Author Topic: The Righteousness of Christ  (Read 10205 times)

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Richard Myers

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The Righteousness of Christ
« on: September 05, 2000, 01:26:00 PM »
The term "the righteousness of Christ" has been used extensively in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. I have been thinking that it probably means many different things to many different people.

Share your understanding of  "the righteousness of Christ".
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

DavidTBattler

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The Righteousness of Christ
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2000, 11:11:00 PM »
Hello Richard

This is a very interesting topic.  It's quite a coincidence that I have been studying it this week!

I personally equate holiness with righteousness; and so I thought I would post this devotional study I did this morning on what it means to be holy or righteous.  Christ's righteousness is transplanted in the believer; and it is God's sincere desire that we be like Him:

Be Ye Holy: Part One
by David T. Battler


What does the Bible mean when it tells us to be holy?

We usually call transformation from worldliness and wickedness to godliness, and holiness a conversion.  Jesus said: “except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”  (Mat.18:3).

“Ye must be born again.”  (Jo.3:7).

“Put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and TRUE HOLINESS.”  (Eph.4:24).

In explaing the details to us, Paul goes on to explain: “Leaving your former way of life, you must lay aside that old, human nature, which, deluded by it’s lusts, is sinking towards death.  You must be made new in mind and spirit; and put on the new nature of God’s creating, which shows itself in the just and devout life called for by the Truth.”  “In a word, as God’s dear children, try to be like Him, and LIVE IN LOVE, AS CHRIST LOVED YOU.”  (Eph.4:22-24, 5:1, NEB).

The group of people in the Bible referred to as God’s children are called: “the congregation of the saints.”  “The assembly of the upright,” and the “church of God.”  Cherished and accepted by Christ our Saviour, who “loved the Church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it;...that He might present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy, and without blemish.”  (Eph.5:25-27).

As Paul pleaded with the believers at Corinth: “Dearly beloved; let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
(2 Cor.7:1).

“Holiness is the gift of God through Christ.  Those who receive the Saviour; become sons [and daughters] of God.  They are His spiritual children, born again, renewed in righteousness, and true holiness.  Their minds are changed.  With clearer vision, they behold eternal realities.  They are adopted into God’s family; and they become conformed to God’s likeness; changed by His Spirit, from glory to glory.  From cherishing supreme love for self, they come to cherish supreme love for God and for Christ.”  (E.G. White, SDA B.C., Vol.6, pg.1117).

It would appear then, that holiness is evident in what we do for others, rather than seeking what others can do for us...Long faces, and long priests gowns, hold no proof of holiness.  To witness true holiness; we don’t need to go to any special seclusionary group, to unrelenting, stringent rules; nor to those who sleep on spikes, or make long pilgrimmages on their knees.  

According to the Bible picture; we find holiness in smiles - not in frowns...Holiness will manifest in beauty and purity of  the spirit; in music that uplifts the soul to heaven and to Christ.  Holiness reveals itself in words of love and praise, rather than great, monastic vows of silence, or stern pronouncements of condemnation.

Personally; when I see holiness, I see something of God in someone, or in something I read, and then I desire to be like Him...I become disatisfied with the fleeting thoughts of rebellion and sinful independence.  I have experienced the righteousness of Christ.

I think it would be safe to say that without holiness, there could be no heaven here on earth; either now, or in the hereafter.  God’s present counsel to us is: “Follow peace with [everyone], and holiness, without which no one shall see the Lord.”  (Heb.12:14).

A new world of righteousness will eventually replace our present world of iniquity: “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved; what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and Godliness?”  (2 Pet.3:11).

It is NOW our privilege to carry with us the credentials of our faith: love, joy, and peace.  Only when we  carry these credentials, can we fully represent, and present, the mighty arguments of the cross of Christ: “[So] let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also ye are called IN ONE BODY.”  (Col.3:15).

A recent example of holiness I saw/experinced, was when someone listened to me during a family crises; and heard all my complaints/worries, and they still treated me as if they really loved me afterwards.  There was no doubt about how they felt about me, or how they made me feel.

There can be no doubt about true holiness.  And, holiness doesn’t have to wait till heaven....


Joan Rügemer

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The Righteousness of Christ
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2000, 12:46:00 AM »
David,

I was blessed at your way of putting holiness in a contempory understandable way for me to recognize it's attributes.

Thank you.

~~~~~ Joan ~~~~~


Richard Myers

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The Righteousness of Christ
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2000, 06:35:00 AM »
Amen, the righteousness of Christ is His loveliness; it is His character. This He offers to us. He is willing to impute it to us and to impart it to us. He waits for us to open the door into our hearts that He may do so.  :)
 like Brother David's suggestion that what we do for others is an indication that the righteousness of Christ is ours and is working through us.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Joan Rügemer

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The Righteousness of Christ
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2000, 09:45:00 AM »

   Being taught from sermons that the word atonement is not found in the New Testament writings, I looked up the word righteousness and read through all 73 RSV verses. Then the 87 NKJV verses.

I came upon such expressions :

For us to fulfill all righteousness....
Hunger and thirst for righteousness....
Are persecuted for righteousness' sake....
Your righteousness exceeding the righteousness of....
His (Jesus') righteousness....
Came to you in the way of righteousness....
He will convict .....of righteousness...
Whoever fears Him and works righteousness....
Judge the world in righteousness....
Now as he reasoned about righteousness.....
Gospel of Christ...in it is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith....
The righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ.....
Roman 3  states:  Christ whom God set forth as a propitiation (having made favorably inclined; appeasement; conciliate or to reconcile by overcoming the distrust or hostility; to appease by bringing to a state of peace; to satisfy the demands of) by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness....
Romans 4 states : Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness; but to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousnes; the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised......that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also....
Present.....your members as instruments of righteousness to God..
Leading to righteousness..
You become slaves of righteousness... for holiness..
The gentiles...not pursuing righteousness....have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith...but Isreal, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness...they...being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righeousness of God.
The righteousness which is of the law....
The righteousness of faith....
For with the heart one believes unto righteousness....
For the kingdom of God is ....righteousness...
The ministry of righteousness....
That we might become the righteousness of God in Him...
By the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left...
And increase the fruits of your righteousness....
For if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain..
Be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law....
Pursue righteousness...
Scripture is given ...is profitable for ...instruction in righteousness...
The crown of righteousness....will be given on that day...to all who have loved His appearing..
Melchizedek....first being translated 'king of righteousness'...
Chastening ....yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who hae been trained by it...
For the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God...
Now the fruit of righteousness is soun in peace by those who make peace..
If you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you are blessed. Do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.

<<<< JOAN  >>>>


Joan Rügemer

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The Righteousness of Christ
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2000, 09:51:00 AM »

  Richard wants us to share what the righteousness of Christ means to us ...

First impressions each time I see 'righteousness of Christ' in print, makes me want to accept it is something I don't have but only Christ has.

Then I go into seeing 'righteousness' is something to do with 'right' as oppose to 'false'.

Then is the teaching ever since my conversion that the righteousness of Christ has been imputed to me because I have taken on His act of His atonement for all persons, but especially for me real personal like. I left my former direction of selfishness and am now aiming to have 'pleasing God' as the middle of my life.

I shall be persecuted for righteousness sake. It's part of the package.

When I am in Christ, I am imputed His righteousness that allows me the right to approach God in prayer or ascend to heaven when my time comes. Because the righteousness of Christ is present in me I automaticly want to do works of righteousness out of agape love to God and others.

***  Joan  ***


M.A. Crawford

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« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2000, 01:24:00 PM »
Before he disobeyed God, Adam was our example of righteousness in obedience and service to God. He was the head of the human race and was supposed to lead out by example in order to demonstrate what it meant to be in harmony with the Will of God. But Adam sinned. Sin is nothing more than the transgressing of what God instructs us to do (disobedience). And because Adam sinned, he that was now imperfect could no longer be our example of and pass on to us perfection, which is what God commands of human beings (Matt. 5:48). As a result, "For as in Adam, all die....(1 Cor. 15:22) because sin had entered earth's domain and an imperfect mold (Adam) could not bring forth from it that which was perfect. Because it is impossible for God's Law to be changed, and because Adam had been told the consequences for sinning (Gen. 2:17), the human race had to be destroyed (Rom. 6:23), UNLESS...!!!

Before the foundation of the world (1 Peter 1:19, 20), a plan was ordained by God Himself to save mankind from the penalty for sin. The only begotten Son of God was to become our Example of Righteousness (1 Peter 2:21). He left all of Glory to become a human being on earth, live a righteous life, and die in our stead. Whereas we once looked to Adam, we would now look to Christ and follow after His Example who was and is our Sure Foundation, Solid Rock, Savior, and Lord.

Eternal life once again became possible because of the Perfect Example of Righteousness as a human being Christ provided for us to follow, and because the penalty for my sins and those of the whole world was paid on Calvary.

The beauty in all this is as we continue to grow  in Christ, we will continue to grow in the image and likeness of God and become like Him which will take an eternity because God is Eternal.

This is what the Righteousness of Christ means to me.

M.A.  

M.A.

Richard Myers

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The Righteousness of Christ
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2000, 09:43:00 AM »
Amen.   Could we say the rigtheousness of Christ can be "imparted" to us? This is a little different from being "imputed" is it not?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

DavidTBattler

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The Righteousness of Christ
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2000, 02:31:00 AM »
"Impute..."  "Impart..."  These words so often become foggy to me...I'm not sure if they are even in the Bible; but even if they are; I look at both words this way:

God is bigger than me.

Therefore,

If He is in me at all;

He will show through!   :)

------------------
"The joy of the Lord will be your strength."  (Neh.8:10).

Your brother in Christ

David T. Battler


M.A. Crawford

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« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2000, 03:45:00 PM »
The American Heritage Student Dictionary defines "impart" as: "to give; bestow." From the standpoint of this definition, the righteousness of Christ can be "bestowed" on us by way of the Holy Spirit when we order our lives after the Divine Likeness of Jesus Christ.

The word "impute" is defined as: "to give the blame or credit for; attribute." Attribute is define as: "To consider (something) as belonging to or resulting from someone or something;..." In light of this definition, the righteousness that saves us is not our own but that of Christ. All of our righteousness are as filthy rags in His Sight (Isa. 64:6)). Therefore we follow after the example of Chist because only His Example of Righteousness is accepted in the Eyes of God.

M.A.  

M.A.

Richard Myers

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The Righteousness of Christ
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2000, 08:47:00 AM »
Amen and amen.  :)

Could we say that Jesus imputes His righteousness to us that we might not have to suffer for past sins?  "Imparting His righteousness to us today does not keep us from dying the second death in that the wages of one sin caused one to die.  Now, His perfect life stands in place of my past sins.

Is there another anspect to the "imputed" righteousness of Christ?  I believe so. There are many today who have made a "full" surrender of the heart to Christ yet they still break the fourth commandment because they do not know of it.  Can we say that the righteousness of Christ being imputed to them covers their violation of this commandment?

So we can say the "imputed" righteousness of Jesus covers past sins and sins that are committed out of ignorance. Does the "imputed " righteousness of Christ cover unforsaken or unconfessed sins?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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The Righteousness of Christ
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2002, 07:53:00 AM »
The "righteousness of Christ" is everything to us. We are saved by grace. What is grace? Is it not the goodness of God in exchanging heaven for earth? And setting aside His glory to become our Brother? And, taking our stripes upon Himself? Is not this the "righteousness of Christ"? And what if we do not see this? How can we be saved if we do not allow this revelation to enter our hearts?

Today, by beholding "the righteousness of Christ" we may become like Him. It is a law that by beholding we become changed. How much we lose by not spending time with our Saviour!

Richard

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: The Righteousness of Christ
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2012, 10:30:01 AM »
Why is there so little interest in this topic?  Why even have the topic?

By dwelling upon the love of God, by contemplating the perfection of our Savior's character and claiming the righteousness of Christ as ours by faith, we are to be transformed into the same image. We need to talk more about Jesus and less about the problems in the church and world. It is Christ that we need to behold. Yes, we must be in the world, but let us prepare to go into the world first. Then, as partakers of Christ's divine nature, filled with His righteousness, we shall be a faithful witness. The righteousness of Christ is everything to us.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

ejclark

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Re: The Righteousness of Christ
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2012, 06:58:08 PM »
Why is there so little interest in this topic? 
I believe it's because most people are afraid of the subject.  All though I wouldn't say most people on this forum.  The Bible is very clear that we are to walk (be obedient) as Jesus walked.  Christ was obedient, even unto the death of the cross.  Paul said he was crucified daily.  Should we not also follow Paul's example?

Our associate pastor was in Sabbath School class a few weeks ago promoting his liberal ways, so I asked the question,"If Jesus were here on earth today, would he be vegetarian, or maybe even vegan?"  His reply was, "There's no answer to that question.  In fact it's a dangerous question to ask."  As I wasn't the teacher that day I wasn't at liberty to take over the class and discuss this in depth.  It seems people are scared to death to talk about the righteousness of Christ because in doing so they might open up the door of the requirements of obedience for themselves.

Mimi

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Re: The Righteousness of Christ
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2012, 07:42:42 PM »
EJ, I read this topic earlier and came to the same conclusion but did not say so. There seems to be a fear of having to change, having to completely surrender, turn our wills over to God. That is not something Laocideans readily want to do. The righteousness of Christ equates to perfection and many people do not believe in character perfection.  They have believed a lie, so this subject is avoided.
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Donna H

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Re: The Righteousness of Christ
« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2012, 05:30:14 PM »
It's Christmas today, so Merry Christmas, and what better topic to talk about than the righteousness of Christ.

I thought I'd share why it can be a challenging subject for me to talk about.

I don't have words to define the righteousness of Christ. I can say I'm in awe. I'm head over heals. I'm flat on my face. I'm in tears. My heart is falling outside of my body. I need poetry to express what the Righteousness of Jesus means to me. It is everything. I don't want to talk about it as much as I want to be it and to show it. I need it. I love it. Christ's righteousness is my life. He's perfect and beautiful and condescended to me, and condescends to me. I'm in love His righteousness. I want it all over me. I hate myself and I want Jesus.  HIs righteousness is life.

No intellectual discussion. My intellect will only hash apart what is so beautiful and whole. I can not make it fit my brain. But it has me. It has me in absolute awe.

Sometimes I just lie and bed and think about it, and it's like I'm wrapped in the most beautiful pleasure. I know it, but it's not a discussion, it's a love so deep and wide and beyond me. I'm so grateful that He is righteous. I want Jesus and his righteousness so bad that I cry.

Lord, thank you for changing me.

God bless,
Donna
Faith is the living power that presses through every barrier, overrides all obstacles, and plants its banner in the heart of the enemy’s camp. 4T 163.3

Richard Myers

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Re: The Righteousness of Christ
« Reply #16 on: December 25, 2012, 06:41:41 PM »
Amen!!  And Merry Christmas to you also!

When we long to have His character, He will not withhold it. It comes through His Spirit to all who seek it. He will impart just as much as we can take.  He has promised it. "I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if [he ask] a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" Luke 11:9-13.

We may not understand the doctrine, but we can know by experience what our dear sister has stated. It is God's greatest desire that we experience His love. A dead dry religion can save no one. But, true religion reveals God's great love for us while we were yet sinners. The righteousness of Christ is seen in His loveliness. As we behold Him, we cannot help but fall in love with Him.

Sister Donna, are you writing from the mission field?

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Mimi

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Re: The Righteousness of Christ
« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2012, 04:21:40 AM »
I don't have words to define the righteousness of Christ. I can say I'm in awe. I'm head over heals. I'm flat on my face. I'm in tears. My heart is falling outside of my body. I need poetry to express what the Righteousness of Jesus means to me. It is everything. I don't want to talk about it as much as I want to be it and to show it. I need it. I love it. Christ's righteousness is my life. He's perfect and beautiful and condescended to me, and condescends to me. I'm in love His righteousness. I want it all over me. I hate myself and I want Jesus.  HIs righteousness is life.

No intellectual discussion. My intellect will only hash apart what is so beautiful and whole. I can not make it fit my brain. But it has me. It has me in absolute awe.

Sometimes I just lie and bed and think about it, and it's like I'm wrapped in the most beautiful pleasure. I know it, but it's not a discussion, it's a love so deep and wide and beyond me. I'm so grateful that He is righteous. I want Jesus and his righteousness so bad that I cry.

Lord, thank you for changing me.

God bless,
Donna

My sister, your post has me in the throes of utmost gratitude and I am with you in thought and spirit. Your experience is deepening and His Spirit is upon you. He will show you things of His righteousness you never before imagined. He will quench your soul's hunger. You see your greater need, as do I and countless others who learn of His righteousness and cling to Him wanting more. The hunger of the soul, our innermost need of Him, could never be expressed through words that are so limiting. Man has not created a vocabulary adequate to describe that craving. Your eyes are wide open and you know it. He has you right where He wants you. More and more through His Spirit, He is revealing Himself to us. Revel in what you are being shown. It is your experience and He wants you to have it.     
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

ejclark

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Re: The Righteousness of Christ
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2012, 10:48:29 AM »
After my encounter with the pastor, later that Sabbath I looked up on my EGW CD-ROM the words (obedience truth sanctify*).  If I remember correctly I got over 70 hits.  I printed off 4 pages of my favorites.  Here are a few.

    Jesus came to bring moral power to combine with human effort, and in no case are His followers to allow themselves to lose sight of Christ, who is their example in all things. He said, "For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth" (John 17:19). Jesus presents the truth before His children that they may look upon it, and by beholding it, may become changed, being transformed by His grace from transgression to obedience, from impurity to purity, from sin to heart-holiness and righteousness of life. {1SM 262.1}

     The doctrine of sanctification, or perfect holiness, which fills a prominent place in some of the religious movements of the day, is among the causes that have rendered modern revivals so ineffectual. True sanctification is a Bible doctrine. The apostle Paul declared to the Thessalonian church, "This is the will of God, even your sanctification." [1 Thessalonians 4:3.] And again he prayed, "The very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." [1 Thessalonians 5:23.] But the sanctification now so widely advocated is not that brought to view in the Scriptures. It is false in theory, and dangerous in its practical results.  {4SP 298.2}
     Its advocates teach that the law of God is a grievous yoke. and that by faith in Christ, men are released from all obligation to keep his Father's commandments. Bible sanctification is a conformity to the will of God, attained by rendering obedience to his law, through faith in his Son. Our Saviour prayed for his disciples, "Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth." [John 17:17.] There is no genuine sanctification except through obedience to the truth; and the psalmist declares, "Thy law is the truth." [Psalm 119:142.] The law of God is the only standard of moral perfection. That law was exemplified in the life of Christ. He says, "I have kept my Father's commandments." [John 15:10.] And the apostle John affirms, "He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." And again, "This is the love of God, that we keep his commandments." [1 John 2:6;  5:3.] Those who love God will love his commandments also. The truly sanctified heart is in harmony with the divine precepts; for they are "holy, and just, and good."  {4SP 299.1}     
     It is only when the law of God is set aside, and men have no standard of right, no means to detect sin, that erring mortals can claim perfect holiness. But let none deceive themselves with the belief that God will accept and bless them while they are willfully violating one of his requirements. The commission of a known sin silences the witnessing voice of the Spirit, and separates the soul from God. Jesus cannot abide in the heart that disregards the divine law. God will honor those only who honor him. "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law; for sin is the transgression of the law." "Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not; whosoever sinneth [transgresseth the law] hath not seen him, neither known him." [1 John 3:4, 6.] Though John in his epistles treats so fully upon love, yet he does not hesitate to reveal the true character of that class who claim to be sanctified while living in transgression of the law of God: "He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him." [1 John 2:4.]  {4SP 299.2}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Righteousness of Christ
« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2012, 11:21:18 AM »
Amen, ej!  Thanks for sharing those statements of truth. Some may read and think there is a contradiction. Let me share what is being said in regards to what was being falsely taught. There were and are some who teach that one may be "wholly sanctified" in a wrong manner. God does indeed want us to be wholly sanctified, but not in the manner that was being taught in those statements by the false teachers. They were teaching "holy flesh".  Through the power of Christ we may perfectly obey all that we know to be true. But, that will not mean that our flesh is purified. It is not. We are evil by nature and will have fallen flesh until by God's grace we receive new glorified bodies. That was the error being taught. When we are born of God's Spirit, we are given power to resist sin. It is Christ, not I. Yes, it is our character, but only because we are empowered by the indwelling Holy Spirit. In the quote ej shared we read "Jesus came to bring moral power to combine with human effort, and in no case are His followers to allow themselves to lose sight of Christ, who is their example in all things." When we take our eyes off of Jesus, we end up falling just as did Peter when he was walking on water. We and Peter are completely dependent upon God's power to walk on water and to resist the smallest temptation to sin.

Again, thanks, ej.  We must seek our wisdom from the Word and not rely upon the arm of flesh.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.