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FULFILL ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS

Posted by Job on March 1, 2007

Matthew 3:13-16 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to
Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
 

Sometimes in our zeal to not be legalists and to not try to earn or supplement with works what is freely given by grace, Christians forget that we are still supposed to be righteous. And in our zeal to not sin (while simultaneously aspiring to not adhere to legalistic or works – based forms of religion), we forget that being righteous is actually more about what we DO than it is about what we DON’T DO. Remember: we are not supposed to be in fear of sin. Christ forever dealt with all sin on the cross, and by accepting Christ we are dead to sin and not to pay it heed anymore. And since there is none righteous and none without sin but God (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit), even when we do fall short and transgress is some known or unknown way, it should not vex or grieve us because if we have true love for God and our neighbor, it will cover that sin (Proverbs 10:12, I Peter 4:8). And as God’s Love covers and causes Him to forget our sins through grace, our love for God and our neighbor should do the same whether they transgress us, another, or even God Himself!   

But we Christians get so caught in up whether we have sinned and the sins that others have committed that we forget about being righteous and doing righteousness. How do we be righteous? Only by accepting Christ Jesus into our hearts, and do not let anyone tell you any different. If we were able to make ourselves righteous, there would have been no reason for God to suffer humiliation by coming down from Heaven to live as a man and to die on the cross for us. Of course, we have to accept and live under the Lordship of Christ (see John 14:15), but that is not what makes us righteous or even add to our righteousness. You see, God will not take away our free will at any point. Just as you used your free will to allow Christ to establish righteousness within you by accepting Him into your heart, you retain the ability to reject Christ and undo that righteousness with persistent recalcitrant premeditated disobedience. Yes, I am one of those who knows that you cannot “lose” your salvation. However, do not be deceived: you CAN renounce it; THROW IT AWAY! The difference is a matter of will. God will not hold it against you if you are overpowered, deceived, or confused. That is to the advantage of a lot of Christians who have received only unsound doctrine. But you can’t just make a clear decision with a sound mind that expresses the clear will of your heart that you are going to purposefully disobey God or disbelief His Word and expect to get into Heaven! I am not talking about those who do not know any better or cannot help themselves, I am talking about people who knew better and helped themselves to disobedience and rebellion! But only God is righteous, and only God can make righteous, and he whom God has made righteous can only be made unrighteous by rejecting the righteousness of God. That, my friend, is the sin unto death, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. How shall this be? Because once you accept Christ into your heart, for all intents and purposes God the Father and Jesus Christ are done with you. The vast majority of your dealings will be with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is what will make intercession for you to God when you pray, and when God answers or talks to you, it is the Holy Spirit portion of the Godhead. Why? Because the Holy Spirit is what lives inside of and takes possession of a Christian. Anyone who accepts Christ into His life immediately receives the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit will instruct you. Continual rejection of the instruction and guidance of the Holy Spirit until it reaches the point of blasphemy? The sin unto death.  

Now do not fear: this process is active, not passive. So, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is mostly a function of doing what you know to be wrong because you have set it in your heart to rebel against God. You are not necessarily condemned if you fail to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, or if you fail to do what it says. If you have accepted Christ and you generally keep the Bible, then you are fine. But that raises a conundrum: how does one keep the Bible unless they regularly read it? And I do not mean just go through the pages as a religious, traditional, or habitual exercise, I mean put real effort into it, trying to not only understand it but relate to it within yourself? You can’t keep the Bible if you don’t know what it says, and by that I do not mean intellectual knowledge, but actually having a feel for it. And I do not mean having a feel for your favorite book or favorite theme or topic, but the whole book! Now I have to tell you: anyone who regularly reads the Bible and has a feel for and earnestly seeks to keep the entire Bible every day of their lives and still doesn’t hear the voice of the Holy Spirit despite all that effort? If that describes you, contact me at healtheland@gmail.com; I would certainly like to hear your story! But such as you would still be one who does know that only God can make you righteous! 

So that leaves us the issue of DOING righteousness. Why do we have to do righteousness? The most fundamental answer is the best and all that is sufficient: because God tells us to, first in His Word and second through His Holy Spirit. But why do we have to do ALL that is righteous rather than doing certain things? Again, because God tells us to. Not only that, God followed His Own Commandments, obeyed His Own Scripture, Himself in this regard! That is why He came to John to be baptized. Now Jesus Christ had no sins to be washed away; getting baptized was not going to establish His Righteousness (no more than it does ours), and it would not even be an outward sign of His Righteousness to those who were going to accept or reject Him on faith (or due to lack thereof) according to whether they were His sheep or not. No, Jesus Christ was baptized because it was a righteous act, and it was Christ’s duty while on this earth to perform every single act of righteousness. Why? So that He could, as a man, become the embodiment and representative of righteousness through doing every righteous act just as Adam became the embodiment and representative of sin through doing ONE sinful act. So, just as by embodying and representing sin was Adam able to establish sin in mankind, Christ was able to remove sin and establish righteousness in all who accepted Him by becoming righteousness itself by doing all things righteous! How many times did you see Christ say in the scriptures: “I fulfill all things” or “I restore all things” or “I set all things right”? Now this even meant the law. Note that the law was never meant to save anyone or to establish righteousness in anyone. Why? Because it cannot. Since no ordinary man is capable of keeping the law, then no ordinary man can be saved by it or made righteous by it; such a man can only break it and by it be found guilty of sin and receive the punishment of sin. Yet, keeping the law is righteous! So Jesus Christ, the supernatural man, kept the entire law! Now Christ did not become righteous by keeping the law. Conversely, He kept the law because He was already righteous! By virtue of keeping that which was never intended to save but condemn, Christ fulfilled all righteousness and was thereby accounted worthy and acceptable as a human being of flesh, bone, blood, and emotions and take the punishment for all who broke that which they could not keep, so that all those who broke that which they could not keep would not be saved by doing something that they cannot do (or even trying) but rather by accepting the One who did the thing that they could not do!

Make no mistake. Christ was baptized because it was righteous. He obeyed the Will of the Father because it was righteous. Christ kept the law because it was righteous. Christ went to the cross because it was righteous. He washed the feet of His disciples because it was righteous. He showed love to children, ministered to the poor, healed the sick, and cast out devils because it was righteous. And Christ refused to become a rabble – rousing strife and confusion – creating (murdering) subversive that many revisionists who cannot suffer God’s True Word have made Him out to be to suit their own lusts and agendas because doing those things would have been Unrighteous! And yes, we are to do those things as well. Why? Because we are
Corpus Christi.
We are Christ’s Body. Every time we take communion, we eat His Flesh and drink His Blood, and it lives in us, transforming us into Him! Yes, dear Christians, you are what you eat! Eat sin, become sin. Eat Christ, become Christ! So just as Christ did all that was righteous, we are to do all that is righteous.
We are not to take some good thing and reject it. We are not to say “I am not called to do that.” We are not to say “That is not necessary to get into Heaven.” We are not to say “That person needs to take learn to responsibility for his actions and stand on his own two feet.” We are not supposed to say “That is the government’s job” or “that is the job of the church organization”. No, whatever it is, we are to do it! Of course, we are to follow the direction of the Bible and the Holy Spirit as appropriate. We are all members of the Body, and not all members can do the same thing, especially at the same time. We are not supposed to go where we are not sent and to do what we are not told. However, the simple truth is that Christians so often hard – heartedly and cold – heartedly reject what the Bible and the Holy Spirit clearly tell us to do. God shows us something that as amiss, and we do not correct it. The Holy Spirit vexes our spirit, pricks our conscience, and grieves our minds, and we ignore it; tune it out. As a matter of fact, the main way we shut out the instruction and working of The Word and Holy Spirit on us: we do something else! God calls us to do one thing, we decide that it does not suit us, so we do something else that seems righteous – or religious – to us! The result is that you have a whole world full of Christians where everyone is attempting to do good but few according to as they ought! So many Christians do “good” but in the wrong place at the wrong time. And of course, since so many Christians only do the “good” that seems pleasing in their eyes, so much gets neglected because no one wants to humble themselves to do it. You have some people who neglect that which seems hard to them because they lack the faith and work ethic. You have other people who neglect that which is simple because it does not give them the personal ego boost or earn them the praise of men that they desire. So, what happens is that people whom God called to do the little things go and do the big things, and people who God calls to do the big things run away to the little things. The result is confusion, and you know what steps in to try to make order out of this confusion? Religion! Religion allows everyone to do their little part in accordance to how everyone wants to do it. It gives man a powerful vehicle to do all sorts of things while leaving people out of the picture. Some people simply want to be told what to do because they lack the faith and work ethic to bring forth what God has predestined inside them. Thanks to religion, such people have no lack of people to put them to work! And the people putting them to work are in their positions because the religious system gives them the chance to advance into positions of power by human methods, and so they can thereby avoid the “manual labor” that God has actually called them to do that seems to be so simple and demeaning.
 

Now, we cannot do all that Christ did as individuals. But TOGETHER, on one accord, as a Body of Christ united through the Holy Spirit with Christ alone as our head, we CAN produce Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” If you think on those things, you will do them. But before you can think on all things righteous, you have to surrender your mind to God. Your thoughts, your aims, your goals, your desires, your notions of greatness and fancy all have to be pushed aside for the Will of God expressed through you via the Holy Spirit. If you are a spiritual charismatic person with God on speed dial, great! Just make sure that the spirit that you are in communication with is ALWAYS the Holy Spirit, OK? But if you are someone who really does never hear or feel God’s voice, then you know what maybe even better. Simply immerse yourself into the Bible, rely on sound doctrine and interpretation, and you never have to worry about being deceived by some lying spirit. After all, the only way that a spiritual charismatic person can make sure that he is not being deceived is by doing just that! The people with God on speed dial are the ones who should read the Bible most, not least, because they have to always continually try the revelation that they have heard and make sure that they are grounded and not being led astray.  

There are no excuses. Not every Christian is going to manifest the same gifts and fruits of the spirit, but every Christian IS capable of fulfilling all righteousness. All that has to be done is for a person to submit, surrender, and put in the work. We are not under the old covenant, where God only required 10% and the firstfruits. We are under the new covenant with better promises (eternal life versus merely blessings) and for that God requires 100%. If you give God 100%, then you WILL fulfill all righteousness! How can you do anything less? You are made in the image of God, and you have the power of God through the Name of Christ Jesus! Now I am not going to give you a bunch of tasks to do, because it really isn’t about that. It is our job to avoid being wicked slothful servants (Matthew 25:14-30, Luke 19:12-27), but one does not avoid that fate just by giving themselves over to taskmasters. That is the religious way of doing things! No, we are only to do things by the spirit, not by works – or power and might (Zechariah 4:6). I suppose the fundamental verse for this devotional could be Romans 8:4 – “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” If we are to fulfill all righteousness as Christ did, then the things that we have to do cannot be motivated by the flesh (or by a sense of obligation, by fear, by ritual, by tradition, by intimidation, by emulation, or tradition) but by the spirit. Everything that does not come from the Holy Spirit, from God Himself, is useless to God. It is vanity, because it is corrupted to sin. The only thing that God wants from us, the only thing that He accepts from us, is to give back to Him that which is given to us. God does not want things that come from us, they are sinful and unworthy. No, God gives God and will only accept God back because God is righteous. God (the Father) gave us Jesus Christ (the Son) so that the Holy Spirit could tell us how to serve Him. How will the Holy Spirit tell you how to serve God? Well, again, it helps, but is not required, to have God on speed – dial; to hear the Holy Spirit talking to You when you pray. But if you lack that connection, well, then there is the Bible. Now, have you forgotten II Timothy 3:16? It says “All scripture is given by inspiration of God”. That means THE HOLY SPIRIT. What else does the verse say? This is the best part for this devotional: ”and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness!”  

So Christians, study your Bible, live by it, and use it to FULFILL all righteousness! 

Prayer:

Father God in the Name of Jesus Christ, please lead Your Children to reject complacency and mediocrity and instead to fulfill all that is righteous through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In the Name of Jesus Christ, amen.  Deliverance:

The demons that work in this area are sloth, vain works, and false religion. They keep Christians from thinking that they do not have to live and work to fulfill righteousness, and even those who try to fulfill righteousness either vainly try to establish it in themselves – not trusting that which is already done by Jesus Christ on the cross – or they do works that proceed out of their own hearts or the hearts of other men rather than seeking and heeding the Commandments of God from the Holy Spirit and the Bible. Please read the Basic Spiritual Warfare guide to learn more about how to go against these demons to help set captives free and win battles in the name of your God through the power, authority, and victory given to you by his Son Jesus Christ and by his blood shed for you!

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