Thursday, July 7, 2022

Righteousness, Sin, and Grace

 Thursday, July 7, 2022 Some material taken from A Cry for Restoration

Righteousness exalts a nation: but sin is a disgrace to any people. Proverbs 14:34 

Righteousness, Sin, and Grace 

Righteousness is a strange term to many today. It is a word seldom uttered outside of conservative churches. You don’t hear politicians, or the news media speak about it. And you certainly don’t see it on social media much unless quoted in a Bible verse. 

What do you think of when you hear the word righteousness?  Maybe the first thing that comes to your mind is self-righteous. I always think of righteousness as being pure and holy like God and that it is something that I will never achieve. In the Old Testament, righteousness usually referred to how people related to each other, such as how business was conducted or in legal matters, based on our relationship with God. It was contrasted with someone who acted wickedly, selfishly and without thought for God or man. 

Righteousness implies sovereignty because God is righteous and there is no one above Him. He is sovereign and righteous; therefore, He determines what righteousness is.  Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. 1 John 3:7 And when we become His children, we will practice righteousness because we are His. If you know that He is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of Him. 1John 2:29

Righteousness also implies a standard - Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Your law is truth. Psalm 119:142 No one wants to live by a standard anymore, or at least not a standard that God gives us. People want to choose their own standards; therefore, they don’t accept His standard of righteousness, nor do they accept His law as truth. Because believers try to live by that standard and His law, we are persecuted. People want truth to be flexible and whatever they choose it to be, for as long as they want it to be true. They think they want no right or wrong and no law. 

There is no truth for the world, for they reject the Word of God. 
 There is no righteousness for the world, for they reject the person of God. – Van Houser


Righteousness Implies Confidence When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when a wicked man rules, people groan.  Proverbs 29:2 When a nation has a leader that is not righteous, they are scared and insecure, which will lead to a breakdown in unity. Our nation was built on the integrity of leaders based in the Judeo-Christian ethic that has guided our nation from its founding until the generation in which we live. Our forefathers chose the righteousness of the Bible as it’s guiding light, but sadly many today do not even know that or care. They do not realize how lucky we are to have had those men who founded our country based on the righteousness of God.  

As surely as righteousness exalts a nation, sin destroys it, and the same is true for us. We are made righteous by His blood, but we still let sin in that will destroy that in us. When liberty becomes license, freedom and blessing is lost. When we do what our flesh desired, we become more enslaved than we were before we became a Christian. Freedom is in surrender and being obedient to His commands. 

In our own power, there is nothing we can do that will ever make us righteous. True and perfect righteousness only comes from the cleansing of sin by Jesus and the permanent residence of the Holy Spirit in our heart, soul, and mind. But as Christians, we possess the righteousness of Christ, because 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 Jesus exchanged our sin for His perfect righteousness so that we can one day stand before God and He will see not our sin, but the His righteousness instead. So where do we go from here? If you are reading this today and trapped in sin but wanting to get back to God what can you do? How does our country get back to God? The next step is to pray for grace – God’s grace. When we are stuck in sin we need God and His grace. As a nation, we need God’s grace.  We need to get down on our knees, turn to Him, humble ourselves, and pray. 

If my people who are called by my name humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

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