(week 16/01)

Olubi Johnson

One of Satan’s most effective methods of making us weak and ineffective in our faith is to make us feel guilty before God. He reminds us of our failures and shortcomings, making us feel that we have no basis to believe that God will answer our prayers.

This is one reason why He is called the accuser of the brethren.

Revelation 12:10 (KJV): And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

We can only successfully overcome these accusations and have boldness before the throne of grace if we have a revelation and understanding of our righteousness in Christ.

So in our article this week we will be examining the reality of our righteousness in Christ.

What is Righteousness?

Righteousness is the spiritual state of being in right standing with God. It does not come as a consequence of right conduct or right doing, rather it is a gift and comes as a consequence of believing that Jesus Christ died for our sins, went to hell and rose again the third day. Thus this right standing comes to us immediately we get born again. Right standing is an ‘imputed’ righteousness and it comes by faith in the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Our righteousness

The issue of our righteousness is a legal matter. Jesus’ going to hell made us righteous because by suffering in hell for 3 days and nights, He took the punishment we ought to take for all our sins. God being satisfied that the full price of sin had been paid on our behalf by Jesus now had the legal right to impute righteousness to any man that believes that Jesus died and went to hell for him.

Because the Lord Jesus took our unrighteousness, we become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:21). This right standing, however, gives one access to God’s power and life, which then enables one to do the right things. Thus right doing is a consequence of right standing and not vice versa.

To understand righteousness and operate it effectively you must recognize that righteousness is first of all right standing before it then manifests as rightdoing in our conduct.

My rightstanding comes by my faith in the blood of Jesus and what he suffered on my behalf and not by how good my conduct has been. So when Satan accuses me with pictures of my sins and shortcomings I must know that the blood of Jesus, by the confessing of my sins, is what gives me rightstanding with God and not my conduct. This is why the Bible says we overcome Satan’s accusations by the blood of the Lamb:

Revelation 12:10 (KJV): And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

Revelation 12:11 (KJV): And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death

I John 1:7-9 (KJV): But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness

Righteousness, (i.e. right standing) with God, gives us access to the life of God according to

Romans 8:10 (KJV): And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

This life and nature of God in our spirits, flows into our souls and bodies, controlling our thoughts, words and deeds, making our conduct holy and godly.

Indisputable fact

Jesus’ spiritual death and going to hell (Mat.12: 40; Act.2:27; Ps.16:10; Eph.4:9) is an indisputable fact because the Bible calls him the first born from the dead (1 Cor.15:20; Col.1:18). Yet Jesus was not the first case in the Bible of a man being raised from the dead (2 Kg.4: 32-35)! This only makes sense if you understand that all the men raised from the dead prior to Jesus were not raised from spiritual death, only physical death.

How do we become righteous?

We attain unto right standing with God by faith in the blood of Jesus and not because we’ve done the right things.

In fact, it is when you have not done the right things that you need faith in the blood of Jesus to give you right standing and free you from a guilty conscience: don’t let the devil put you under condemnation. Remember your righteousness is not of yourself or your own good works but of the Lord Jesus.

Isaiah 54:17 (KJV): No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD. 

Romans 8:1 (NIV): Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,

Remember run to Jesus when you sin: don’t run from Him.

Also remember that a just man may fall and stumble many times but the Lord will uphold Him with His right hand: the intercessory ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 24:16 (KJV): For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up againbut the wicked shall fall into mischief. 

Psalms 37:23-24  (KJV):
The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. 
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.

Romans 8:34  (KJV): Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

In fact, the Lord Jesus will forgive your sins as many times as is necessary so long as you are not deliberately desiring to continue in sin; but rather have a genuine determination to overcome the sin whenever you fall and rise again:

Matthew 18:21-22 (KJV): Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. 

Notice here, the Lord asks us as men to forgive our brothers seventy times seven times: as often as necessary. If we should do that as men you can be sure God will do even more.

However, we are not to abuse this grace and continue to deliberately live in sin: we should have a genuine determination to rise and overcome sin whenever we fall into it.

Romans 6:1-2 (KJV): What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?  

Jesus is your High priest and advocate and will not condemn you when you sin; rather He will show you how the temptation overcame you and how to overcome it in the future: He will show you how to obey God by the Spirit and not just struggle unsuccessfully with the flesh.

Hebrews 2:17-18 (KJV): Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

I John 2:1-2 (KJV): My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.