RIGHTEOUSNESS

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Jer 23:6 His perfect life is imputed to us for righteousness

We must realise that Jesus did not live, die, or even rise from the dead for Himself. He did it all for us. We are counted as righteous as Jesus was, because His life has been freely imputed to our account.

This is one of the most awesome facts of our salvation. Jesus lived a perfect life. Scripture describes His life as ‘without spot or blemish’ (1 Pet 1:19). He was perfect in His relationship with God. He was perfect in His relationships with other people, His family, community, and friends. He was perfect in His moral life. Perfect in thought. Perfect in attitude. Perfect in motivation. Perfect in speech. Perfect in action. Perfect in obedience and calling. Perfect in pleasing the Father. Jesus was sinless. Without sin. Without fault. Perfect!

Jeremiah says in his writings (Jer 23:6), there will come a day when the Lord will be known as Jehovah-Tsidkenu, literally meaning, ‘the Lord our righteousness’. This is the kernel of our justification before God. We are declared righteous, perfect, not because we are, but because Jesus is. The Lord Himself is our righteousness. Let me explain a little further.

After the resurrection Jesus appears before the Father. He presents His life. The Father views this life. He declares it perfect. In fact, it is the life God would live if He had became a human. And that is exactly the case. Jesus, being our advocate, explains to the Father that Phil Pringle down on planet Earth desires to be right with God, to enter Heaven and have a relationship with God. The Father replies that it’s out of the question; hopeless. He fully knows the life of Phil Pringle. It falls far too short of the glory of God. It is full of faults and shortcomings, sins and iniquities. But Jesus says to the Father that He wants to ‘give’ His perfect life to the man, so he can be saved, acquitted from all guilt, and declared righteous before God in Heaven. The Father agrees that this is a wonderful idea, and accepts the act as legitimate. God is not looking for ways to reject, condemn and curse man. He has always been looking for ways to save him.

Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus Our Lord.

This is the perfect way. It is a perfect salvation. The saved person places His trust in the righteousness of Christ, not their own. In terms of righteousness this places us in exactly the same standing before God as Jesus Himself. It places us in the position of being fully qualified to receive all the blessings that are promised throughout Scripture to the righteous. This is ‘imputed’ righteousness. This is salvation. It is the awesome gift of God. It is Jesus Himself being given to our lives. We live by the righteousness of another: the righteousness of Jesus Christ the Perfect.

To read more about what the Cross has done for you, pick up a copy of my book Dead For Nothing? here.

See you in Church! click here to find a service near you!

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THE BROKEN SPIRIT

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There are two types of ‘broken’ spirit. There is a brokenness of spirit which is positive and encouraged by Scripture;

Ps 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart; These, O God, You will not despise.

This psalm refers to the heart that is broken to God. It is speaking of a person who yielded to the will of God and soft in heart, so that their purpose is no longer their prime objective, but God’s is. These people are repentant and contrite about their sins and come to God broken over their condition. This repentant heart brings a person close to God.

There is another kind of brokenness, however, which is damaging to the soul. This is when a person’s spirit and motivation has been broken. These people feel no reason to get up in the morning. They suffer from a mysterious fatigue and generally mild depression. They become physically sick easily and find faults in others and all the negatives about life are easy to locate. They have an abundance of reasons why they shouldn’t bother attempting anything. Life appears hopeless to these people.

Proverbs speaks of this condition in different contexts;

Prov 15:13 A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, But by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

Prov 17:22 A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.

Prov 18:14 The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, But who can bear a broken spirit?

These proverbs are saying that even if a person is sick, when their spirit is strong and healthy, they will be able to cope and keep going. But when a person is damaged in their spirit, even the slightest of physical troubles, sickness or otherwise crushes them.

When our spirit is broken, and that damage begins to affect our lives in ways beyond our control, we find ourselves owners of attitudes we wish we didn’t have. A damaged spirit becomes impatient and angry. We talk of someone who is ‘short of spirit’. This is a person with an unresolved sickness in their soul.

The parallels between physical sickness and spiritual sickness are very close, and that the healing processes employed for physical problems are similar in concept to those that bring healing to a person’s spirit.

Fortunately, when a bone has been broken, it will heal, however, it requires nutrients and conditions for it to heal properly.

A person who is in need of restoration in their spirit should be surrounded by strong supportive people (like a cast on a broken bone) who will help them carry out the normal responsibilities of life. They should also enter a time of confinement, (like hospitalisation). This involves a greater set of disciplines that need to be activated while they rest and heal.The discipline of prayer and Bible reading, restraint from things that are questionable in their Christian life. This environment speeds the restoration of a broken spirit.

If you feel you need restoration, please come visit us this Sunday at church, or grab a copy of ‘Healing The Wounded Spirit’.