Where is your righteousness? Is it evident? Is it hidden? Is it there at all? It is a gift from God that comes through grace.
4 Where there are no oxen [in this case, the Spirit], the manger [our heart] is empty, but from the strength of an ox [the Spirit] come abundant harvests.
Righteousness is the gift of God that comes through His grace. In other words, there’s no way to earn righteousness; it must be given.
For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! Romans 5:17
So, who gives it? God gives it in the Person of Jesus Christ, “God made him who had no sin to be the sin sacrifice for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21. In order to have righteousness, we must have Christ. Again, in order to receive righteousness, we must receive Christ into our hearts and lives.
Tell me, when someone comes to stay at your house–at your invitation–do you just ignore him, never talk to him, and pretend he’s not there? Of course not! In the same way, if Christ is in your heart and life, you will know it because He talks to you and you talk to Him. His way of talking is a little different, so we must learn to discern what He is saying. Still, He gets His point across to us.
This righteousness is something we work on a little at a time. We have it, but we don’t really know how to handle it. Jesus breaks us in quickly in our relationship with Him, but slowly when it comes to transforming our lives. There may be some things that change immediately while others take the rest of our lives to change. Jesus may start with an attitude or small routine, and then move up to ways of thinking and our way of talking (usually, the language, but also critical speech, gossip, slander, giving our opinions, etc.). He may then jump to our habits and idiosyncrasies, all the while teaching about who we are as children of God.
Here’s a great verse by which to live everyday:
“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24
What does righteousness look like on a daily basis? LOVE! His love, “And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:5, 8
What is our responsibility?
So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus. 12 Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. 13 Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. 14 Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace. Romans 6:11-14
- Dead to the power of sin and alive to God;
- Do not let sin control the way you live;
- Give yourselves completely to God;
- You have New Life;
- Do what is right for the glory of God;
- You live under the freedom of God’s grace.
Let’s let our righteousness shine as we figure out-with the Holy Spirit’s guidance-how to use this righteousness that we have been given.
Abba, thank You for the gift of righteousness in which I am clothed (Isaiah 61:10). May I learn how to display Your righteousness to all around so that they may give You glory, just like a city on a hill. To You be the glory, O Lord. Amen.