Proverbs 28:1 The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion
Righteousness is the difference between courage and cowardice, faith and fear, defeat and victory. Although this is talking about the wicked fleeing, so often it is the Christian who flees, even though they should be the righteous. This is simply because their conscience has made them a coward; their conscience tends to rise up to accuse, condemn and remind them that they are filthy rotten sinners, who are not worthy of God’s riches and blessings upon our lives. Why? Because of our former sinful deeds! Shakespeare once said “Conscience makes cowards of us all”. That very thing that should be our friend and turn us away from sin and lead us into a greater and closer relationship with God, becomes our enemy.
So then, what is righteousness? Well, there are two kinds of righteousness – Visible and invisible
a) Visible righteousness: Is righteousness which is the product of our works, good deeds, noble acts that we do and hopefully you are committed to them. (James 2:26b)
b) Invisible righteousness: This is the quality of righteousness imputed or credited to us by God through Jesus Christ. Even though we need to be committed to doing good works daily, we need to be less reliant on our own righteous acts and more reliant on God’s right doing for us in Christ.
The marvellous thing here is that God is willing to look upon us as righteous even though we are not because of Christ and our faith in him. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, God has found a way to reckon you and me righteous and he does that apart from our works.
It is unbelievable to realise that God justifies the ungodly and the guilty. God could only do that because he found sufficient satisfaction in Jesus’ death and resurrection for the offended law in heaven by mankind. The penalty for our sin has been paid; justice has been satisfied; the demands of the law have been avenged and so God, through the death and resurrection of Jesus, is able to justify the ungodly and make that which was unrighteous, righteous, apart from our works or good deeds.
Is that amazing or what? In 2014, don’t be a Christian who flees when no one pursues, but rather be as bold as a lion, not allowing your conscience of past failures stop you from being all you can be in God.
Have a ‘God’ day,
Pastor David Holt (MTh)