WEEK 1, DAY 4: RIGHTEOUSNESS
Scripture Reference: Mark 4:1-34
How would you feel today if you were addressed as a “holy one” or if someone called you “Saint so-and-so”? Did you know that in his letters, the apostle Paul often addresses the Christians as “holy people” or “saints”? (See Ephesians 1:1)
Holiness and purity are the most significant character traits of a Christian, yet righteousness means much more. Righteousness is an essential element to the character of God and quite literally means “One who is right.” It can be thought of as the exact opposite of sin. Being righteous means doing the right thing all day long, every day for as long as we live – anything less is to put Christ to public shame (Hebrews 6:6). Maybe that is why the apostle John says, “I’m writing these things to you, so that you do not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1-2). Notice, he says “if” we sin, not “when” we sin.
Still as Christians we have a tendency towards false humility that causes us to call ourselves sinners. Once we come to Christ and receive His forgiveness in our lives, His blood cleanses us of all unrighteousness, and we become clean. After this, it is God’s total expectation that His children live holy lives devoid of sin. In 1 Peter 1:15 we are actually commanded to be holy. Scripture says, the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23) but in the way of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death (Proverbs 12:28). A promise from Scripture is that for every temptation we are faced with, God has also made a way of escape that will bring us out of it victoriously (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Very often the world will tell us what Christians need to look like. They will even throw Scripture verses with their own interpretation at us to conform us to the world’s image. However, righteousness is the quality of being right by God’s standards. We have confused the issue of righteousness by thinking of it as behavior modification instead of heart transformation. We’ve made it an outward appearance of holiness rather than true change produced in us by the Holy Spirit. We don’t become righteous by the good works we do, instead righteousness created in us by the Holy Spirit as we listen to and obey Him causes us to do the works that please God.
The key to righteousness
The key to righteousness in us is prayer – honest two-way conversations with the Lord. As we allow moments in our personal prayer times to hear His voice and are diligent to obey what He says, we become transformed. We become righteous people who are set apart for God. Develop a friendship with the Holy Spirit as you come to Him day by day. Scripture tells us that as we turn to the Holy Spirit with an open heart, we are changed to become more like Him, experiencing a glorious transfiguration (See 2 Corinthians 3:12-18).
Zechariah 4:6 declares, “‘Not by might, nor by power but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of Hosts.”
—Ruth Fraser, Factor M46 Ministry
Take time to contemplate:
- Call yourself by your saint title!
- The title of Saint was bought at a great price, can you agree with the Lord that you were worth it?
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me (Psalm 51:10). Father let Your kingdom come and let Your will be done in me as it is in heaven.