The past couple weeks have been really interesting. And by really, I mean REALLY…
Basically, I helped a friend make a decision that was very important to his life by simply pointing him toward what Jesus thinks of him. However, it didn’t come without some resistance and hard choices.
Now, through this all and the reason I’m sharing it with you is because of a revelation of righteousness that God led me into during this time. About 2 weeks ago, I asked God what He wanted to show me in the Bible. He led me to Romans even though I was ready to read Acts. After I dug into the first 6 chapters of Romans I realized why.
(Which is a lesson in itself. Obeying God will always lead you into the place you need to be even if it doesn’t seem like the place you want to go at first.)
Anyway, back to the topic of righteousness and how it changes everything about our lives.
One Of The Biggest Lies
One of the devil’s biggest lies in the church today is that we are still sinners. As if what Jesus did on the cross wasn’t enough to make us righteous.
Now, this may offend you in some way if you believe you are still a sinner. However, I can guarantee that the whole message of the Bible points toward you being declared a righteous saint through Jesus and not a dirty rotten sinner anymore. The only place you’ll get the idea that people in Christ are still sinners is by taking verses out of context.
Bear with me and you’ll see what I’m saying.
Anyway, in this article I want to show you some of what God says about righteousness and about you.
The Foundation Of Righteousness
First, lets create a foundation of righteousness. Righteousness is right standing with God. Right standing with God is where there is literally nothing separating you from God. So, a righteous man or woman is someone without sin that is blameless before God and man. (Ephesians 1:4) Another word for a righteous person is saint.
It’s impossible to righteous and unrighteous at the same time. You’re either righteous or your not. It’s not something that changes from day to day. Unrighteousness has to do with being a sinner. It is the polar opposite of being righteous or a saint. Just like it’s impossible to be on the north pole and south pole at the same time, it’s impossible to be a sinner and a saint at the same time.
You are either one or the other. No ifs, ands, or buts.
Now, I know, hearing that makes it pretty impossible to be righteous. Being able to live perfectly isn’t humanly possible, even though it’s something that Jesus told we have to be. (Matthew 5:48) The only man that could say he is perfect is Jesus. Which means that Jesus is the pure picture of righteousness. In fact, He is righteousness itself.
The Point Of The Cross
And that is really the whole message of the cross. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) As you’ll notice “while we were” is past tense, which indicates that we aren’t sinners anymore.
So, what is the significance of Jesus dying for you?
EVERYTHING. Him dying for you justified you or made you righteous. Making you righteous is the whole reason for the cross. He came to reconcile you to HIM so that you could stand blamelessly before Him on the Day of Judgment. (1 Corinthians 1:8) And if you remember, the only way to be blameless is by being righteous. If you’re righteous, then you’re not a sinner anymore.
(Unless of course, you prefer to see yourself as a sinner and therefore no longer blameless on the Day of Judgment.)
Romans 3 On Righteousness
Lets look at some scripture that God took me to in Romans 3:
20 For no one is declared righteous before him by the works of the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin. 21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God (although it is attested by the law and the prophets) has been disclosed— 22 namely, the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 24 But they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. 25 God publicly displayed him at his death as the mercy seat accessible through faith. This was to demonstrate his righteousness, because God in his forbearance had passed over the sins previously committed. 26 This was also to demonstrate his righteousness in the present time, so that he would be just and the justifier of the one who lives because of Jesus’ faithfulness.
27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded! By what principle? Of works? No, but by the principle of faith! 28 For we consider that a person is declared righteous by faith apart from the works of the law.
Again, this tells us the whole meaning of the Gospel (Good News) of Jesus Christ. Through His grace, by faith, we are freely justified (made righteous).
The thing that really got me was verse 28 where it says that we are declared righteous -by God- through no works of our own, but through simple faith.
Think about it. In the beginning it says that God declared light and there was light. Through faith, He declares you righteous…
So, either (A) you are completely righteous right now by faith or (B) God’s nature changed and when He speaks it doesn’t come to pass right away, which makes you still a sinner.
I go with A. It’s the only thing that makes any sense. If God declares me righteous, then I guess I’m righteous. Who am I to say otherwise? Right?
Believing that we are still sinners when God declares us righteous is basically calling God a liar. Wow. That’s a huge deal.
I don’t really think I want to do that…
It Just Gets Better
Anyway, let’s keep going here.
In Romans 4:1-5 it talks about how that the faith of Abraham was credited to him as righteousness. It wasn’t a thing of works, because if it were it would be a thing to boast about. However, because it was through faith and because of God declaring Abraham righteous, he had nothing to boast about.
It’s the same thing for us. Since we are declared righteous saints because of Jesus, it takes away all boasting from us because it wasn’t us who did it.
Someone who still thinks of himself a sinner, will try to work for this righteousness and will therefore be of the world where they lord it over each other because they see themselves as greater than others. (Matthew 20:25)
A righteous person (saint) doesn’t think of himself as better than others because it’s based on what Jesus did, not on what they did.
Sin Is Rendered Extinct
Later on in Romans 4:11, it says that Abraham received circumcision as a seal of the righteousness he already had by faith. Then in Romans 2:29 it says that through Christ we have been circumcised in the heart.
The interesting thing about circumcision is that one of the definitions of the Greek word is to “render extinct”. Once your foreskin is cut off, it’s no longer there. It’s rendered extinct.
For us in Christ, it means that our sinful nature was rendered extinct. It is no more because God declared us righteous. It’s also why, in Romans 6:11, Paul tells us to consider ourselves dead to sin. Sin, in that instance is a noun, an entity (in other words, our sinful nature). And we are dead to it.
Why Do We Sin?
I know what you’re thinking. If we are dead to sin and it’s rendered extinct, how come we still sin?
Well, that’s easy. Because we were sinners, we learned how to sin really well and it’s what our mind is used to doing. That’s why there is repentance and the renewing of the mind. (Romans 12:2) Repentance, by the way is changing our mind or simply aligning our natural mind with the mind of Christ; to agree with God with what He thinks about us.
So, our mind is trying to catch up with the truth that we are no longer sinners, but righteous saints in Christ. Which means, as saints, we sometimes end up sinning. The difference is, it’s not our identity anymore. And, as Georgian Banov says, we aren’t good at it anymore.
Sinning doesn’t make you a sinner. As a Christian, it simply means that you are unaware of the righteousness that you possess. And, if you think about it, you’re not really considering yourself dead to sin. That’s why repentance is so important. Align your mind with Christ and stop sinning. It’s not who you are anymore.
Romans 5 On Righteousness
Now, here’s another interesting scripture I wanted to look at in Romans 5.
19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of one man many will be made righteous.
Through Adam sin entered the world. Everyone born of Adam was a sinner and did acts leading to death.
Through Jesus, righteousness entered the world. Everyone born of Jesus is made a righteous saint and does acts leading to life and life abundantly. (John 10:10)
Anyone who still believes we (in Christ) are still sinners has more faith in the sinfulness of Adam than they do in the righteousness of Christ. Christ came to straighten up what Adam destroyed.
He Came To Set Us FREE!
He came so that we could be free! So that we would not be controlled by sin any longer and can instead be free to be blameless before God. (Galatians 5:1)
Someone who believes they are still sinners will always be sin conscience and sin will always be a struggle in their life. If that’s true freedom, then I don’t want anything to do with it.
On the other hand, someone who believes they are righteous won’t struggle with sin because they’ll consider themselves free from it. That, my friend, is what freedom is all about. It’s the whole reason for the cross.
You are free from sin and free to live seated in Christ in heavenly places! (Ephesians 2:6) No more worrying. No more fear, shame, guilt or condemnation. (Romans 8:1) If you live from heaven to earth all these things pass away. There is a reason it tells us to seek first the Kingdom of Heaven and His righteousness. (Matthew 6:33)
Because as we do that, we learn how to live from a place seated in heavenly places and we learn how to live with the incredible character of God. Basically, we learn who we really are.
Think about it. We are created in the image and likeness of God… (Genesis 1:27) so, as we seek Him and learn about Him, we’re really learning about who we were created to be. And as we encounter Him and His goodness, it’ll lead us to repentance (changing our mind to align with His). (Romans 2:4) As we see Him, we become like Him. (1 John 3:2) In fact, as He is so are we in this world. (1 John 4:17)
This is the Good News of the Kingdom of Heaven and of Jesus Christ.
He is everything to me. And through Him, I’m righteous!
I used to think I was a sinner. In that time I spent my life trying to be good. I’d read the Bible an hour per day, spend time in prayer and do all the good “Christian” things I was taught to do. But, also in that time, I struggled with sin every day of my life. I was addicted to pornography and couldn’t get rid of it.
Why? Because I still believed I was a sinner so I sinned by faith. I had more faith in my sinfulness then I did in Jesus’ righteousness.
And no matter how much I tried, I couldn’t overcome the sin. Not realizing that He had already overcome it for me. (That’s why we’re called more than overcomers in Romans 8:37.) I got decently good at managing the sin to where I wouldn’t watch porn for as much as half a year. But, then I’d fall. Then, wave after wave of condemnation came over me because I thought overcoming sin was based on my own effort.
Once I finally realized I was no longer a sinner, but instead righteous, the porn fell off of me. I had entered into what Jesus had overcome for me on the cross. And since I knew it wasn’t because of my own works, I had nothing to boast about except for Jesus. (1 Corinthians 1:30-31)
I could go on for a long time on this subject because it’s throughout the whole Bible. But, since I spoke my piece,
I’m simply going to leave you with some thoughts…
In Colossians 1:27 it says that Christ is in us, the hope of glory. How is it possible for Christ to live inside someone that is still a sinner? Christ can’t be in the vicinity of sin. By the way, by who’s hope of glory is Christ in us? The hope of His glory, right? If that’s the case, then Christ making us righteous so that we could live righteously would bring Him the most glory and make the most sense.
And if we really are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, how can we be sinners? Is any part of Christ able to be sinful? And yet you are in Him.
Bless you, you righteous person in Christ! Be righteous…
I would love to hear your feedback below!