THE SOURCE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
The purpose of righteousness is to put us in a relationship with God that:
- Inspires confidence.
- Removes fear.
- Makes available all God’s blessings and promises.
John 3:19-21 (CW) What condemns people is not the fact that they’re in darkness but that they don’t accept the light. People don’t want to be told that their natures are evil [thanatos vs zoe], so they don’t come to the light, because they’re more comfortable with darkness than with light. But those who love the truth will come to the light to be changed, and it will be obvious that it is done by the power of God.
- Thanatos—spiritual death—an innate and unconscious tendency leading you toward sin, self-destruction, & death.
- Zoe—spiritual life—an innate and unconscious tenancy leading you toward righteousness, blessing, & life.
Romans 8:10 (AMP) If Christ lives in you, though your [natural] body is dead because of sin, your spirit is alive because of righteousness [which He provides].
. . . your spirit is a living thing because of being integrated into Christ’s righteousness. – HUDSON
. . . the Spirit is infusing you with life [zoe] . . . – VOICE
Galatians 5:5 (CJB) It is by the power of the Spirit, who works in us because we trust and are faithful, that we confidently expect our hope of attaining righteousness to be fulfilled.
. . . we long to be made completely holy because of our faith in Christ. Through the Holy Spirit we wait for this in hope. – NIRV
Our spirit is filled with righteousness to impact our soul and body. We are to walk in righteousness; to be clothed in righteousness. What God has placed on the inside is to be seen on the outside!
Romans 14:17 (ISV) God’s kingdom does not consist of food and drink, but of righteousness, peace, and joy produced by the Holy Spirit.
THE ROBE (BREASTPLATE) OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
Psalm 104:2 (NIV) The Lord wraps himself in light [life—John 1:4 & righteousness—Ephesians 5:9] as with a garment.
You are righteous, wrap yourself in God’s righteousness—put it on!
Ephesians 4:17-32 (NIV) I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do . . . Having lost all sensitivity [to the Holy Spirit], they have given themselves over to sensuality [sin] so as to indulge in every kind of impurity [self-destruction], and they are full of greed. That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Revelation 19:7-8 (NIV) Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)
Those who put on “the robe” are ready for “the return.”
Matthew 22:2-14 (NIV) “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son . . . “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless. “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”
The Wedding Supper happens at Christ’s return. He’s coming for His bride! You say, “I thought my works didn’t save me!” They don’t! Following Jesus saves you. But following Jesus means becoming responsive to the life-giving influences of the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 25:31-46 (CW) When the Son of God comes in all His glory and the angels with Him . . . everyone on earth will be gathered together before Him, and He will separate those who are genuinely His from those who are not . . . . He will say to those on His right, “You are God’s children. Come! It’s time for you to receive your inheritance. When others were thirsty, you gave them water. When they were hungry, you gave them food, and when they were without a place to live, you took them in. When they had nothing suitable to wear, you gave them clothes. When they were sick, you visited and comforted them, and when they were in jail, you didn’t forget them. What you did for them, you did for me . . . . Then the king will say, “I know you didn’t realize this because a change took place in your life, and kindness and compassion became part of your nature. What you did by caring for the underprivileged was as pleasing to my Father as if you had done it for me. Then He will say to those on His left, “You can’t be given a home in my Father’s kingdom, for you are still controlled by your sinful nature.” . . . The King will say, “Because you didn’t care about others, I know you don’t care about me. I have no choice . . . because in my kingdom everyone cares about everyone else.”