"Just and Righteous"
Realize. Reckon. Respond To Reality!
The Christian life involves not only the knowledge that the Lord Jesus Christ is just and righteous, but that those who believe are justified and made righteous through Him. We discover such blessed truth frequently affirmed in the New Testament epistles, particularly in the Apostle Paul's letter to the Romans.
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1).
"It was imputed to him (Abraham) for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him, but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification" (Romans 4:22-25).
"For in that He died, He died unto sin once. But in that He liveth, He liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:10-11).
When we trusted in the Lord Jesus, God reconstituted us as just and righteous by uniting us with the Spirit of His Son to the degree that we are alive unto Him. This is fact. It is fact we must "reckon" or account as true, however, if our experience and practice is to result. That is, we must accept, believe, and affirm the truth of who we are in Christ, and who He is in us. Some Christians believe that little more occurred in our new birth than forgiveness of sins and the assurance of eternal life. They fail to decisively grasp the ongoing New Testament proclamation of newness in the innermost sanctum of our being.
"If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new" (II Corinthians 5:17).
"Put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness" (Ephesians 4:24).
"The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:2).
"Ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God" (I Corinthians 6:11).
The list could go on regarding the inner transformation that occurs when the justifying Spirit of Christ enters our spirits. We receive far more than fire insurance when we believe. We receive newness of life, being, and identity. However, we also retain the humanity inherited from Adam, referred to Biblically as "the flesh". This earthly aspect of our being remains susceptible to devilish and worldly temptations - "the flesh lusteth against the spirit" (Galatians 5:17). Thus, we can still live as if we are the same person we were before the Lord Jesus justified and enlivened us. Through ignorance and unbelief, we may forget or even choose to disbelieve that we "delight in the law of God after the inward man" (Romans 7:22). We may seem much more alive to the world than to God, and thus walk after the flesh despite the truth that we "live in the Spirit" (Galatians 5:25). Thus, we must realize, reckon, and respond to reality, or as the Lord Jesus commanded, "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment" (John 7:24).
Are we who our Heavenly Father declares us to be in His Son? Do we believe? Again, do we realize, reckon, and respond to reality? Too much was sacrificed for the sons and daughters of God in Christ to ignore or disbelieve the glorious life that sprang forth from the death of Calvary and the newness of the empty tomb. If we have trusted in Christ, we are not who we used to be in the most important part of our being. Therein, we are just and righteous through the living presence of the just and righteous One - "as He is, so are we in the world" (I John 4:17). This we must believe, first because it is true, and then because we will only think, speak, act, and relate accordingly if we choose to live in the reality of Christ's freely given righteousness. Indeed, do we realize? Do we reckon? Do we respond? How we answer these questions in the light of God's Word will go far in determining whether we consistently fulfill the Apostle's mandate…
"Ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord. Walk as children of light."
"And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; that ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God."
Next - Righteousness in Christ, a New Testament illustration
Weekly Memory Verse
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.