Are we righteous because of our righteous acts, or do we do righteous acts because we are righteous?
11 Since everything will be destroyed [torn down and remade] in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. 2 Peter 3:11-12
How righteous is Jesus Christ on a scale of one to a hundred? Wouldn’t we all agree that Jesus is 100% righteous? Jesus was tempted in every way, but was without sin (Hebrews 4:14-15). These verses also answer the question of whether or not temptation is sin. That answer would be no.
How righteous are you on a scale of one to a hundred? Before you answer, consider this passage:
25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. 27 He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. Ephesians 5:26-27
- Have you noticed that Christ loved the church even before Pentecost? That’s because the church is the ekklesia, the assembly of His people, which has always included His followers beginning with Adam and progressing through Abraham to Moses, to David, to Jesus, to Pentecost. The first “assembly” was at Mount Sinai by Moses when he went up to receive the commandments (Exodus 35:1). Jesus has always loved His people (even before the law was given to them).
- The reason for Christ’s sacrifice was to make mankind holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word, who is Jesus (John 1:1-5). God has always been about redeeming His creation, His children.
- We will be presented to Christ by Christ; we are His Bride and He is our Bridegroom. Don’t ask me how that works!
- Look at the description of the Bride: glorious, without spot or wrinkle or any other blemish, holy and without fault. We find a similar description in Jude 24 (“great joy” is added to the list).
Add to the pot this verse:
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin [a sin offering] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21
If Jesus was 100% righteous, and we have become His righteousness, then we have 100% of His righteousness. So, let me ask again, how righteous are we on a scale of one to a hundred? We are 100’s! Because of His indwelling Spirit of righteousness, we don’t have to sin (willingly rebel). We can live the victorious Christian life! All we have to do is listen to and obey His Spirit. We will spend our whole lives learning to do just that.
Abba, You are amazing. To become Your righteousness is inconceivable. I don’t feel righteous–but that doesn’t discount the fact that You say that I am. May we realize that we live in your righteousness every day, all the time. Amen.