Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Finding life in His righteousness - Psalm 119.40

How I long for precepts! Give me life through Your righteousness. 119.40

Righteous—something we all seek to be but cannot make ourselves become.  Sin is always there, infecting everything.  Many people think that if they just don’t do this or that then they are holy—or at least holier than the person sat next to them.  If they give to charity and offer time to the church then surely that makes them OK with God.  Spending time in a soup kitchen and driving a friend to the hospital must equate to being righteous!  

That is the way it works right?



God has nothing but contempt for such ideas.  In Isaiah 64.6 the prophet explains the issue at the heart of our so-called ‘righteousness’:

All of us have become like something unclean, and all our righteous acts are like a polluted garment; all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities carry us away like the wind.”

That phrase ‘polluted garment’ refers to a used menstrual ragjust about the most disgusting thing imaginable.  Because of our sin we have become unclean; even our seemingly righteous acts are filthy and polluted by sinful motives and desires.  

There is nothing but death and misery in seeking to make your own righteousness.  There is nothing but hopelessness and darkness in trying to find life to the full through your own effort and rule keeping.  I know this all too well.  I tried for so many, many, years to make myself righteous: all it led to was pain, self-harm, and spiritual desolation.

Going to Uganda in 2011 and coming across the teaching—glorious biblical teaching—of the East African Revival changed everything for me.  Now I know what life to the full tastes like. Now I am free from self-harm and that dark polluted road of pride which leads only to decay and rot.  

Life comes from being given Jesus’ righteousness.  He lived  the perfect and spotless life so we don’t have to.  As Paul would say in 2 Corinthians “He who knew no sin became sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God.”  WOW!   We can have perfect and pure righteousness here and now because Jesus freely offers it to us.

When we know this righteousness for ourselves, when we put on the white robe of righteousness He offers us then we not only know life but we are filled with a love and holy desire to reflect what we have been given to the world.  We long to know and follow God’s precepts and commands—but out of a place of love and security not one of fear and failing.  

When you are given life through Christ’s righteousness nothing in your life will ever, ever, be the same again.

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