“…not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.”
Philippians 3 vs 9
Before I proceed I have three questions for you.
1. Exactly what do you think you can do to attain righteousness?
2. If Jesus died on the cross in order to attain our initial righteousness, so that we can then add our own works / efforts/ performance to sustain and complete it, then what was the point of him dying?
3. Is it really possible to be without fault? To live a perfect life? After-all isn’t this what it takes to be righteous??
Before I’m lambasted for encouraging people to use Grace as an excuse for purposely erring, this message is not a license for us to do as we please. What I’m getting at here is the absolute futility of thinking righteousness must be gained by performance / works.
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE!!!
The bible very clearly tells us our righteousness comes from God, on the basis of our faith – belief in Jesus.
As you already know, I like to keep things real. I will never profess to be perfect or in any way pristine, as to do so would not only be the most vicious of all lies, but also a major disservice to both God and Christianity.
Whilst travelling by road from Ibadan to Akure last Wednesday, I experienced one of those peculiar few minutes in which all one can think about is sex. It was bazaar – totally out of nowhere. And try as I might for the next five /six minutes I couldn’t get the thoughts out of my head. The longer it went on, the more I thought there was something wrong with me, and hence the guiltier I felt – after all I’d begun the day with praise worship and bible study, so where on earth was this coming from??? Then I remembered what Joseph Prince tells us to do when we’re struggling with negative or impure thoughts – ‘focus your mind on Jesus on the cross’.
Amazingly as soon as I focused my mind on the cross – picturing Jesus tortured, rejected, and so alone, the feelings of guilt began to dissipate, as did the unwelcome thoughts. But here’s the crux of this experience – after focusing my mind on that cross for several minutes, the Holy Spirit told me something I must do my utmost to meditate on daily. He said;
“On the cross, all your sins, failings, mistakes, bad thoughts, bad words, and bad actions of your past, present, and future, were placed on Jesus; and he in return placed all of His righteousness on you – and by the way, his righteousness can never wane.”
Wow! In other words, no matter what you’ve done, how you feel, or what you’re going through right now, be in absolutely no doubt that you’re literally wearing the righteousness of Jesus. And his righteousness can never ever wane. He is forever perfect in righteousness, as through Him, are you.
Furthermore it is when you become more and more conscious of this powerful and amazing truth that you’re divinely empowered to be the very person God created you to be.