Living through the Lord our Righteousness

(12/11/2011)

 

            For a very long time I’ve had bouts of backsliding and following hard after the Lord. Through both sides of my spiritual journey I have always noticed something about Christians that has rubbed me the wrong way. I never understood why I felt that way. At times I thought it was the devil trying to interfere with my walk with the Lord. I would pray about it and move on, but the same issue would come about and the same feeling would come upon me.

 

            Earlier this week this feeling came across me once again. Many incidences led me to now writing this message. All in one day I heard 1) judgments and protest against people who make the decision to have an abortion, and 2) a message on sexual sin and how we as Christian should remain pure. Now yes, I do believe that abortion is wrong, but I do believe in choice and that we are allowed to choose what we do regardless of whether it is right or wrong, but abortion and my personal view is not the topic of discussion. What really caused ill feelings within me was the message on sexual sin. I had attended a worship service and later after the service someone who was not affiliated with the service had brought up a scripture that was mentioned at service. I mentioned it to the person that I heard this before and their response to me was that I should remember this but, they were indirectly pointing the finger at me that I was sinner and needed to abide by the word. When I heard this it struck me in that ill manner that I have always felt before when a Christian approaches a person (no matter if they are a believer or not) and they speak about God and quote scriptures from the Bible as if they know all, that they are divinely blessed and they are spiritually greater than those who are not as spiritual as they are. Now I know as Christians we are called to spread the word of Jesus, (Matthew 28: 18-20 “18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore[a] and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.[b]”NKJV) and I have always looked to other Christians who do spread the word of God and of Jesus as an example of what it means to be a follower of Christ. I look to others as example because I truly feel like I don’t know the word well enough and I feel that I have not been called as of yet to spread the word of God, but the thing is some Christians who I look to as this example are the same Christians who I described as above, having this mentality that they or acting as they are “Holier than thou”.

            Now for me to even mention this may seem blasphemous, but this is something I have dealt with for many years along through my walk with Christ. With this final incident I questioned it, prayed about it and thought hard about it. And when I finally figured it out I realized it was hypocrisy.  So then I began looking up different scriptures pertaining to hypocrisy. As I read along each scripture everything came full circle to me. All that I had experienced in that one day and things that I have pondered in the past and prayed about was God’s way of revealing to me what it truly means to live righteously through the Lord our Righteousness (Jehovah Tsidkenu).

 

Now this may make some Christians mad, but if it does then maybe it means that you are not living righteously. Let me go into details of my revelation.

 

“Acting Holier than thou”

            Now this is a statement that many people don’t like to use because is it a judgment against another person’s walk with Christ, but the astounding thing about this statement is that it can be recognized and the truth lies within it. (Isaiah 65:5 “Who say, ‘Keep to yourself, Do not come near me, For I am holier than you!’ These are smoke in My nostrils, A fire that burns all the day.” NKJV) This behavior can be seen by many Christians when they look at someone and say Ooh! They need Jesus or what are they doing here? Hmpf! To act “holier than thou” is putting oneself as if on a pedestal saying I that I am blessed because I do this, that and the other while you down there are a lowly sinner. And with this person standing on their pedestal looks down on you they begin to preach to you about your sins.  And through preaching to you they feel that they have something to show for others or upon God as a good deed. (Galatians 6:13 “13 For not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh.” NKJV) Sometimes though there are Christians who don’t talk to you about your sins, but rather go around quoting scriptures and speaking of God as if they truly know of Him and to also feel they have did their good deed as a Christian (we know these people who are known to be false prophets). (James 3:16 “16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.” NKJV) When a Christian acts “holier than thou” they are putting themselves at spiritual risk because they are not recognizing that they are/were a sinner too and they have forgotten where they have come from.

 

Non-recognition of sinning (you are a sinner first)

            Every Christian should believe that God created the heavens and Earth and all living things (Genesis 1), but in all of this we were born into sin (Genesis 2). And with that we are all sinners. (Romans 3:23 “23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” NKJV) I mentioned before that not recognizing you are a sinner and forgetting where you came from is a spiritual risk. Jesus even had to remind people where they came from through saving someone’s life. (John 8:4-9 “4 they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught[a] in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses, in the law, commanded[b] us that such should be stoned.[c] But what do You say?”[d] 6 This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.[e]
7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up[
f] and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” 8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience,[g] went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.”) This is the story of Mary Magdalene who was known as a harlot. Through the words spoken by Jesus he blatantly told these people that they were hypocrites.

 

Hypocrisy

            Hypocrisy is a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc., that one does not really possess. There are nearly 100 or more scriptures in the Bible that relates to hypocrisy. Just as much as the statement “acting holier than thou” seems blasphemous so does calling someone a hypocrite seems blasphemous, but people actually live this way. Thinking of this as a character trait for a person is very unattractive. To think of a person being a hypocrite can leave you having little trust in the person. (Jude 1:16 “16 These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage.” NKJV)  (Jeremiah 9:4 “4 Everyone take heed to his neighbor,  And do not trust any brother; For every brother will utterly supplant, And every neighbor will walk with slanderers.” NKJV) Many Christians are unaware of when they attempt to preach to others for their own good, that they are not abiding by the word. It takes more than sitting back and hearing the word just to reiterate it to someone else and not understand it for yourself first. (James 1:22-25 “22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” NKJV).

 

Judgment

When a “holier than thou” Christian feels they have to preach to another person, they are doing it out of judgment of the other person’s doings.  By these judgments is what make a Christian seem as “holier than thou”. As Christians we are not called to judge one another. If we do we shall be judged as well. (Matthew 7:16 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.6 “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces. NKJV) Neither was Jesus sent to judge us. (John 3:17 “17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. NKJV) Only God is the one who can judge all. (Romans 2:1-11 “Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. 2 But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. 3 And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? 5 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who “will render to each one according to his deeds”:[a] 7 eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; 8 but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, 9 tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; 10 but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God. NKJV) Of course there are people who do not believe in God or His word, but we are not the ones to go around to preach or force our beliefs on them based on judgment either. (Proverbs 9:7-9 “7 “He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself, And he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself. 8 Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you. 9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
NKJV). The thing about why people are non-believers, sinners and/or easily fall into sin is that we are given that choice through God. God does not force us to worship and follow Him. (John 7:17 “17 If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. NKJV). He allows us to fall into our sins so that we may see that sin not is not fulfilling and that we may desire Him more. (Romans 1:24-25 “24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. NKJV)

 

 

Through hypocrisy a Christian will never be fully blessed. A Christian cannot be half heartedly into the word. (Luke 16:15 “15 And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.” NKJV) (Matthew 6:1 “1 “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven” NKJV) When you are living as hypocrite you are technically living two separate lives. Part of you is living through God, wanting to spread his word and do His will, but on the other hand you living through Satan and still sinning. That’s not how a Christian should live.

 

Serving two masters

          When we live through God and live through Satan we can say that we are serving two masters. As Christians we are only called to serve one God who is known as a trinity. (Jude 1: 20-21 “20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. NKJV). If we are to serve God, we are to serve Him alone. (Exodus 34:14 “14 (for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God), NKJV).  Satan is not the only thing that we can end up serving while we try to serve God as well. Anything that takes our hearts, minds and spirits away from God is like serving another god. (Luke 16:13 and Matthew 6:24 “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. NKJV) As Christians we want to be able to always love God as we serve Him. He does so much for us and we are not worthy of it.

 

 

Hypocrisy is so dangerous we risk our souls for judgment and serving two different masters. I mean how can a person call him/herself a Christian when they are not living the way a Christian was called to live? A Christian is called to live a life of righteousness. What I’ve explained          thus far is how a Christian lives a life of unrighteousness. (Romans 2:8-9 “8 but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, 9 tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil,” NKJV)

 

Live righteously through faith in Jesus

            Now that I’ve said my say on unrighteous living, then how in the world can a Christian truly live a righteous life? Well, thats very simple. How does a Christian justify that they are a Christian to begin with? By having faith in Christ, of course. Through faith in Christ is how we gain righteousness and live righteously. (Romans 4:5-8 “5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, 6 just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works:7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered;
8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.”
NKJV) (Romans 1:17 “17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”NKJV) Living through Lord Our Righteousness (Jehovah Tsidkenu) is a step in your walk with Christ that is very rewarding. (James 3:17-18 “17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. NKJV) You must open your heart to the Lord and trust in Him. (Psalm 119:33-40 “33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, And I shall keep it to the end. 34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart. 35 Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, For I delight in it. 36 Incline my heart to Your testimonies, And not to covetousness. 37 Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, And revive me in Your way.[a] 38 Establish Your word to Your servant, Who is devoted to fearing You. 39 Turn away my reproach which I dread, For Your judgments are good. 40 Behold, I long for Your precepts;
Revive me in Your righteousness.
  NKJV). Allow yourself to learn His will and ways; be filled with His holy knowledge. (Proverbs 9:10-12 “10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. 11 For by me your days will be multiplied, And years of life will be added to you. 12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself, And if you scoff, you will bear it alone.” NKJV) Through living righteously through faith in Jesus we are to (Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. NKJV)

How a Christian should behave: (Romans 12:9-21 “9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,”[a] says the Lord. 20 Therefore

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”[
b]

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. NKJV)

Lastly, but not least in order to continue living righteously, keep the faith. Keeping the faith is more than just believing in Christ and doing good works. Good works should not be from oneself or to make one self look good in front of others, but be from God as to glorify Him. (James 1:25-27 “25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.26 If anyone among you[a] thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. 27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. NKJV)

I hope this blesses those who read it as it definitely has blessed me. I am a believer in Christ and I will continue to live by the word for as long as continue to keep the faith and trust in God. Through faith I was lead by the Holy Spirit to write this message and by God to share His wisdom. God bless!

“God gave us eyes to see with, ears so that we can hear, a mind to think for ourselves, mouth to speak with and a soul to feel with”- Ashlee Carter

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