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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
Emekrus

Righteousness Consciousness

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Awake to Righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame”—1Corinthians 15:34

 

The above scripture calls us to awaken to righteousness. That is, we should be righteousness conscious. As it is the ultimate cure to sin.

 

This clarion call is so crucial, as many today in the Church of Christ are sin conscious. And that is the major reason many of them are still struggling fruitlessly with sin. Many Christian still believe and confess that they are sinners like every other person. They say everybody is a sinner, including themselves. And somehow, they believe they are being honest…

 

When you ask them, are you righteous? They quickly answer, no—nobody is righteous, even the bible says so. And this is because of their lack of proper understanding of God’s righteousness.

 

They believe the scripture that says, “there is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10) and the scripture that says, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God “(Romans 3:23) still applies to them as believers in Christ Jesus.

 

Then on the other hand, many are struggling to attain to righteousness by their own self works. Hoping that as they keep on struggling to live right, someday, if God keeps them alive long enough, they may attain unto righteousness.

 

This group of people are ignorant of the scripture that tells us that we are not justified by our own self works. And that our righteousness is as a filthy rags before God (Isaiah 64:6).

 

They are ignorant of the scripture that says, ‘by the deeds of the Law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight’—Romans 3:20. And these delusion of many a believer about God’s righteousness, is the major reason, amongst others, for the multiplication of sin in the Church.

 

Because no one can actually gain dominion over sin or sinful habits with these kind of sin and self-work (the works of the Law) consciousness. Hence, we will be exploring the true meaning of righteousness that the word of God calls us to awaken to in this dispensation of God’s grace…

 

How Do We Attain to Righteousness?

 

Righteousness is a gift of Grace that is freely received by faith in Christ Jesus (Romans 5:17). We don’t get righteous on our own qualifications but by the merits of Jesus. By the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ on earth and by the price of his death and shared blood on the cross of Calvary, every believer in Christ Jesus, is made absolutely righteous by God.

 

Here is what the word of God says concerning this in 2Corinthians 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him”

 

Thus, any and everybody can easily obtain righteousness by faith in Christ Jesus. No matter how evil the person has been; even if he had murdered a million persons in the past. Even if he had fornicated for years; even if he cursed God in ignorance or said there is no God…

 

Immediately he believes in Jesus and confess him as his Lord and saviour, he becomes as righteous as Jesus—Romans 10:10.

 

So if you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and saviour, you are born again; and you are absolutely righteous. Now that you know you are righteous—that you are a saint—God’s clarion call in our opening scripture, is that you should awake to righteousness…

 

That is, you should awaken to the consciousness of whom he has made you –a saint. Let this consciousness saturate and change your mind-set. Let it change the picture you have about yourself. Let this consciousness inform your action. Let it inform your choice of words, dressing, places and events to attend.

 

Being made the righteousness of God is similar to a great king picking out a condemned criminal from prison, cleaning him up and adopting him as his son. Then to be righteousness conscious or awakening to righteousness, is likened to the adopted son, comporting himself in tandem to his newly conferred, gracious, royal status.

 

He is to jettison his past personality and identity and put on his present personality and status as a prince. Along this line, the word of God tells us in Romans 6:11:

 

“Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord”.

 

Now that we are in Christ Jesus, we are to reckon or consider ourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord in righteousness. Then another scripture buttresses this very fact thus:

 

“That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” Ephesians 4:22-23

 

The word ‘conversation’ in the above scripture refers to behaviour. The Lord is saying, now that you in him, you should jettison your former, corrupt behaviours which are pertinent to unbelievers…

 

And that after putting off these corrupt behaviours, we should be renewed in the spirit of our mind (our hearts). In order words, we should change our consciousness and mind-set from corruption to righteousness.

 

The remaining part of the chapter spells out specifically how this change should go thus:

 

“Wherefore putting off lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be ye kind one to another even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you”—Ephesians 4:25-32

 

The above scriptures depict righteousness consciousness in pin-point detail. So there you have it. Awake to righteousness and sin not. Don’t see yourself anymore as a sinner. Never confess again that you are a sinner. That is who you used to be. But now you are righteous. You’re the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. That is what the word of God says you are. And that is what you should confess.

 

Yes, it is true that if we say that we have not sinned, we make him (God) a liar (1John 1:10). At the same time, it is also very true that after we have come into Christ we still say we are sinners, we are also calling God a liar.

 

So from now on, begin to confess to yourself and whoever cares to hear, that you are righteous—the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. And as you do continually, it will soon practically become evident in your life in Jesus Name!

 

Remain Blessed!

 

Emeke Odili

 

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3 hours ago, Emekrus said:

Yes, it is true that if we say that we have not sinned, we make him (God) a liar (1John 1:10). At the same time, it is also very true that after we have come into Christ we still say we are sinners, we are also calling God a liar.

 I am pondering the above in view of the fact that when Peter sinned (as described in Galatians 2), if he admitted to God that he sinned doesn't that necessitate that he was admitting that he was a sinner?

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8 minutes ago, Faber said:

 I am pondering the above in view of the fact that when Peter sinned (as described in Galatians 2), if he admitted to God that he sinned doesn't that necessitate that he was admitting that he was a sinner?

Well,

perhaps if you can quote the exact scripture we can understand better what you mean.

 

And by the way, admitting that you've sinned and asking for mercy is not the same thing as admitting that you are a sinner. They are two different things.

 

I can admit that I have kicked a football but that doesn't make me a footballer.

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3 minutes ago, Faber said:

https://www.christforums.org/topic/4119-both-peter-galatians-213-and-john-revelation-1910-sinned/

 

 If I murder only 1 person that makes me a murderer. If I have premarital sex with only 1 woman that makes me a fornicator. 

 

 If I commit only 1 sin that makes me a sinner.

And suppose I repent of it?

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1 minute ago, Faber said:

  You are a forgiven sinner.

And of course, I am forgiven and justified right? And that changes my status.

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7 hours ago, Emekrus said:

Righteousness is a gift of Grace that is freely received by faith in Christ Jesus (Romans 5:17). We don’t get righteous on our own qualifications but by the merits of Jesus. By the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ on earth and by the price of his death and shared blood on the cross of Calvary, every believer in Christ Jesus, is made absolutely righteous by God.

Very nice post. Just adding the theological terminology and what separates Catholics from Protestants. Imputed righteousness was pivotal; in Martin Luther's life that lead to the Protestant Reformation. In case anyone wonders why theological terminology should be used, well, imputed righteousness is a theological phrase that includes the OP's long post in simply two words:

 

Imputed righteousness is a theological concept directly related to the doctrine of Justification. It is particularly prevalent in the Reformed tradition.

"Justification is that step in salvation in which God declares the believer righteous. Protestant theology has emphasized that this includes the imputation of Christ's righteousness (crediting it to the believer's "account"), whereas Roman Catholic theology emphasizes that God justifies in accord with an infused righteousness merited by Christ and maintained by the believer's good works," (Elwell Evangelical Dictionary). Imputed righteousness therefore means that upon repentance and belief in Christ, individuals are forensically declared righteous. This righteousness is not the believer's own, rather it is Christ's own righteousness 'imputed' to the believer.

 

A primary line of argumentation for this doctrine maintains that perfect righteousness or holiness is necessary to be with God. All mankind "fall short of the glory of God" (Rom 3:23) because all their 'righteousness' is like filthy rags (Is 64:6) before the throne of God, and so all are "dead in their trespasses and sins" (Eph 2:1), and as a result "will not come into [God's] light for fear that their evil deeds will be revealed" (John 3:20). All mankind is in this predicament because all are the offspring of Adam and Eve (Rom 5) who originally sinned against God. As a result of Adam's fall, the world was cursed and sin entered the world. But upon confession of one's own sin and faith in Christ's death and resurrection, the sinner is justified and counted as having the righteousness of Christ.

 

Although all of Christianity would agree that Christ is the believer's chief representative and head before the perfect holiness of God, not all would agree that Christ's righteousness is imputed to the believer. In some circles, imputed righteousness is referred to as positive imputation - where the believer receives the righteousness of Christ. It stands in contrast to negative imputation - where the sin and judgment due to the repenting sinner is imputed to Christ. Virtually all would agree with the latter, but not all will agree with the former. The debate turns on a number of Bible verses not the least of which deal with what and whose righteousness was credited to Abraham when he believed God (Genesis 15:5-6).

 

Imputed righteousness is one of the classic doctrines of Protestantism and traces back through the Reformers - chiefly John Calvin and Martin Luther. These men stood against the Roman Catholic doctrine of infused righteousness where the righteousness of the saints and of Christ is gradually infused to the believer through the sacraments. For the Catholic, infused righteousness either gradually dissipates as the believer takes part in worldly sins or is enhanced by good works. If the believer dies without having the fullness of righteousness, coming in part from the last rites, he or she will temporarily spend time in purgatory until the sinful status is purged from his or her record.

 

WWW.THEOPEDIA.COM

 

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