Stand firm … with the breastplate of righteousness in place. Ephesians 6:14 NIV
If you are a Christian, then YOU ARE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD!
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21
I want you to read today’s entire lesson on righteousness as if it were typed in bold, capital letters with large helpings of exclamation marks. When I think about God’s righteousness and what He’s given us, my spirit explodes with excitement!
Listen up, Family of God. We won’t stand strong in Christ for a moment if we think it’s up to our efforts to live righteously! … apart from me, you can do nothing. (John 15:5). It is only when we remain in, and rely on, Him that we bear good fruit.
And when the enemy tries to accuse us of sin, we can stand firm in the righteousness of Christ that covers us.
You see, as hard as you and I may try, we can’t get by, even as Christians, on our own efforts to be good. Without Christ’s enabling, our best day of good deeds amounts to a heap of foul trash… all our righteous acts are like filthy rags …(Isaiah 64:6).
So why do we often live as if we can achieve merit points from God by what we do or don’t do? I’m sure you’ve never compared yourself to another Christian, but sometimes I’ve had the subtle notion that I’m less than or better than someone based on a particular behavior. What a bunch of malarkey and bologna. It’s unbiblical nonsense! Pride reeks from the pit of this idea, and it needs to be ripped out!
We never, ever, ever, ever, stand strong in Christ by our own supposed “righteousness!” 2 Timothy 2:22 tells us to Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness … So let’s get this straight. We are the righteousness of God through Christ, but we should run from evil and chase after righteousness. Huh? Why would we chase after what we already are? Well, the word righteousness here refers to our pursuit to yield ourselves to God’s right paths for holy living as He desires to conform us to the likeness of Christ. We are to pursue His way, not our way!
Stand firm then. You are covered. Set free by the knowledge of your righteous standing before God that empowers you to be His — His child, His heir, His powerful tool for His glory.
For further study: Read Galatians 3:1-6 and try to wrap your mind around the awesome treasure of righteousness! Does it come by your good works or by faith? List the ways that you have tried or are trying to gain your righteousness. Now write down the only way you truly achieve righteousness. Walk in that, and experience Christ’s freedom and peace.