Warning: The devil would like for you to NOT read this long post. Yet, reading and grasping this content could cause the greatest confidence in who you are in Christ and who God is in you.
“Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as Righteousness”
Genesis gives us a beautiful introduction and understanding of righteousness. In Genesis 15:6 the Bible records Abram’s reaction to the Lord’s decree over his life, “And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.” Before, the Lord decreed He was Abram’s shield, and his exceedingly great reward. He decreed after bringing Abram outside and pointing to the stars his descendants would be. The Bible says Abram without saying a word just believed.
We know according to Hebrews 11:1 that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Faithful Abram displayed this at this meeting between him and God by first believing. Believing is the mental acceptance of something as truth, though absolute certainty may be absent. Belief starts everything. Unbelief stops anything.
Exercising your faith is the corresponding action to your belief according to the Word of God. Faith carries it to completion. Though Abram was old and unable to bear children biologically with his wife who was past the menopause stage in her life, he believed God by accepting what God said as truth. Faith is acting on what you believe. It is the appropriate, corresponding, suitable, and proper action. Faith requires corresponding action, not just any action.
It is by faith we please the Lord. In Habbakkuk, Romans, Galatians, and Hebrews, the Bible declares “the just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:17 in the Amplified Bible reads, “As it is written, the man who through faith is just and upright shall live and shall live by faith.” The Bible instructs us over and over to live by faith because faith pleases God.
The Word of God declares without faith, it is impossible to please God. So many Christians get caught up in works – church attendance, prayer meetings, choir practices, ladies’ meetings, and men’s meetings. We forget what pleases God the most is our faith we live by day in and day out.
Because Abram believed God, the Bible declares his belief and faith in Him was accounted to Abram for righteousness. Accounted means God added up everything Abram’s belief meant to Him and after computing everything all together, determined it was equal to righteousness. Righteousness is a free gift from God which places a believer in right standing with Him. Holiness is your conduct. Righteousness is what you are. Because Abram was accounted righteousness, Abram became the righteousness of God or in right standing with God.
Righteousness is a free gift available to all Christian. Romans 3:22 says “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference.” It is available to every man, woman, and child who has come into the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. This free gift was made possible because God made Jesus to be sin for us, even though he did not know sin or had sinned, that we might be made the righteousness of God in and through Jesus Christ according to 2 Corinthians 5:21. Jesus, who had never sinned, had to be made sin in order that we who had been born sinful could be made the righteousness of God. Jesus paid it all. A Christian’s account with God says paid in full because of Christ and we are accounted like Abraham as righteous.
Righteous for the believer is a right standing with God upon receiving the salvation through Jesus Christ. Believing and receiving you are the righteousness of God takes the same amount of faith it takes for one to believe they have received salvation from death through Jesus Christ. It is easy for a believer to believe their sin has been paid in full. To understand that at the cross, Jesus was made to be sin for us so we could become the righteousness of God is another thing. Paul wrote to the Romans the following: “To him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly his faith is accounted for righteousness.” (Romans 4:5) Righteousness is not obtained by works. It is obtained by faith through believing. To accomplish a successful walk knowing we are the righteousness of God is renewing our mind daily with the Word of God. Mind renewal comes through conforming to and thinking in line with the Word of God.
Does this mean we have a pass or some kind of right to sin as Christians because we are the righteousness of God? Absolutely not. Paul wrote about this in Romans. “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” (Romans 6:1-2) A believer walking in righteousness by faith must understand even though they have been made the righteousness of God by faith through Jesus Christ who was made sin for us, their rights to freedom from sin supersede their bondage to sin.
On the other hand, one of the greatest challenges to walking in the righteousness of God is breaking free of you sin consciousness. If we are the righteousness of God, why does the body of Christ renew it mind as being sinners and not the righteousness of God. It maybe a challenge to declare one’s self as the righteousness of God with confidence right away. One must remember, Jesus has already taken care of the sin problem so a sinner when coming into salvation could be made the righteousness of God.
Every member of the body of Christ need to settle in their heart they are righteous and they need to begin declaring they are the righteous until they are convinced they are. When you are the righteousness of God, you are not a sinner saved by grace. You were a sinner, but since you’ve been born again, that nature is nowhere to be found in you. Sinners practice sin. Righteousness-of-God people practice their rights of righteousness. By receiving their righteousness, you shall move to a greater level of confidence and acting more like Jesus.
Paul, through his writings, knew and tried to establish in the early church the importance of a believer’s right to stand before God. Romans 10:3, Paul writes “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.”
In this passage, Paul makes a clear distinction between the righteousness of God and the righteousness of men. Paul’s call on the above verse is for us to submit to, or rely upon, the righteousness of God, rather than attempt to establish our worth or relationship with God based on our standards and acts of righteousness.
In Galatians 3:3, Paul asked the following question, “Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” Considering the nature of man, Paul’s question can be understood. We want to believe the Word of God on one hand. On the other hand, our guilt over sin and mistakes in life leans us toward an understanding we can never be in right standing with God. Guilt can makes us feel disqualified. We must be on guard against guilt!
James also writes about righteousness through faith. “But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God.” James does not set faith against works, but he rather discusses the two kinds of faith: a dead faith and a saving faith. Saving faith is not a simple profession or an empty claim, nor is it merely at the acceptance of a creed or oracle. Saving faith is that which produces an life committed to being the righteousness of God.
We are the righteousness of God. When the body of Christ learn this and renew their mind to this, the confidence level will rise. Low self esteem will be eradicated. The church is in grave danger because they do not know who they are or who the God they serve is. Christ died for us so that we may become the righteousness of God. The righteous is walking around with robes of righteousness on but in their minds they believe they are wearing filthy rags and that their wardrobe should be filled with such. We must come into the knowledge of who we are and renew our minds daily of who we are in Christ and through Christ. By doing this, victory will be ours. Again, we are the righteousness of God by faith through Jesus Christ!