirit of God. This concept is alien to the New Testament.
Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God. (I Corinthians 4:5)
Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present. (I Corinthians 5:3)
If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker. (Galatians 2:17,18)
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:13)
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! (Revelation 3:15)
To be continued.