|Down To Earth Righteousness|
Down to earth righteousness is real and it has to do with the will of the person through whom the righteousness is done.. It is righteousness the flows from the Holy Spirit. It is the flow of God's Own Love through the follower of Christ. It is the fruit of the Spirit. God speaks, leads. The Christ follower hears and directs his or her will to follow. God's Own Faith comes to the Christ follower and gives access to grace, the free gift. Grace does the works. Those who do not will to do God's will cannot hear in this way.
The majority of people would like to change what the Bible says to conform to the type of righteousness that they would want to do. That would mean that God doesn't really say what the Bible says that He says. That is a lie. That is a lie that would like to bind you. There is a way to have righteousness, but it is the way of humility, not the way of pride. It is not self-righteousness. It is not fake righteousness. It is the righteousness that is by grace and through faith. True righteousness is always by grace through faith.
It seems that this would be a good place to say that God does speak and God does act. Some people say God cannot speak. That's because they don't want to hear Him (Ezekiel 12:1-2). There have been times when I have found myself discouraged by those who say that God doesn't do anything and that God doesn't speak. Naturalism is a cult and Naturalism's philosophy is a complex lie. Materialism is a cult and Materialism's philosophy is also a complicated lie. Lies make us captive, but the Truth sets us free. Naturalism and Materialism have theologies that say that God does not speak and God does not intervene in our lives. Unfortunately, these cults can influence our thinking because they spread their message through many means. Let God be true and every man a liar.
When we do things that God has not directed us to do, we fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). When we do the things that God leads us to do, that is righteousness (Romans 6:16). Actually, righteousness requires that God does the work through us (1 Corinthians 15:10). Righteousness is imparted. The way is very narrow, more narrow that we had suspected (Matthew 7:13 & 14). Whatever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23). The Holy Spirit leads us and we either obey the Holy Spirit or we do not (Romans 11:23). There is no gray area (Matthew 12:33-37). We look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), and we make no provision for the flesh (Romans 13:14). The way is very narrow.
When we seek Him, we do find Him (Matthew 7:7-8), and He speaks His word in contradiction to the word of temptation that our own heart generated (John 10:24-27). So, we get a lot of direction from the devil, the world, and our sinful flesh, but we are not slaves to these three any more. It seems that the world and the devil only have influence over us through the flesh. If we were totally holy, we could not be tempted, because the Bible says that we are tempted when we are drawn away by our own desires. When we obey our fleshly nature, Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father and says, "I have paid for that sin." God forgives us by the blood of Jesus simply because we believe Him. If we sin, the seeds of the obedience to Satan and disobedience to God are planted, however. God's plan is that we turn to Him instead... every single time. When temptation comes, we look away to Jesus. We hear His voice and faith comes by hearing as hearing came by the word (literally, utterance) of God (Romans 10:17).
For example, if I am offended, I may react by feeling hurt. That hurt feeling quickly turns to some degree of anger. It can happen so fast and outside of my consciousness that it's impossible for me to stop it. It's built into my physiology. So, I reject that feeling as something offered by the enemy of my soul. Instead, I look away to Jesus, who comforts me and tells to forgive. I hear His word of comfort and I desire to forgive, but I can't do it in my own strength. However, in listening to His instruction with a humble and submissive attitude, faith wells up and opens the door to grace. The Holy Spirit flows in with the power to forgive. I yield my members to Him. Rather than yielding my tongue to my sinful and destructive flesh and responding to my brother with a harsh word, the Holy Spirit gives me a word from His throne for the situation. The Holy Spirit speaks the word through me. I become the very mouthpiece of God (1 Peter 4:11). I also yield my emotions of my body to the Holy Spirit, and I can feel my negative emotions settling down and being replaced by that peace that passes all understanding.
Without the grace of God, I would have followed the negative emotions of my flesh. I would have used words and emotions that did not flow from God. I would have hurt my brother and done damage to our relationship. The anger would have simmered in my heart, and I would have let the sun go down upon my wrath. That would have turned anger into roots of bitterness, and those would be the source of future trouble.
That was one example, but the same would apply to any other type of temptation. We make differences between temptations, but every temptation is an opportunity to obey God or a risk that we may chose to obey the fleshly nature. It doesn't matter if the temptation is overeating, not speaking up for Jesus, not reading the Bible, creating church orders that are not biblical, saying what should not be said, looking at what should not be looked at, or entertaining thoughts that are unclean. The basic principles hold true. Whatever is not of faith is sin. Jesus is the author and finisher of our our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Whatever He didn't author is sin. That's pretty plain.
As, when God spoke, all of the universe came into existence, so when God now speaks, faith comes into existence. I can remember when I used to mistakenly think that faith was just believing in something without any proof. Now, I realize that true faith is not a rationalization but rather a spiritual substance; it is the substance of things hoped for (Hebrews 11:1). Faith is tied closely to truth. By faith, we have access into God's grace (Romans 5:2). Jesus stands at the door, knocking (Revelation 3:20). Through faith, we can open that door and let His grace (free gift) come in (Romans 5:2).
We are saved from sin and to righteousness (Romans 6, 7, And 8). We were slaves to Satan, but now we are free to obey God (Romans 6:16). If we hear God's voice as the children of Israel did at the foot of Mt. Sinai and then they went about to establish their own righteousness, being ignorant of God's righteousness that is freely available through the blood of Jesus Christ, then, we, just as they, have not submitted ourselves to God's righteousness (Romans 10:3). God has a form of quality control in His Kingdom, and that is to test everything with fire. When we try to do good things that we generate out of our own perceived goodness, those works will be burned up by God's quality control (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). We yield our members as instruments of God's righteousness (Romans 6:13), so He can do His works through us (Galatians 2:19-21). This is the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). This is righteousness (Hebrews 2:21). This is Love (Romans 13:8-10). God does the work (Ephesians 2:10). We wait patiently for His righteousness to appear in us (Galatians 5:5).
I have sometimes worn myself out trying to do God's will by my own effort. I can't do it. God is looking for a Spirit-led life. Sheep are led. Goats are driven. God doesn't want to drive us. He certainly doesn't want us trying to drive ourselves. We don't look at God's purpose and let it drive us. We look to God Himself and yield to Him and let Him guide, direct, and empower us. This is not a theoretical thing. This is a presonal experience with God. This is deep intimacy with the Most High. We let Him do His works through us. We need the flow of the anointing that comes from the throne of God. That is to say, we need the Holy Spirit flowing as a mighty river. Out of your innermost being, rivers of water flow. Out of your innermost being, joy celestial flows. Out of your innermost being, banishing all your fears. Out of your innermost being, Jesus, the Christ, appears.
Last updated: Mar, 2012
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