The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"Innate Or Imparted"
"Christ alone occupies such an exalted place of righteousness, accounted perfect not only in His eternal divinity, but in His earthly humanity. All others must receive the gift of righteousness."
Two ways exist whereby human beings can be right, or righteous, with God. Either we must innately fulfill the standard required for acceptance by a perfect Lord Or we must have righteousness imparted to us by His grace. The first possibility excludes all but One. The second is the Gospel.
"We have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15).
"By one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified" (Hebrews 10:14).
First, we marvel at the life of the Lord Jesus Christ, tempted more than any other, and yet sinless throughout His earthly lifetime. He faced the challenges in His humanity since "God cannot be tempted with evil" (James 1:13). Thus, He felt the temptations as do we ourselves, being confronted directly by Satan, and being required to overcome by faith and submission to God, as do we ourselves. As a man, "He learned obedience by the things which He suffered" (Hebrews 5:8). Indeed, of the innumerable wonders for which we will praise our Savior forevermore, His sinless earthly lifetime amid what must have been constant challenge will lead us to fall before Him in grateful praise and thanksgiving. "He Himself hath suffered being tempted" (Hebrews 2:18).
Christ alone occupies such an exalted place of righteousness, accounted perfect not only in His eternal divinity, but in His earthly humanity. All others must receive "the gift of righteousness… by One, Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:17). Our Lord so fulfills the standard that He not only abides as righteous Himself, but also as the justifier of all who receive His grace through faith. His innate acceptance with the Father becomes the basis for our imparted relationship and standing with Him - "He hath made us accepted in the Beloved" (Ephesians 1:6). No other way of justification exists for human beings. Nor is any other required. "Of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us… righteousness" (I Corinthians 1:31).
Innate or imparted. A company of One occupies the former. We fall to our faces in wonder. A church of multitudes fills the latter, saints redeemed unto righteousness by the grace of God, the blood of the Lamb, and the Holy Spirit who spiritually births the believer into righteous relationship and standing with God. We fall again to our faces in wonder. Growing realization of so marvelous a Giver and so merciful a gift will lead us in the determination to "bear the fruits of righteousness," which yet again are "by Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:11). Yes, as with every Biblical truth, the consideration of righteousness begins, continues, and culminates with the glorious One of whom the Father declared…
"By His knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify many."
"But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe."
Weekly Memory Verse
By one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.
Dear Orange Moon Friends,
In responding to a friend about today's message, I reread what I had written. I found a sentence that did not express exactly what I meant, and which might cause misunderstanding.
"Thus, He felt the temptations as do we ourselves, being confronted directly by Satan, and being required to overcome by faith and submission to God, as do we ourselves."
While the gist of the sentence is correct regarding the temptations of the Lord Jesus, it seems to suggest that not only was He directly confronted by Satan in the challenges, but so are we ourselves. While this might be the case at times for believers, the truth of the matter is that Scripture does not present Satan as an omnipresent being. Thus, he cannot directly confront all of us in every temptation. I suspect he did so in all of the Lord's temptations because of who He was - which was the point I attempted to make - but it does not seem possible it will always be true of us. Certainly, there are plenty of demonic influences we face, who possess similar capabilities of deception and temptation as does the devil himself. So, the principle of temptation in this sense applies, but in broader terms than I expressed.