He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.

HAVING A RIGHTEOUS FOUNDATION

Isaiah 54:13-14 HCSB

“Then all your children will be taught by the Lord , their prosperity will be great, and you will be established on a foundation of righteousness. You will be far from oppression, you will certainly not be afraid; you will be far from terror, it will certainly not come near you.”

I have been meditating on Righteousness as our foundation.

I have come to believe that what we believe about this will determine our level of success in life.

Paul apparently agreed when he said in Romans 5:17 HCSB

“Since by the one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ”

I believe that any other foundation is to build on sifting sand which Jesus warned us about.

Any teaching or teacher that adds to or mixes our self-effort with God’s grace is teaching another gospel and according to Paul is living under a curse and putting their followers under one as well.

Galatians 1:6-9

“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—  which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.  But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!  As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!”

As you read Paul’s letters you will see that this is THE strongest language  he ever used. It has to do with mixing the grace of Christ with self-effort or the law.

The way to determine whether the message is a mixture and therefore corrupt and to be avoided is simply to see where the emphasis is being placed.

Is it is all about Jesus and his finished work on the cross with nothing for us to add or is the emphasis on something you need to do? If you are the emphasis, run the other way.

If you are left with this nagging sense that you need to do more, you have just been put back under the law.

The message will probably sound right with preaching about the terrible condition of the church today and the need for change; a revival. No problem with that. I fully agree. The question is what do they propose as the solution?

Only Jesus through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit can live His life in and through us, period.

Depending on Him and His righteousness alone to make us acceptable and valuable to God and His Kingdom is the true message of the Bible.

Anything added to this is another gospel and should be avoided. Ask yourself, who does the speaker make me think more of, Jesus or me?

If the message is about doing more even good things like prayer, worship, evangelism, study, dying to yourself, searching your heart for sin to confess and repent of, you name it; this is a “mixture message.”

If it’s putting you in a state of needing to do more you probably just got a good dose of condemnation from a mixture message that results in an unstable and confused foundation of mixing God’s free gift of righteousness with your own works and this is a deadly combination guaranteed to make you sick.

By the way, this is the same mixture in Revelation 3 that made Jesus sick to his stomach.

Revelation 3: 15-18 “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!    So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.    You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.    I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.”

They were believing a mixture message resulting in being lukewarm. Hot being grace. Cold being law or self-effort.

The verses explain that they saw themselves as righteous by their own works. Jesus counsels them to buy gold representing His Eternal life and white clothing representing His righteousness and to receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit to see themselves correctly as God sees them; only saved and righteous by His grace alone with nothing added on their part.

So what is the right foundation according to the Word of God?

We are the righteousness of God in Christ, declared so by God Himself, the ultimate judge and determiner of who is or is not right with Him. This is not by mercy; God choosing to be benevolent  but rather by grace, unmerited favor, provided by and on the account of Jesus and His blood sacrifice for all our sins. This is the message and the ministry of reconciliation we are to share with others.

2 Corinthians 5:18-21 HCSB

Everything is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed the message of reconciliation to us.

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.” He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

So what is the message?

God is not mad and is not counting our sins against us.

Any other message that adds requirements other than belief in this message is a mixture and another gospel.

Most believers accept salvation on the basis of grace alone but then, just like the Galatians and the Laodiceans; it just seems too good to be true and our prideful flesh likes the idea of adding our own efforts to gain further approval and blessings from God by our “obedience”. Kind of like extra credit when we were in school.

Trust me, God is not impressed. Jesus and His work is all that matters and then yielding to His Spirit to produce His fruit in our lives when we get out of the way and let Him live through us is what “impresses” God, not our “self-effort”.

He calls our self-effort self-righteousness and it is like filthy rags and frankly stinks because it insults the work of Jesus and says it was not enough to satisfy His Father, that we must add our efforts and obedience to keep things good between us and God.

SO WHAT BRINGS CHANGE IN OUR LIVES?

True and lasting change in our life comes from seeing ourselves the same way God sees us as holy and pure as Jesus.

Righteousness is a state of being. You either are or you’re not. There is no “sorta” righteous.

We can no more fall out of a state of righteousness than we could fall into it when we were sinners by anything we can do.

Our faith in this reality will produce the fruit of righteousness by the Holy Spirit living in and through us manifesting the fruit of the Spirit, which is the life of Jesus expressed through us.

Just as Jesus became sin for us even though He never sinned so we have become and remain righteous not because of anything we do. This is the divine exchange paid in full by His blood.

This gift of righteousness is our foundation for living.

What we believe about this will determine how we live. It is the premise that establishes our belief system about God and ourselves.

 Our foundation is nothing less than the righteousness of God himself.

Until God can become unrighteous, our foundation will stand. When we understand and believe that we have God’s righteousness as our foundation we are empowered to reign in life.

Isaiah 54:13-14 HCSB

“Then all your children will be taught by the Lord , their prosperity will be great, and you will be established on a foundation of righteousness. You will be far from oppression, you will certainly not be afraid; you will be far from terror, it will certainly not come near you.”

Isaiah 54:17 HCSB

“No weapon formed against you will succeed, and you will refute any accusation raised against you in court. This is the heritage of the Lord ’s servants, and their righteousness is from Me.” This is the Lord ’s declaration.”

The result of being established on the foundation of God’s righteousness is we will not be afraid, oppression will be far from us because the accuser who oppresses is stripped and disarmed.

No accusation sticks because Jesus took our sins and we are righteous by His blood.

He is our righteousness.

Colossians 2:12-15 HCSB

“Having been buried with Him in baptism, you were also raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And when you were dead in trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive with Him and forgave us all our trespasses. He erased the certificate of debt, with its obligations, that was against us and opposed to us, and has taken it out of the way by nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and disgraced them publicly; He triumphed over them by Him.”

The question is how did God disarm the enemy?

By taking away his weapon that he uses against us which is the holy law of God which no one could keep but Jesus.

He kept it perfectly on our behalf and in our place as the Holy, precious sacrificial substitute; Lamb of God, and it (the law) and all its legitimate claims and accusations against us, were nailed there in Christ’s body on the cross.

Now when the enemy accuses us of not meeting the holy standards of God’s righteous law, we can point to Jesus and declare in agreement with God’s righteous declaration that we are the righteousness of God in Christ.  All our sin debt; Paid in Full.

This foundation gives us our solid position to refute all the allegations of the enemy.

This doesn’t give us an excuse for sinning but rather when we understand how much God the Father loved us to be willing to send His own Son to die in our place when we were dead in our trespasses without hope, we are compelled by this love to want to honor Him and Jesus’ sacrifice with our lives from a place of thankfulness and overwhelming gratitude.

We will want to worship and adore such an amazing loving heavenly Father and Savior who gave His life to rescue and save us from the eternal condemnation we justly deserved and who has now righteously declared us righteous.

We are liberated from sin which held us captive by understanding that we have been made righteous by His blood. This is true freedom; the ability to not sin, by choice, empowered from within by the Holy Spirit who reminds us not of our sins but that we are the righteousness of Christ.

I believe that Christians that are still in bondage to sin do not understand this truth and therefore live under constant condemnation, confusion and sin-consciousness which is the actual biblical definition of an evil conscience; seared with a continual consciousness of sin.

We will see more “holiness” in the church when believers understand this truth, not from getting more condemnation heaped on them and not by more messages on the need for greater obedience.

The only obedience that can set us free is the obedience OF Christ.

When we bring every thought captive to the obedience OF Christ and His finished work on our behalf; knowing we are the righteousness of God declared so by God Himself; then we will see change and believers living up to who they already are in Christ.

If God still holds us accountable for our sins after we are saved then He is dishonoring the over-payment of Jesus blood as our redemption.

He would also be a liar because He has clearly said He absolutely will not remember our trespasses and sins.

Hebrews 1-:17-18 (quoted from Jeremiah 31:34)

“Then he adds:  “Their sins and lawless acts  I will remember no more.”       And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.”

It is impossible for God to lie. So anyone who suggests that we still must account for our sins to maintain our relationship with God by regular confession of our sins is attempting to put themselves and others back under the law, has fallen from grace, according to Paul and is calling God a liar.

If God says He absolutely will remember our sins no more then why do we think He would want us to remind Him of them?

By the way, nowhere in Paul’s letters does he ever mention confession of sins. If it is a necessary part of our maintaining a good relationship with God our Father, don’t you think he would have mentioned it?

Even when he rebukes people for sinning he does not mention anything other than to remind them that they were bought with the price of the blood of Jesus and to remember that they belong to Him.

So what do we do when we fall short or fail to live up to who we are in Christ?

We repent. We “metanoia”.

When the word “repent” is mentioned by Jesus or in other places in the New Testament, it is the Greek word, “metanoia”. It means meta-change  and noia-your thinking.

The thinking that resulted in our falling short is always directly connected to viewing God or ourselves wrongly.

To repent means to change the faulty thinking. It usually falls into the area of not seeing ourselves as God does; holy, pure and righteous as Jesus Himself who is our righteousness and life. Or even worse, we doubt God’s love for us.

Forgetting who we are in Christ or doubting God’s love in the moment will result in fleshly reactions.

To repent means to stop believing the lie based on our former identity BC, before Christ, and to think righteously.

It also helps to declare the truth out loud that “I am the righteousness of God in Christ” so that I am in agreement with what God says about me.

This brings the Holy Spirit to renew us, refresh us, and encourage us to move on.

SPACE AND TIME

Jesus died outside of time. Paul alludes to this in his writings when he says that God the Father chose us in Him, (Christ) before time began. Of course Jesus entered time at just the right time to die for us but from God’s perspective our redemption was a foregone conclusion even before time began.

Ephesians 1:3-10 HCSB

“Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens. For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will, to the praise of His glorious grace that He favored us with in the Beloved. We have redemption in Him through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure that He planned in Him for the administration of the days of fulfillment — to bring everything together in the Messiah, both things in heaven and things on earth in Him.”

Another passage that illustrates this is found in Isaiah 53. This is the prophetic message concerning Jesus becoming sin for us.

Everything in this passage is stated in the past tense, over 500 years before Jesus came with one exception where it says that by His stripes we ARE healed. There are a few statements that have a future tense by the adding of the word “will” but the original Hebrew does not have the word will making them present not future tense.

For us who live 2,000 years after Christ, this should not be hard to grasp since all our sins were in the future when Jesus died for us therefore none of them had happened yet.

This means all our sins, past, present and future were already paid for by His blood before any of us were born much less committed them.

The only thing we have to do about our sins is accept His substitutionary sacrifice by faith. When we understand that there was nothing we could do about our sins to get right with God and that the price was paid for us by Jesus blood alone we will be established on God’s righteousness as our foundation.

This is the foundation from which we truly reign in life over sin, satan and all forms of death.

SO SHOULD WE FEAR GOD?

So why do we sometimes live with an overwhelming sense of dread or failure and an unresolved feeling of fear or anxiety?

When we hear messages about the holiness of God and that we are to fear Him, this is one more attempt to put us back under the law to get us to do right and straighten up and be more obedient.

All this is impossible by self-effort and leads to more fear and frustration because apart from the Holy Spirit, we are all powerless to change.

Messages to love God more, to fear God more, to live a more holy and obedient life are all based on law, not grace.

We love God because He first loved us and it is a direct response to His love.

1 John 4:16-19 HCSB

“And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him. In this, love is perfected with us so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, for we are as He is in this world. There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because He first loved us.”

So to be perfected in God’s love is directly connected to what we know and believe about His love. If we still hang on to the idea that it is conditional based on our “obedience” or performance, we remain “unperfected” in God’s love.

When we come to know and believe that God’s love is conditioned based on what Jesus did for us and that our Righteous Father has declared us righteous in Christ, the foundation of righteousness is established and we become stable no matter what and the result is we are perfected in His Love and His power is made known in and through us.

This is the “power” message that the church is starving for today.

The mixture message has left believers in a state of confusion and desperation to break free from a state of powerlessness.

The law only produces death. Life is found only in the Spirit. They are opposed to one another and therefore cannot be mixed without resulting in death; lukewarm-ness.

This is also what causes precious believers to jump on the next bandwagon promising supernatural power, miracles and more of God and a deeper experience of Him.

The only place that God’s power can truly be released in our lives is from the foundation of His righteousness and our acceptance of the truth that all the work was done for us by Jesus Christ.

It is His power flowing through us by the Holy Spirit as a result of our faith in the fact that He has made us righteous and coming into agreement with this truth and embracing His love and acceptance of us that will change our lives.

We will live from a solid, stable foundation of being declared righteous by God.

His throne is a throne of Righteousness which is where His power flows from.

When this happens, His miracles of compassion will flow in our lives as a normal natural experience and expression of who we are in Christ and we will grow in the fullness of knowing, believing and experiencing His life changing, all powerful love and we will be established on a foundation of righteousness.

From this solid foundation we can operate in the authority of Jesus Christ to bring about change in the lives of people and see His Kingdom of Righteousness, Peace and Joy change the world.

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Comments on: "HAVING A RIGHTEOUS FOUNDATION" (3)

  1. onlyhope77 said:

    Good word!!

  2. Alvin Seymour Cook said:

    Hey Brother,
    You are evidently on the trail of a deep commitment on your end..The one person you might want to tag or send to etc, is Dr. Michael Brown..He would love to see your heart, and I know would respond scolarrly..
    Missed you at Panim..
    Your brother..
    Cmor (and Jurena)

    • Thanks, brother. We missed being there too. Feel free to share this with anyone if you are led and so inclined. I will welcome others to read and comment.
      To me there can be no better foundation to build my life on than the gift of the righteousness of God in Christ. Made right with our Father by the blood of Jesus His son. Selah.

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