Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Righteousness – What is it to you?

Submitted by Lara Cook
Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” 5He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring d be.”  Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.  Genesis 15:4-6

For most people, when they hear the word righteousness, they think of something that has been done that earns the title righteous.  Righteousness makes me think of holy and pure. In other words, something I can definitely never achieve in my own power.  In the bible verses above, the Lord has told Abraham that he (even though he is a very old man) will have as many offspring as the stars in the sky. Abraham – who was called Abram at the time – didn’t laugh or react in any of the ways that we might think he would. He simply believedHim.  He had faith that this seemingly impossible act would happen because God said so.  He believed– two words – and that is all it took for it to be credited to him as righteousness.  
It seems too simple, or too good to be true that all we have to do for it to be credited to us as righteousness is to believe. Our sin keeps us from righteousness, so when Christ took on all our sin when he was on the cross, His righteousness was imputed (put on, given, transferred to) on us the second we believe. This matches up with the fact that salvation and eternity are not something you can earn with your good works. Neither is righteousness.  It is strictly bestowed upon us from God.  
During His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew 5:20, which was based primarily on outward acts.  He then went on to say to the crowd that righteousness that exceeds that of the Pharisees is both outward and inward obedience.  It involved matters of the heart, and by our own effortswe cannot become righteousness.  Sin is our ever-ready adversary, but Jesus is our ever-ready savior.  
On the cross,Jesus gave us righteousness and took our sins. What an amazing exchange and Jesus did that for us while we were still sinners.  We could never qualify on our own, so He did it for us.  We just have to believe, and righteousness is ours.  

Scripture to Claim:
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.  2 Corinthians 5:21

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