2 Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death.
As Christians, we know that the only righteousness that will deliver us from death is the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Our own righteousness is not enough and never will be.
As Christians, we also know that there is nothing we can do to earn the righteousness of Christ that is projected onto us by the grace of God the Father and the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus.
What about a change of nature, as promised by the resurrection of Jesus and stated throughout the New Testament?
As Christians, we have an amazing promise of healing by the Physician who comes to work on us from the inside out, changing our natures so that we are more like Him.
I’m thankful that as a Christian, I am not under the law—a law that often “makes clean the outside of the cup” while leaving the inside filthy.
Yet, how often do we still try to make the outside clean?
We can learn a lot about what a Christian life should look like through the scriptures and through other believers, and we can do our best to honor the sacrifice of Jesus by attempting to arrange our lives accordingly.
However, if we get too caught up on the outer works—without focusing on the change of heart that Jesus provides—then we can exhaust ourselves with our often-futile attempts at real change.
If the inside of a person is full of the treasures of wickedness: lying, greed, envy, resentment, lust, thievery, selfishness, pride, vanity, and so on, then our outer works can become hypocrisy.
If we continue in these things inwardly, while doing our best to appear to be Christ-like outwardly, then we might become tempted to justify many of the wicked things within ourselves so that we do not have to face how hypocritical we truly are.
Is this what Jesus wants from us?
Does He want us to wear His righteousness, then go around doing the best we can to make that righteousness a reality while denying what is going on beneath the surface and in the heart?
No, He does not want that, does He?
So then, do we wear His righteousness and go about living our normal, sinful life without any change towards serving Jesus and living more uprightly?
No, that does not sound right either, does it?
So then, do we change what we can change, live honestly regarding our sinful struggles, and do our best to serve Jesus with our lives in truth and not hypocrisy?
That sounds a little more like it, doesn’t it?
However, do we have faith that Jesus can do more for us? Do we have faith that He truly can heal our hearts and make us clean from the inside out—not just in the imputation but in reality?
If we seek Him, receive His Spirit, and are willing to die to the things of this life that the flesh loves so that we are able to walk after the Spirit and not this world, then we can receive much healing. I think there will always be “one more thing you lack” but I believe that we can experience so much freedom.
However, we have to love the things of righteousness and hate the things of wickedness. We also have to have faith in the transformative power of the gospel and not place our trust in our own ability to change. Our ability, or works, are dead works that can only make us into hypocrites.
So, let’s consider.
The law, or outer works, when performed by man will always be filthy. The working of Jesus is pure.
Do we believe in this? Do we seek this?
Or do we wear His blood and keep laying outward works on ourselves in attempts to honor His name? Do we go the other direction and wear His blood while continuing to live a life of defeat and sin because we know we are hopelessly sinful, and we don’t want to live in hypocrisy?
Do we change what we can change and live honestly without trying to be something we are not, but claim defeat against certain sins or stop pursuing the Kingdom further?
If we are of these mindsets, then we need to pray that we have greater faith in the power of the gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven.
We wear the blood of Jesus, and we know that His blood is the only way that we can appear before God without shame and condemnation.
However, we are also promised His Spirit and through the Spirit we should receive the righteousness of Christ in our hearts—changing us from the inside out—which is more effective and real than the law ever could be.
While in this world, there will always be “one thing you lack.” There will always be something to seek Jesus in and there will always be some service to provide.
We will not achieve perfection in the flesh. However, if we can keep the faith with a proper focus, then we can be more effective for the Kingdom of God and we will find freedom from the mindsets within the faith that cast “stumbling blocks” Infront of us.
All things pertaining to our salvation are given to us by grace through faith.
If we know that we are hopelessly sinful and we need a Savior, then God has favored us. If we know that Jesus is the only way of salvation, then God has favored us. If we love the teachings of Jesus and we want to live a life that serves Him, then God has favored us.
If God favors us, then we are not condemned.
We are not condemned to a continued life of sin and destruction. We are not condemned to the punishment for sin, which is the second death. So, let us consider the favor (grace) of God and pursue the promises of the gospel with all that we have—which we received of God—and will not falter.
What about myself? I know what it is like to wear the blood of Jesus and continue living in sin without much care for righteousness, and I know the kinds of teachings and mindsets that lead to this. I also know what it is like to wear the blood of Jesus and attempt to change myself in futility, and I know the kinds of teachings and mindsets that lead to this. I still do the latter in some measure. I need greater faith also. I will write more about this in tomorrow’s testimony article, Lord willing.