We can have strong faith because we are righteous in Christ, acceptable to God

The righteous shall live by faith” is such a core truth of the new life of Christ. Everything of the heavenly world is accessed by faith. When we’re in water, swimming is the way we move; as we walk life’s steps on this planet, breathing is the way we fill our lungs minute by minute with oxygen. Speaking is the way we communicate with people. To interact with God, we must believe. Like lungs to breathe and tongues to speak, men have hearts that are capable of faith and like with arms that learn to swim, our capacity for faith grows as we train it. Continue reading

If righteousness is your identity, it will become your destiny

By faith we eagerly await through the Spirit, the righteousness for which we hope. Galatians 5:5

As parents of three young children, my wife and I have lot’s of training and correction to do. When dealing with a behaviour problem in one of our children, we’ve found the best approach goes along these lines, “Son, what you did there is just not you, it’s not who you are. You are better than that. God has made you awesome and you had a bad moment. Let’s put that moment behind us and help you to be the great young man that you already are.” On the other hand, a really terrible approach is one that leaves a child downcast about how bad they’ve been, hoping somehow that guilt and shame will be positive motivators.

God is the wisest of Fathers, and has a way of transforming us into the most glorious of children, like the Firstborn of all Creation. Continue reading

We’re meant to live from righteousness, not for righteousness

How much more will those who receive the abundant provision of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through Christ Jesus” Romans 5:17

Many Christians live with insecurity about their position with God. They’re not sure whether they’re doing enough to be acceptable to the Father and their effort becomes focused on trying to achieve what they’ve already been given in Christ – a full “thumbs up” from God. Living to earn God’s acceptance is “living for righteousness” and its an awful thing. Its not how we were created, because its the nature of a slave rather than a child.

Instead we need to learn to live “from righteousness”. Continue reading

Righteousness is the deepest need of the human heart, and only one Person fulfils that need

God created men and women to be His children and to be tied into a life-shaping relationship with Him. Because we are created this way, we have a deep need in our hearts to be acceptable to Him, to be in “right standing” with the Father. That’s what righteousness really means – to be “right” with God.

Christ died for sins once and for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.” 1 Peter 3:18

Here’s the bombshell of amazing grace: Christ did everything to make us acceptable to God, and nothing more can be done. What we need to do is to trust Him, that He’s made us fully righteous. Then we shed the image of God with a stern frown, tapping his feet and arms crossed in disappointment at us, and we see the delighted Father who embraces us as precious children. Living with an ever-growing awareness of Christ’s righteousness inside us is the heartbeat of the true Christian life. Its the way to experience more of the Holy Spirit’s presence and power, to soaring worship, to increased faith and to greater impact on the world around us.

Continue reading

Well oiled and wearing white

Eccl 9:8 “Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil.”

If you’re wondering what you should wear today, King Solomon has some advice.

You should wear white. Put on the garment of Christ’s righteousness that gives you confidence of the Father’s favor and enormous love for you. Take off your own dirty clothes, put away your past. Your sin and failures don’t define you if you “put on Christ”. His righteousness and glorious victory define you. Christ’s destiny becomes your destiny. Continue reading