Sunday, October 7, 2018

Righteousness

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Righteousness

The Apostle Paul reminds us that there is no one righteous, no not one (Romans 3:10). There is only One who is righteous and “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). He is reconciling us to God or bridging the chasm from evil to good through His redemptive death on the cross when Jesus Christ, the Son of God took all of our sins on Himself that they and we might be atoned for or made right, purified and cleansed through our believing that this is true. Grasp the truth of this gift of God’s grace through His mercy. 

I began this essay with the wonderful truth of the Good News of the gospel, because our world lives in darkness that is rising into a vengeful anger that is attempting to overcome good with evil. Of course it doesn’t make sense, but it is the hard, dark heart of man that does it. The unredeemed is capable of the worst behavior. Overcome evil with good. Paul spoke in Romans 7 of how difficult this is because we are broken and selfish. Even he could not do what he wanted to do because sin was living in him and in us by nature. It is only through God’s righteousness given to us that we can live holy lives. In Ephesians 6 Paul speaks of putting on the whole armor of God, which includes the “breastplate of righteousness,” to be able to take a stand against the devil’s schemes. There are several critical pieces of armor for defense against evil and only one that is offensive. The “Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” is power. Evil cannot stand against it.

Knowledge unless it changes our deceitful heart is worthless except to do evil. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). The Lord examines the motivation of the heart and mind according to their deeds and behavior. What can we do but cry out to God, “Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise” (Jeremiah 17:14). This cry out to God is also in a wonderful praise song written by Don Moen. Turn back before it is too late! Seek the only solution to our brokenness, God! There is power in His word to deliver us and make us whole. 

I have only been around for 71 years, but have not seen our country so wretchedly separated by darkness. It is what people do and are unless convinced and convicted of their sin or selfish and evil motives. Yes, it is an ethical and moral crisis we are in. I was praying all last week for the chaplain of the Senate to take the rostrum to admonish and scare the Senate straight into contrition. But it did not happen. Where is Billy Graham when we need him? It is actually God we are rejecting (1 Samuel 8:7).  Wicked statements to tear down and destroy continue almost unceasingly.  This is not a political comment, but one of extreme sadness for a country that I believe is now at increased risk to all of our enemies that see our brokenness and angst that will destroy us, and devour each other (Galatians 5:15). 

So, let’s get back to righteousness. In Proverbs 11:18 it says, “He who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.”  David says of God not subtlety in Psalm 45:7, “You love righteousness and hate wickedness.” The Lord works righteousness and will judge us. He alone is judge and He is watching. Isaiah tells us that the “ You heavens above rain down righteousness,”but do we get it? This has nothing to do with separation of church and state as that clause just says that we will not have a State run church. Why don’t we get that, except that we want to control and we are not 

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