Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Alive Because of Righteousness - March 18th, 2009

Rom.8:10-11 - “But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.” Alive because of righteousness! Remember Eph.2:4-5, which says, “because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved.” My transgressions resulted in death, spiritually, and in every other aspect practically (each of us having had but a shell of an existence before salvation). Rom.6:23 tells us, “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” That gift of God, eternal life, is a product of the righteousness we have in Him, Christ Himself being our righteousness (1 Cor.1:30) and the resulting life in Him alone (1 Jn.5:12). That is the issue here: the wages of sin are death; the wages of righteousness through Christ are life. Pr.12:28 and 21:21 affirm this, saying, “In the way of righteousness there is life; along that path is immortality,” and “He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.” The law itself was and is insufficient to bring righteousness or life (see Gal.3:21 and post #85 entitled “The Law is Powerless”). Man’s sin brought condemnation and death but Christ’s sacrifice brought righteousness and life (Rom.5:17-21). The fruit of sin is death but the fruit of righteousness is peace, quietness and confidence (Is.32:17), unfailing love (Hos.10:12) and ultimately, as all these past verses today illustrate - life! I think It’s easy to divorce these two concepts - life and righteousness - in our thinking, but the abundant life in Christ (Jn.10:10) is only experienced through the righteousness found in Him. Bill Bright put it this way, “there are no happy disobedient Christians and there are no unhappy obedient Christians.” The more sin I tolerate in my life, the less true life I get to live. The more commands of scripture I ignore, the more dissatisfied I become (remember those are there for my own good). Sin is pleasurable for a short time (Heb.11:25) but it never brings the fulfillment to overflowing found only in Christ and obedience to Him. Our righteousness is a result of His work at Calvary, a free gift to me; now I can choose daily to walk in that, obeying Him and experiencing the fruit of righteousness or I can choose to walk in the flesh, experiencing the hardening (Heb.3:13) and emptiness of sin.

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