Jesus Christ’s Righteousness

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” For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.” Psalms 5:12

A soldier never goes into battle without the breast plate because it protects the vital organs. Today we use the modern version, the bullet proof vest. One of the main tactics of our enemy, the devil, is to shoot his fiery darts or bullets at our heart where we are born again, metaphorically speaking.

When we do not fully understand our spiritual position in Jesus Christ then we become easy prey for the devil to wound us and make us ineffective in God’s kingdom. We must therefore understand what “righteousness means” and why we need to be protected by it!

What righteousness is not is, a ticket to walk around like super heroes putting the devil in his place and shouting up a storm, which is a common misconception among some Christians. Rather, righteousness is an imputation of Jesus Christ’s attribute of ethics, morals, and keeping of the whole law. In other words righteousness is accredited to our account. The righteousness of Jesus Christ is based on the free gift of grace and not one’s own behavior, moral or otherwise.

Legally speaking, righteousness is where the guilty party is judged as guilty, but then are deemed righteous based on the clemency of the king, ruler, or authority. In other words the guilty party is acquitted of guilt based on the mercy of the court and not on facts or evidence of their guilt. That is why we cannot bring any righteousness of our own before God; we are all condemned guilty under the law and in God’s holy court of justice.

Jesus told the people in his word “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:20

The church rulers of the day were righteous in the eyes of men. They did good works, adhered to every jot and title of the law and even added some of their own rules to make themselves look real good. However, Jesus said that inside they were like old tombs filled with dead men’s bones. They looked nice on the outside like monuments,shiny all white and pure, but inside the heart they were dead- dead to God’s righteousness, dead to God’s life- just empty vessels filled with old dead laws that had no power to give life.

Jesus said that in order to enter into God’s kingdom one must be born again, born of God, filled with his Holy Spirit ,made alive, raised from the dead! In this way they could be accounted righteous, acquitted of sin and considered holy unto God.

You see religious church going folks look pretty good on the outside, by being righteous according to the law and men’s standard, but God’s standard is absolute perfection and unless one can achieve this high level of goodness then he is not able to attain salvation through the law. Salvation is a free gift bestowed by a merciful king and judge.

So as we can see the breastplate of righteousness is a powerful piece of amour in spiritual warfare for unless you are clothed in the devil will take you out! In fact he already has you!

How is this righteousness attained? The Bible says righteousness is attained through faith in Jesus Christ. Not just head belief but the Faith of God imparted by his grace. Do you desire this kind of righteousness? The righteousness that comes only by faith ? Then pray for it, for as many as thirst for this righteousness from God provided through faith in Jesus Christ, that is apart from the law, apart from works, apart from self achievements of any kind shall be filled!

“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:17
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6

“For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, there is no way you will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven” Matthew 5:20

“But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith in Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him who believes in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.” Romans 3:21-27

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Righteousness is of Faith

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When Joshua asked the Israelites to choose if they would serve the Lord by obedience to his commands under the law (See Joshua 24) they responded by saying, “Yes, WE WILL serve the Lord.”

However, if you read this chapter a little further on you will see how Joshua responds to that very bold statement.

“No YE CANNOT SERVE THE LORD!” he said.

What Joshua meant was that because God is holy and just and punishes sin, and man being a sinner, he is unable to serve God by the standard of God’s holiness. ( vrs. 19,20 )

The Israelites however, just ignore what Joshua is trying to tell them. They insist that they can measure up and obey the Lord in their own ability, after all they have a “free will” you know.

“No, but we will serve and obey the Lord.” the Israelites insist.

“Well, says Joshua, you know that God will punish you if you fail to keep all his commands that he gave Moses, don’t you?”

The Israelites instead of falling on their faces and admitting their sinfulness they take up their own righteousness, ” We can do it, yes we can!” they claim. Sound familiar to you? A lot like that motivational hype we hear in the world that has crept into churches in these last days.

But what does Joshua do next? Well, something quite interesting actually. He takes a great big stone and sets it under an oak tree near the sanctuary. What significance has this? Well, let me tell you. First of all we know that Jesus is the corner stone who has witnessed the oath. He takes note of the Israelites vow to keep ALL God’s commands. Right their in the old testament !

In scriptures the oak tree represents Israel who are under the law. Jesus who is the great corner stone rejected by his people Israel brings this from Isaiah in the temple. “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of the LORD and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified” Isaiah 61:1–3

In Romans chapter 9 we find that the “children of the Promise” the Israelites, stumbled at the stumbling stone. What does this mean exactly? Well, if you go back to Joshua 24 you will find that Joshua said to the Israelites,” Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good.”

Then the Israelites responded by saying in effect that WE WILL CHOOSE TO OBEY THE LAWS OF GOD. Now keep in mind that Joshua offered them the law to reveal their sin because he also said “offer your hearts to the Lord.”

If the heart is desperately wicked as the bible says then the heart that is wicked is not able to keep God’s law now is it? Putting away of our “gods” is the first step in coming to Christ. What are our gods? Anything that is self orientated, including our “I WILL CHOOOSE TO OBEY THE LAW.” as in the case of the Israelites who continue to this day, preferring the law to GRACE.

“And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the LORD. And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the LORD, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses. Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the LORD God of Israel.”

Now, read on to find what was the stumbling stone that tripped Israel up? “And the people said unto Joshua, The LORD our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey. So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem. And Joshua wrote these words in the book of THE LAW OF GOD, and took A GREAT STONE, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the LORD. And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold THIS STONE shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the LORD which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God. So Joshua let the people depart, every man unto his inheritance.”

According to the NT the stone that the builders rejected are those who, like the Israelites are trying to build their own way to heaven. They can choose to serve God and keep his laws. They don’t need to give their hearts to the Lord, or do they?

“This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.” Acts 4:11

“The stone which the builders rejected has become the head stone of the corner.” Psalm 118:22

You cannot “choose” to serve God for in doing so you have put your own righteousness in the equation. Vessels of mercy are those whom the Lord plants. They are trees of righteousness, HIS righteousness. Set free from sin to serve in newness of the Spirit and not in the old man, the self sufficient guy, who died and was buried with Christ at baptism.

Romans 9 says that RIGHTEOUSNESS IS OF FAITH unto all who believe (Jew or Gentile) and that the law is a stumbling stone in receiving Jesus Christ. The law shows us that we are sinners and so we are either going to respond by humbly saying,”Be merciful to me a sinner” or “I WILL CHOOSE to serve you God, under the law.”

“Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and allthe world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

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: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified FREELY BY HIS GRACE through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” Romans 3:19-28

So if we continue to try to be justified and made righteous by the law we are not under grace because the scriptures say that those under law stumble at the corner stone…JESUS CHRIST…preferring their own righteousness under the law in their own human ability rather than a heart conversion of the Holy Spirit.

https://thegospelofgraceministries.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/conversion-produces-repentance/

OBTAINED LIKE PRECIOUS FAITH

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Scriptures tell us that salvation is a gift but did you know that faith is also a divine gift? As a gift then salvation by faith is a gift. Not earned but divinely given through mercy which is also a gift obtained by God’s elect.

Faith is not the function of one’s own mind or an activity of the will. Rather faith is obtained as a divine gift bestowed by God according to his will and is measured out according to his will. There is nothing that you can do to increase your faith but by asking God for an increase. Faith is no more earned than salvation is. No matter how much you confess the word or read your bible, unless the Lord gives you divine revelation and an increase of faith, you will go no further than the faith you have obtained by God’s sovereign will. You can however, ask for an increase in faith but again that is still up to God’s divine will, not ours.

Let me show you this truth through scriptures.

According to the Bible, faith is OBTAINED.

“SIMON PETER, A SERVANT AND AN APOSTLE OF JESUS CHRIST, TO THEM THAT HAVE OBTAINED LIKE PRECIOUS FAITH WITH US THROUGH THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD AND OUR SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST.” 2 PETER 1:1

Salvation is obtained through faith.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” (Eph 2:8)
Jesus obtained salvation for us.

“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” Hebrews 9:12

What does obtained mean? According to the English language it means:

Obtained – get, acquire, or secure (something).

According to the Greek language it means:
λαγχάνω lagchanō
to receive by divine allotment

So as you can see, to obtain salvation and faith is to receive it through divine allotment, not by human ability.

“For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.” Acts 1:17

“Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come.” Acts 26:22

“What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded. “ Romans 11:7

“For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:”Romans 11:20

“Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.” 1Corinthians 7:25

“Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” 1 Peter 2:10

Faith is given to all God’s elect. “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” Ephesians 4:4-5

This faith, however, is bestowed upon God’s elect according to the measure allotted to the elect by God’s mercy and grace.

“For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” Romans 12:3

“Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,” Hebrews 11:33

The faith we each receive is allotted to the elect according as God sees fit and we use this faith to stand against the powers of darkness. Remember that Jesus said that “to him who has (exercises and uses responsibly) shall more be given.” Be faithful and God may give you greater things to do and add more measure of faith to you to fulfill your divine call.

“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” (Eph 6:16)

“ In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:” Ephesians 1:11

Women in Ministry

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What does the Bible say about women teachers? 1 Timothy 2:11-15
scripture is used by some Christians to forbid women to have teaching positions in the body of Christ we see another position by examining this doctrine closer.

1 Timothy 2:11-15
Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve.And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

This verse seems to be saying that allowing women to teach men would be giving them “authority over a man” but on closer examination we can see something else entirely.

The Greek word authenteo for authority occurs in this verse but no nowhere else in the New Testament. While the word authenteo has been translated by the word “authority” in nearly all English versions of the Bible, it is not the same word as exousia, the word used for “authority” in many other passages in scripture. Let us look at the difference in these words.

authenteo
one who with his own hands kills another or himself
one who acts on his own authority, autocratic
an absolute master, to govern, exercise dominion over one

exousia
power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases leave or permission,physical and mental power the ability or strength with which one is endued, which he either possesses or exercises
the power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege)
the power of rule or government (the power of him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed) universally authority over mankind, specifically the power of judicial decisions of authority to manage domestic affairs,metonymically a thing subject to authority or rule, jurisdiction one who possesses authority, a ruler, a human magistrate,the leading and more powerful among created beings superior to man, spiritual potentates.a sign of the husband’s authority over his wife the veil with which propriety required a women to cover herself,the sign of regal authority, a crown

Now why do you think the word authenteo is used instead of the more common usages of exousia ? According to Gnostic teaching Eve was not deceived because she was the illuminator and all-wise mother goddess and was before man. Timothy corrects this false teaching by saying that only One is all-wise, and that is God Himself. So what Timothy was saying is this “I am not allowing(present tense for that situation) a woman to teach or to proclaim herself the originator of man (authenteo). Adam was formed first, then Eve.

This mother-goddess heresy and emerging Gnosticism in First and Second Timothy and Titus, makes it clear that Paul was bringing correction in 1 Timothy 2:11-15. He was correcting women who were teaching this heresy

If this scripture was meant universally rather than to a specific situation it would have been stated more in the rest of scriptures, and it was not. In actuality women did teach men and held significant places as leaders in the church (Acts 18:26;21:9; Rom. 16:1,3,7).

In the Old Testament, we find women teaching men. 2 kings 22:14; Proverbs 1:8;31:26; and Micah 6:4.

So we can see that women can teach men the scriptures but they are not to be over men in a superior position as the gnostic doctrine elevates women.

For more information about the eve goddess of wisdom heresy check out this link.

1 Timothy 2:12 in Context (Part 3)

EXAMPLES OF WOMEN IN MINISTRY IN THE BIBLE

Paul’s letters examples of women teachers, evangelist, prophetesses, deacons, and apostles. Priscilla and her husband Aquilla, two of Paul’s “fellow-laborers” in the Gospel, instructed Apollos in the way of God according to Acts 18:24-26. Romans 16:3,” Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus.”

Huldah spoke a prophetic word to the king and the high priest regarding the interpretation of the Scriptures found in Deut. 29:25-27 which had been troubling the king. (II Kings 22:8-20, II Chron 34:14-28)

Mary (Lk. 1:46-56), who quoted several psalms and applied them to her divine pregnancy.

Timothy followed the faith of his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice. Chapter 3:15 tells us that from childhood Timothy had learned the Scriptures. Taught by women.

One of the judges in the Old Testament was a woman. Judges 4:4,”Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, was judging Israel at that time. And she would sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the mountains of Ephraim. And the children of Israel came up to her for judgment. ”

“Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time.” As both prophet and judge, Deborah exercised complete religious, political, judicial, and militaristic authority over the people of Israel.

The prophecy in Joel 2:28,” And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.”
In Acts 2:17 Peter quoted the prophet Joel. Jesus Christ promised a Spirit. Peter and the apostles spoke on the day of Pentecost, and this is the day the Spirit came to believers.

“And I urge you also, true companion, help those women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.” Philippians 4:3

Women are no longer under the curse of the law which was to be in subjection to men.

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28

If women are not set free in the Lord then why are the Jews and slaves? Think about it!

The prophet Micah identifies Miriam as one of the three leaders sent by God to bring Israel out of Egypt (Micah 6:4).

The Bible identifies ten female prophets in the Old and New Testaments: Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, Noadiah, Isaiah’s wife, Anna, and the four daughters of Philip. In addition, women like Rachel, Hannah, Abigail, Elisabeth, and Mary are described as having prophetic visions about the future of their children, the destiny of nations, and the coming Messiah.

Jesus unabashedly defies this tradition by teaching the Torah to women, perhaps most notably Mary of Bethany. The fact that Mary is described by Luke as “sitting at the feet of Jesus” clearly identifies her as a disciple. And when Martha challenges Mary to get back to the more traditional role of serving from the kitchen, Jesus gently admonishes Martha to allow her sister to stay put.

“Martha, Martha,” he said, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” This is one of many, many examples of Jesus defying social norms to welcome women into his ministry.

The Gospel writers often speak of two groups of disciples: the Twelve and the Women. The Twelve refer to the twelve Jewish men chosen by Jesus to be his closest companions and first apostles, symbolic of the twelve tribes of Israel. The Women refer to an unspecified number of female disciples who also followed Jesus, welcoming him into their homes, financing his ministry, and often teaching the Twelve through their acts of faithfulness and love. Just as Jesus predicted, most of the Twelve abandoned him at his death (John 16:32). But the women remained by his side—through his death, burial, and resurrection.

According to the gospels of Mark and Luke, Jesus cleansed Mary Magdalene of seven demons, after which she became a devoted disciple. She is mentioned by Luke in the same context as the Twelve as one who traveled with Jesus and helped finance his ministry. All four gospel accounts identify Mary Magdalene as among the first witnesses of the empty tomb. She is the one to breathlessly describes what she has seen to the male disciples, who initially discount her declaration, “I have seen the Lord!”, as the babblings of a foolish woman.

“Greet Andronicus and Junia,” Paul wrote in Romans 16:7, “my fellow Jews who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.” Junia is the first and only woman in Scripture to be explicitly identified as an apostle.

The masculine name Junias does not occur in a single inscription, letterhead, work of literature, or epitaph in the Greco-Roman world, while the feminine name Junia is everywhere. This name was deliberately changed by male bible interpreters with a bias towards women. To this day, one can find English translations of the Bible that turn the apostle Junia into a man.

For more info on this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junia

Romans 16:1-2, Paul writes, “I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon in the church in Cenchreae. I ask that you receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of his people and give to her any help she may need from you, for she has been the benefactor of many people, including me.”

Phoebe was one of many women in the early church to play an important role in directing the churches that met in their homes. Phoebe is not mentioned alongside a husband, so there’s a good chance she was single or a widow. She is identified as a deacon, which in the New Testament referred to a teacher and leader in the church, whether that person was a man or woman.

So, as you can see the bible makes it clear that women can teach the bible. To forbid women to preach and teach the gospel is sin. Bottom line.

An Eternal Weight of Glory

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Do you feel like you just can’t go on any more? Trials have come at you relentlessly and you feel like you are real close to just throwing in the towel? What is all this for you have asked the Lord. It is times like these when our flesh is weak that Mr.Devil comes along and says to us “So where is your God now?”

But the Lord says,”Remember the last trial when you thought that you were going to sink? You never thought that you would make it out of that one either, but my child, I proved myself faithful to you then and I will again!Just trust me. Peter looked at the waves about him when I asked him to trust me in an impossible situation but did I let him fall? No, and Neither will I let you fall. Just keep your eyes on me like Peter did! Trust me to uphold you with my victorious right hand! I will not let you sink!”

What’s it all for you ask? Why must I go through all this difficulty? Well, for an eternal benefit. Remember that this life is only temporary and the Lord is preparing you for an eternal purpose which you will not completely understand until you meet the Lord face to face. Don’t look at how the heathen prosper and compare yourself with them. They have their reward in this life but yours will be in the next! Keep your eyes on heavenly things!

Oh, our hearts will shout for joy when one day we see God’s love in its full manifestation! Take heart and do not faint! Run the race he has set before you and run to win the prize, a glorious inheritance !

Blessings brethren!

“For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,” 2 Corinthians 4:17