Why Be Righteous?
Some people live by the adage: “Anything goes.” And some modernists, because we live in a technological society, have adopted the mind-set that says the Bible is antiquated, behind the times, irrelevant, etc. Not so. Concerning both of these schools of thought, nothing could be farthest from the truth!
Isaiah 40:8 (NLT) tells us, “The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.” Also, Matthew 5:18 (MSG) reads, “God's Law is more real and lasting than the stars in the sky and the ground at your feet. Long after stars burn out and earth wears out, God's Law will be alive and working.” Still scores of people remain unconvinced, and they question, “Why obey God? Why follow his ways? Why live righteously?” Little do they know, righteousness is a life-transforming force—one that all humans need desperately!
As Christians, we are righteous by faith, and the moment we receive Jesus we are permanently established in righteousness. What is more, we are privileged to become the righteousness of God. When we miss the mark, we are the righteousness of God. When we don’t feel like we are, we are still the righteousness of God. Neither our successes nor our failures can affect this wonderful fact. How is this so?
Without having done anything to earn it, you are the righteousness of God, if you are born again. Consider this: a sinner may do a good deed, but that does not change his or her status from being a sinner. Also, a saved person may have sinned, but that does not change his or her status from being righteous. A person is only made righteous as a result of receiving the gift of salvation. It is not a result of works. The privilege of being saved is only given—it cannot be earned.
As Believers, we are to be continuous “receivers” of the benefits of righteousness. When you see yourself as righteous, no matter what, you maintain a channel through which the fruits of righteousness can appear in your life. Moreover, righteousness is like a magnet, and by remaining conscious of your righteousness, it will attract to you healing, provision, favor, mercy, grace, breakthrough—any and everything you need!
When you fully accept your righteousness, sin can no longer have dominion over you. Also, when you become born again, your sin is swallowed up by your newly-received righteousness. This is true deliverance! And not only deliverance. When we receive God’s perfect love for us and continuously abide in the knowledge of this love, it will cast out not only sin but also sickness, lack, and anything else that opposes the will of God for our lives. The rewards of righteousness are innumerable! What a great reason to rejoice! “So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son” (Ephesians 1:6, (NLT).
God’s heart’s desire is to impute, or credit, righteousness to the ungodly through His son, Jesus—not punishment. We, the Church of Jesus Christ, must activate God’s grace in our lives by faith, so that His glory can shine through us and draw in the unsaved, that they too may receive righteousness. Finally, a Church that is truly without spot or wrinkle is a Church that has risen in the knowledge that it is, and abides as, the righteousness of God.