Tag Archive | righteous

Step 6 – Enjoy the Rewards – Reward #5

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Reward #5 – Consider the Conviction

One of our responsibilities as Christians is to change our old ways and obey the Holy Spirit’s leading as He empowers us to become more Christ-like. This process is called sanctification. To be sanctified means to be holy, or set apart. Though we live in the world, we are strangers to it. We should act differently than our non-Christian friends do.

Through the work of Christ on the cross, we have been consecrated and made righteous in Him. Our old sinful ways have died with Christ, and now we can lead a new life of righteousness in the resurrected Christ. As Christians, we should appear different to the world. We are made righteous in Christ, and we should choose to live accordingly, so the world may know we belong to God.

Being a new creation is achieved, in part, when the Holy Spirit convicts us of a sin and encourages us to repent and change our ways. When we live as Jesus Christ did, it pleases God, and it provides a witness to a watching world. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

Our sin separates us from God because He hides His face from wickedness. He sent His own Son, Jesus, to be our sacrificial lamb. Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin, so we could be reconciled to God. Jesus made us righteous and holy so we could enjoy a relationship with the righteous and holy God. Now He desires that we would set ourselves apart from the world. He wants us to lead lives that stand out from the way the rest of the world operates. He doesn’t expect us to do this on our own, in our own power. He gives us the Holy Spirit, who convicts us of our sin and holds us to a life of righteousness.

In His saving grace, God gives believers a spiritual conscience—the Holy Spirit—who helps us discern right from wrong in His eyes. He convicts us of sin and empowers us to overcome the flesh and change our ways. “But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with Him in spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:17). We are directed to submit our spirit to the leading of God’s Spirit within us.

In order to lead a God-pleasing life, we must read His Word to know what He expects of us. The Bible is very clear on what is sinful and what is righteous in God’s eyes. When we obey Him and yield ourselves to the leading of His Spirit, He recalibrates our moral conscience to recognize sin, and then He helps us steer clear of it. When we do sin, He convicts us.

The Spirit encourages us to make choices that will please God. He reminds us of what we know from God’s written Word, convicts us of our sin, and empowers us to live a life of righteousness. In order to be led by the Holy Spirit, we must tune our ears to the living God inside us. As Jesus said before His death,

“But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. When He comes, He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.” (John 16:7-11, emphasis mine)

Jesus provided the way to reconciliation with God, and then He provided the way to live a consecrated life by the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus reunited us with God and gave us access to His power, so we may lead a life set apart for Him. It’s up to us to choose. We can lead a life of sin in the flesh or righteousness in the Spirit. If we choose righteousness, you can be sure the Spirit convicts us when we sin.

It’s important to understand the difference between conviction and condemnation. The Holy Spirit convicts us we are guilty of sin so we can confess it, ask God for His forgiveness, and turn from our sinful ways. In contrast, the devil condemns us and causes us to wallow in guilt and shame. The Holy Spirit says, “You did a bad thing,” while our enemy Satan says, “You are a bad person.”  The Holy Spirit encourages or prompts us to confess our sin; Satan accuses our person, attacks our identity, demeans our self-worth, blames us, and charges us for our sin.

When we make a conscious effort to listen to the Spirit of God within us, we hold the keys to life and peace. We must allow our minds to be controlled by Him. Paul says we are obligated to be led by the Spirit. Does Satan continue to hold you in bondage and defeat? Or does God’s Spirit guide you into freedom, victory, and peace? When we obey Him and submit ourselves to His leadership, we will experience life and peace. Consider the conviction of the Holy Spirit when you are reminded of your sin and prompted to repent.

Regularly tuning in to the voice of God, the Holy Spirit within, accomplishes a giant step in the process of sanctification. If we are going to become more like Christ, we must not only listen to the voice of God, we must obey it. When you feel the Spirit prompting you to do or not do something, don’t ignore Him. When you feel a tug on your heart to carry out an assignment from God, no matter how big or small, be quick to comply. When you know the Spirit of God has spoken instructions to you, act upon them as soon as possible.

When a human spirit yields to the control of the Holy Spirit, the result is life and peace. Choose to live in the Spirit and be at peace with God. Listen to His voice, and consider the conviction. Is there a sin you need to confess or turn from? What is the Holy Spirit asking you to do or not do? What behavior do you need to change? What action have you been prompted to take? Perhaps it’s the other type of conviction–to be a witness for Jesus Christ.

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Book One in Hearing God's Voice Series

Book One in Hearing God’s Voice Series

Justified

I absolutely love how God works! He is so amazing! For example, in my previous blog post entitled “No Sin is Too Big,” I quoted from 1 Corinthians 6:11, “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

After I posted it, I wondered, what does the word “justified” really mean? I think I know what it means, but I also considered, do all my blog readers understand the meaning of the word? After a few hours, the topic faded from my mind. Until two days later, on Sunday, God generously provided me with two succinct learning opportunities regarding the concept of justification.

My first routine activity every Sunday morning is to select a flavorful K-cup and brew a cup of Joe with my new Keurig machine. Next, I plop down in my favorite recliner, grab the remote control, and turn on the TV to either the Inspiration channel or the Lifetime channel and watch Dr. Charles Stanley, from In Touch Ministries, preach two sermons back to back.

In his first sermon today titled Your Convictions about Eternal Security, Dr. Stanley explained that the word “justified” means we are declared “no longer guilty” by the blood of Jesus. His atoning, sacrificial death on the cross reconciled us into a right relationship with God. When we confess our sin, God is faithful and “just” to forgive us and declare us no longer guilty because He sent His Son, Jesus, as a living sacrifice to pay the death penalty for our sin. One of the Scripture passages for this message came from Romans 5:6-10. Dr. Stanley’s In Touch Sermon 06/26/16

I cracked a smile, pleased that God had designed a way to answer my justification question so swiftly. After watching Dr. Stanley’s sermons, I showered, dried my hair, slapped on some makeup, and got dressed for church.

At Radiant Church this morning, we enjoyed an excellent message by guest pastor, Curt Anes. Romans Road Chapter 5 – Sermon He started his sermon with a definition of the word—you guessed it—justified. When I heard the word, I grinned, even more pleased that God had orchestrated the universe on this day in such a way that I would receive more clarity on the word I had questioned a couple days prior.

Pastor Anes offered a similar definition, “Justified is a divine benefit we have in Christ as Christ followers. We are declared righteous in God’s sight because of what Jesus Christ did for us.”

Supporting it with Scripture, Pastor Anes read Romans 5:1-2, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.”

Next Pastor Anes read from Romans 5:8-9 says, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him!”

Also, Romans 3:22-24 says, “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”

In summary, when we confess Jesus as our Savior and invite Him into our hearts, His blood washes us whiter than snow, and He declares us no longer guilty, but righteous children of God. His sacrificial death on the cross paid our sin debt in full and redeemed us from our slavery to sin, making us not only children of God, but also co-heirs with Christ.

I heard two sermons within two hours from two different pastors in two different parts of the country that both taught me two similar Biblical definitions of a term I had questioned two days earlier. Is this a coincidence? I think not!

I am so grateful that the Creator of the universe made the time to weave the answers to my questions into messages from these dedicated men of God that I would listen to today.

Lord, I thank You and praise You for Your wonderful works. Your ways are higher than my ways and Your thoughts higher than my thoughts. I appreciate the way You speak to me in my thoughts and through the instruction of wise, godly people. Thank You for the gift of Your Holy Spirit who brings Your Word to life in so many ways. I am eternally grateful for Your amazing grace in the gift of Your Son who died for me, that I might be JUSTIFIED by His blood, no longer guilty, but made righteous in Your sight. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

 

Care for My Sheep

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. (Isaiah 61:1-3)

There is one in need. At least one person you know is brokenhearted. One is found captive. There is one who mourns and one who grieves a loss. I have anointed you to share my message. Take care of my sheep. Bind up the brokenhearted. Your words will be a covering for their hurts. Bathe them in prayer. Replace the wreckage of their wounds with a crown of beauty. Clothe them in my righteousness to display my glory before the nations. Release those held in bondage. Liberate them from their chains. Unlock the prison doors and set them free. Renounce the enemy that holds them captive. Comfort the one who mourns a loss. Walk alongside the one in sorrow. Provide for those who grieve in despair. Anoint them with the oil of gladness. Dress them in a garment of praise. Strengthen them in me. Serve those who are in need, and I will show my favor to them. I will give them my peace. You are blessed to be a blessing. In ministering to others, you too will be blessed. Live into your calling.