Righteousness

Righteousness


What is righteousness?
According to 1 John 2:29, because Jesus is righteous, everyone who practice righteousness has been born of Jesus. In John 3:3 Jesus tells us "very truly I tell you, that no can see the Kingdom of God unless they are born again." So what both Jesus and John are saying is that a believer is born again if they are practicing righteousness because the one who made them righteous is righteous. God made those who are practicing righteous, righteous by giving them a new heart and spirit as stated in Ezekiel 36:6; God did this by making us a new creation in Christ, Jesus as stated in 2 Corinthians 5:17.

According to Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:13-17 when a believer has truly been born again they will know because Jesus Christ died on the cross for them physically and spiritually, they are free from the consequences of sin and not to sin. By being free from the consequences of sin it allows us live for Jesus, and not for ourselves. Therefore, when a believer is born again, the old them has gone away (meaning unrighteousness) and the new them is here (meaning righteousness).

Religious people get offended when you preach about practicing righteousness. So much so, that they would respond by saying that you are condemning them or judging them. The word says that there is no condemnation in Christ, Jesus and Jesus tells us know not to judge. They are right in repeating those two scriptures, but what they fail to realize is that we are not judging or condemning them, God is judging their unrighteousness in his word. Condemnation is defined as condemning someone to punishment; sentencing. If by saying that someone who profess to love Jesus Christ, should practice righteousness is condemnation, then that means that Jesus and all the apostles in the new testament were condemning them; which we know is not true. Now if someone is threatening others by telling them that they will never be righteous, they will never make it to heaven, they will never be good enough, they have to follow man-made rules and traditions, then that is condemnation. Never accept that. But if someone is promoting practicing righteousness and you feel like you're being punished; you maybe religious as opposed to a believer. Jesus told his disciples and the crowd in Matthew 5:20 "For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." The scribes, and Pharisees were religious! Jesus often spoke against religious people, he noted throughout the gospels that religious people are unwilling to be sanctified by the word of God and or the Holy Spirit. Meaning they are unwilling to be set apart from the world. They love the world so much, that they would rather get angry when you tell them to practice righteousness as opposed to actually practicing righteousness. The reason why the Pharisees, teachers of the Law, and Sadducee plotted to kill Jesus is because spoke up about their self-righteousness that was hidden by their religiousness. For further clarification watch the video titled Dangers of Religion and also read Matthew 23 and Luke 11.

How can I practice righteousness?
Earlier I mentioned practicing righteousness. Let's look into what practicing righteousness means.

Let's say that you enjoy cooking and or playing sports. While you enjoy it, you may not be be the perfect cook and or athlete. So, because you are really interested in learning how to cook a variety of dishes and or doing well in sports, you take the time to review cook books, understand the chemistry of food; and with sports you watch plays over and over again, and over time and with practice you excel at cooking and being an athlete. Practicing righteousness is the same. The same goes for practicing unrighteousness. We've all heard the saying "practice makes perfect." While nothing you do can ever make you righteous in the eyes of God. Everything Jesus did for us, makes us righteous when we practice righteousness.

Let's define what the bible says righteousness and unrighteousness is.

In 1 John 1:9 John says that unrighteousness is sin. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."  Paul tells us in Galatians 5:19-21 what sin is "Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God."

In 1 John 5:18 John says "We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him."

I want to practice righteousness, what should I do?
If you are practicing unrighteousness and you are praying for anything other than deliverance. God is not interested in giving you more worldly things that will push you further from him, he loves you too much to do that. He wants to sanctify you by his word and by his Holy Spirit. In Luke 11:39, Jesus told the religious people in his days "clean the inside of you, and then the outside will also be cleansed."

If you are living an unrighteous life, and you want to practice righteousness. Repent of your sins and ask Jesus for forgiveness. Once you do this, believe that Jesus has forgiven all of your sins, and that he does not remember your sins anymore (Hebrews 8:12). After you've repented, you need to separate yourself from those things that caused you to live in sin. A person who has repented from their heart, will not have a problem with doing this. So if you are repenting for watching porn, go without internet and cable for 30 days. Read the word and pray night and day and you will notice a change after those 30's day. You will no longer want to do what you used to do before. The change starts with you!

In Luke 9:22-26 Jesus says "Whoever wants to be my disciple (a follower of Jesus) must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.  For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels."

When we practice righteousness, we are righteous in the eyes of God because of Jesus's sacrifice. It is a choice to practice righteousness. For clarification, practicing righteousness doesn't mean that you will never sin again. However, it does mean that if do sin, you will ask for repentance right away because you practice righteousness. When someone is practicing unrighteousness it means they are living in sin, and while, they may repent, they are not changing their behavior.

I will leave you with this verse: " See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.  Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. 1 John 3:1-9