Righteous Now

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV

Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!  2 Corinthians 5:17 AMP

“Therefore if any man be in Christ…” What does it mean to be “in Christ”? Galatians 3:27 says, “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” You are baptized into Christ when you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Romans 10:9-10 says, “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” And Romans 10:13 says, “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” The moment you believe in Jesus, call on Him, and confess Him as Lord, you are “in Christ”. You are made a brand-new creation in Christ! You are brand new on the inside! The Holy Spirit has given you new life! You are also immediately made righteous. You don’t have to wait to be righteous – you ARE righteous because Jesus took ALL your sin and exchanged it for His righteousness. He removed your old filthy rags and put a spotless robe of righteous on you!

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Romans 3:23-26 KJV

He says “to declare at this time His righteousness! You are freely justified WHEN you believe. Not later; not only when you die and go to Heaven. Jesus said that you cannot see the Kingdom of Heaven unless you are born again of the Spirit of God (John 3:1-8). Born-again Christians are not merely reformed, rehabilitated, or reeducated – they have been re-created! When we are converted to Christ, we are not merely turning over a new leaf, but we are beginning a whole new life, under a brand-new Master.

Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  Romans 6:4 KJV

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 
2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV

Jesus traded His righteousness for our sin – He took our sin away from us and gave us, in return, His righteousness. We don’t just HAVE righteousness, we are MADE righteous. We are the righteousness of God in Christ! We are not becoming righteous – we are already righteous right now! We can walk in newness of life, because that’s exactly what we have – a brand new life.

For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)  Romans 5:17 KJV

That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.  Romans 5:21 KJV

Believers are not sinners, saved by grace. They WERE sinners – then they received Jesus – now they are the righteousness of God in Christ! If you keep seeing yourself as a sinner, then you will act like one and you will have a hard time walking with God and keeping your life straight. We need to learn what God’s word says about who we are in Christ and develop a righteousness consciousness. Because we have already received the gift of righteousness, we can – right now – reign in life through Jesus, Himself. We reign over sin; we reign over sickness and disease; we reign over poverty; we reign over the devil and his demons; we reign in righteousness in THIS life.

And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
  Revelation 5:9-10 KJV

Jesus made us kings – a royal race – and priests, unto our God, so that we can reign over the earth! He didn’t say that we would reign only in Heaven – we are to righteously reign in this life, on this earth – we are kings and priests now!

For in the Gospel a righteousness which God ascribes is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to faith [disclosed through the way of faith that arouses to more faith]. As it is written, The man who through faith is just and upright shall live and shall live by faith. 
Romans 1:17 AMP

Only the righteous man and woman can LIVE by faith. The Father makes us righteous by faith so that we can continue to live by faith! You need to learn what the Word of God says about you, so you can see yourself as God sees you – washed in the blood, righteous, and just – and then walk it out in your life.

Stand Up For Your Faith

And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. 29 If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.  1 John 2:28-29 NKJV

We can stand before our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, at His coming with confidence, when we know that we have obeyed His word and submitted our life to it. He promised that when his words lived and dwelt in us, then He and the Father would come and live permanently with us. If we have a true revelation of who He is and what He has done in us, then we will walk like He walks; we will walk in righteousness. When we walk with God, in righteousness, two things happen: people see that we are His and we belong to Him and He will come to our defense when others attack or persecute us.

Jesus is the light of the world-let him shine through you:

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”  John 8:12 NKJV

You are the light of the world – do not hide your light – let it shine:

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.  12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. 13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.  15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.       Matthew 5:10-16 NKJV

The blessing of God is on your life, when you receive persecution for the sake of righteousness. Because of the blessing, because you know that God is on your side, you can be bold in the face of opposition. Because of fear of persecution, there are those who would draw back and try to hide the light that is in them through Jesus Christ, but he tells us to shine our light boldly. When we do, He will be there to back us up. When our light shines, God is glorified. When we hide the light that is on the inside of us, He receives no glory. Let your light shine for the glory of God. Let your light shine so that those who seek Him can see and be drawn to that light to receive salvation and deliverance, and themselves be lit up with His light.

You are the salt of the earth. You are “salty” as long as you walk in purity of heart and soul before the Lord. The world needs your salt. If the Church compromises and walks like the world, they are no longer salty. It might not be popular to be salty, but it is essential – for the believers and the unbelievers. Do not succumb to the pressure to compromise that the world puts on you. Have a backbone and stand up for the Gospel; stand up for what is right and true. Too many Christians are yielding to this world’s system, by accepting their standards instead of standing up for the Word of God and His standards. If we do not stand up for the truth of the Word of God, then who will?

Do not be ashamed of Jesus or He will be ashamed of you:

Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.  33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. 34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.  35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’  37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.  38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.  39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.  Matthew 10:32-39 NKJV

Sometimes your greatest persecution can come from those of your own house. If you are ashamed of, and deny, Jesus in front of people, then Jesus have to deny you in the presence of the Father. It is like being married, and denying your spouse. If you want to stay married, you will wear your wedding ring proudly and show off your spouse. We should be proud and honored to belong to Jesus and to show Him off to others. This is the only way to bring His salvation, deliverance and freedom to the nations – by lifting Him up and honoring Him before men. He said, “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men to Me.”

Stand up for your faith:

Blessed (happy, to be envied) is the man who is patient under trial and stands up under temptation, for when he has stood the test and been approved, he will receive [the victor’s] crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him.  James 1:12 AMP

And [then] when the Chief Shepherd is revealed, you will win the conqueror’s crown of glory.  1 Peter 5:4 AMP

Stand up for your faith even if it means persecution. Stand up for your faith even if it means a martyr’s death. God has promised glorious crowns to those who stand up for Him through temptations, trials and persecutions.

True Freedom Comes From God Alone

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (emancipation from bondage, freedom).  2 Corinthians 3:17 AMP

The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America declares that:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness;…”

The framers of our Constitution recognized that God alone was the Author of life, of freedom, and of man’s free will.  Liberty is the very essence of the Gospel.

Since God is the one who gives men freedom, there is no government that can legally give it to you – it is not theirs to give. Governments may claim to control your freedom, and therefore give or take it away, but they do not have that right. What kings and governments do is to put people into bondage and when they loosen up the restrictions, they call it freedom. Alternatively, they give you “freedom” inside their own controlled, narrow boundaries. None of this is true freedom.

In God’s eyes, the role of government is only to protect the freedoms of the people and restrict the freedoms of (imprison) those who seek to rob others of their freedoms by killing, stealing, or otherwise destroying. All the laws that they pass should be to allow people to freely conduct business and live their lives as they choose. In a world where every person was a true follower of Christ, there would be no need for laws, because everyone would govern themselves and their behavior by the laws of God. Everyone would love their neighbor and seek their best interests. No one would enslave or oppress another, and no one would be enslaved or oppressed.

Laws are made for lawless men. If you transgress the law, you become subject to it. If you are entirely submitted to the commandment of God, then the law is not applied to you. No one has the right to oppress another or to enslave another. God gave us no commandment to have slaves; however, when men, in their ignorance to the Gospel and the truth, took slaves, He gave commands for proper treatment of slaves. He even provided a Year of Jubilee – for the release of slaves. The fact is that slavery is a curse brought on by rebellion and disobedience to God’s laws.  As long as men curse God, slavery will continue. The only hope is another Year of Jubilee and Jesus is that Jubilee! You do not have to wait fifty years – you can have it now!

Here are some examples of the way that some people impose slavery upon others: to physically enslave men; to oppress and keep them in ignorance; to force them against their free will; to deprive them of compensation, or appropriate compensation, for work done; to prevent proper home life and training of their children; to fetter (restrict or restrain) the intellect; to make some dependent on others; to promote any inequality in rights contrary to the laws of God.

We see this slavery at work in our nations today. Banks and corporations keep people in slavery through debt. Their goal is not to help people find financial independence, but rather to keep them in debt and dependent on the system. When governments support people by helping them to own and run their own businesses, and by helping and encouraging them to earn their own living, then they are doing something good. However, when governments give people handouts on a continual basis, people become dependent on the government, and therefore are owned and controlled by them. The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender (Proverbs 22:7 AMP).

People are enslaved through lack of education. In school, they are not taught what they need to know but only what the government wants them to know. This is happening in so-called “free” countries, and not just in ones ruled by dictators. If people do not know their history, they are doomed to repeat it. People know everything about the pop culture or their favorite athletic team, but nothing about what they really ought to know in order to stand up against tyranny. Governments enslave people when they hide things from the people; when they are not transparent and open; when they receive bribes to decide things in the interest of a few at the expense of the many.

When you cannot choose your own vocation, and someone tells you what job you will do, then you are enslaved. Around the world, there are many people who are overworked and underpaid and whose lives are controlled by the companies for whom they work. This is a form of slavery. Many people are so completely enslaved, even today, that they have no control even over their own bodies, and they are bought and sold as slaves.

Governments impose slavery upon the people, when they insist that they are the only ones who have the intelligence to govern and that everyone else is too ignorant to govern or even to question their decisions. It is a form of slavery to undermine the family. When the government has more control over a child’s life than the parents do, then that nation is enslaved. Governments impose slavery upon the people when they take control of the Health Care programs and decisions, and they begin to decide who may live or die. When governments can abort babies and prematurely kill old people, and handicapped or infirm people, then that nation is enslaved.

The main reason people are enslaved, is because they are ignorant of the word and the will of Almighty God. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6a NKJV). The reason that the Constitution of the United States of America, and the Bill of Rights, are such powerful documents is because they are based on the principles of the Word of God. As long as men acknowledge God in this nation, our country will stand strong. However, when men dishonor God, the guiding principles of our founding documents will no longer be able to stand, and the nation will fall to tyranny and darkness. It is left up to those of us, who walk in the light, to stand up for the truth and to bring others into the light, so that our people and our nation might remain truly free.