Saturday, 7 April 2018

I am righteous. Ephesians 4:24

  "And that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness." NKJV
  "Put on your new nature, created to be like God--truly righteous and holy." JCB

  I've checked out a couple of sites defining what righteous/righteousness is. Good ole Websters and a couple of Christian sites have left me a bit confused. Maybe the definition is within the word itself...Hmmm...Bear with me as I plod through...
  Righteous: made right before God by God come to believing His Son, Jesus, is Lord. It's a done deal. The rest is found in a journey of relationship with Him.

  Righteousness, to be sinless. Jesus took our sin with Him to the cross so that we may come before God, justified (just-as-if-I'd never sinned) and forgiven. We become the "new man" through the shedding of the world's motives, ideas, and lies.
  We are completely and utterly forgiven the moment we ask. Except sin, or the influence of evil, plays a pervasive, on-going, destructive role as long as we live on earth. Evil has one purpose: to keep us apart from God. It's for our benefit to acknowledge the strongholds of sin in our lives because if we don't know what is wrong, we will never understand what is right (righteous?) and pure and holy. We will never know freedom from the chains that bind us.
 It's not something we need to figure out on our own. Following Christ's resurrection, the Holy Spirit was given to all who would believe Jesus is Lord. The Holy Spirit is God indwelling, guiding, leading, encouraging us.

  The last few days, I've been reminded of Jiminy Cricket from the story of Pinocchio whenever I ponder upon the Holy Spirit. I was reluctant to share this idea because, well, it seems a bit lighthearted. And I smile. If it takes a Disney animated movie for me to grasp an idea, God will use it!
  Jiminy, a cricket companion, was appointed as the puppet's conscience, his guide in helping him make the right choices so that Pinocchio could gain his heart's desire: to become a real boy. Not that Pinocchio always listened. Perhaps it's because inside his wooden body he was already part way to being human! So he strayed, ignoring the wise advice of his conscience. After falling to temptation a few times, he eventually ended up laying down his life to save Geppetto, his toymaker/father. Only then was he made anew into a real boy who lived and breathed.
  Out of laying down a life came life.
  Maybe that's what righteousness is all about.
  Righteous. Being made right so that I can live with full confidence as the woman God planned me to be. Being made right so I can lay down this life and live according to His desires.
  I have to add, God has never forced me to do anything. And I have to confess that many times I've followed His lead with a great deal of reluctance.
  I am glad I did, though, because everything ended up being just right.


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