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The Daily Word of Righteousness
If You Love Me . . ., #9
I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because Abraham obeyed me and kept my requirements, my commands, my decrees and my laws. (Genesis 26:4,5)
Righteousness, that is, righteous behavior, is one of the great themes of the Bible. Righteousness and lawfulness are closely related. To be righteous is to be accepted of God. To be lawful is to do what God has commanded both in the written Word and also addressed to us personally through the Spirit of God. It is impossible to be regarded as righteous by the Lord when we are not keeping His commandments, not obeying what He tells us to do.
Under the Law of Moses righteousness was gained by keeping the laws and statutes God had given.
And if we are careful to obey all this law before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness. (Deuteronomy 6:25)
The very heart of Judaism is the keeping of the commandments and statutes of the Lord. The Law of Moses was the covenant God made with Israel. To be righteous and yet not obey God's commandments would be unthinkable to a righteous Jew, and this may be one reason why the Messianic congregations in some instances are going back under the Law.
The same is true under the new covenant. God has given us commandments to observe. If we do not carefully and diligently observe to do them we will never be regarded as righteous by the Lord.
First, we are to repent of our sins, receive the forgiveness of God through the Lord Jesus, and be baptized in water. Our confession of faith, repentance, and baptism in water result in our being regarded as righteous. We must repent and be baptized if we are to be saved. Our salvation commences with obedience to these two commandments.
Second, we are to come out of world and its wicked malicious ways, not having fellowship with spiritual darkness and sin.
Third, we are to count that when we were baptized in water we took our place with Christ on the cross and now have entered the Kingdom of God. A firstfruits of our personality, our new born-again spiritual nature, has been raised to the right hand of God in Christ.
Fourth, we are to pray continually so we are living in the Spirit of God. As the Spirit reveals the worldliness, lust, and self-will of our personality we are to seek grace from the Throne of God in order to overcome these sins and rebellions. We are to confess our sins to the Lord, and sometimes to other people, that we may be forgiven and cleansed from all unrighteousness.
Fifth, we are to meditate day and night in the Old Testament and the New so the Spirit of God may teach us how we are to think, speak, and act. We are to put sin to death through the Spirit of God.
To be continued.