How to Be Righteous

Righteousness – it’s one of the main focuses of the Christian life, and many people are constantly striving towards the goal of being righteous; or being more righteous. There are entire books, study guides and conferences all centered around living righteously, and learning how to be more righteous.

There are countless numbers of Christians today who are on a quest to “better themselves”, to be more righteous, and be more like God and please Him. I used to be one of those people, as well. I know exactly how it feels, and it seems right; it seems like a very good thing. You may even be asking right now “why wouldn’t that be a good thing?! We need more righteous people, who want to please God!”

And I do agree that it is a very good thing for people to be righteous, and of course to please God – we all want that. However, the question isn’t really whether that’s a good thing or not; but rather how do we accomplish it?

You see, no-one is questioning the importance of being righteous, but rather where we diverge is how to be righteous. Because when you ask this question, most people immediately jump to their own works and performance, and what they need to do for God.

So today, we will be examining what the scriptures actually say about how to be righteous; and the answer may surprise you!

Your Part to Play in Salvation

One of the most common questions that I receive in relation to the Gospel of Grace, is “so you’re saying that I have nothing to do; no part to play?” – and I understand that reaction. The Gospel of Grace in Christ is completely opposite to the typical message of religion, which says that we must constantly work hard, struggle and strive to earn redemption, please God, serve Him, and even work to love Him! Whereas the Gospel of Grace testifies that Jesus has done the work, made the final sacrifice, and we simply receive what He has done as a free gift.

Having said that, I do want to address this question and clear up any confusion, because you do have a part to play… though it might not be what you expect. So join me today as we examine what your part in the Gospel of Grace in Christ, actually is.

The Backwards Mentality of Religion

I had a conversation with a gentlemen once who asked me what I did [for a job] – and I told him that I was a Gospel minister – to which he paused awkwardly, and then said “Oh, I’m not religious”. So I chuckled and said, “That’s okay neither am I!” – after that we each went our separate ways.

It wasn’t until three days later, that we met again and he said to me in a puzzled voice: “What did you mean, when you said that you weren’t religious?!”.

You see, religion is not at all the same thing, as having a relationship, a union with Christ. And sometimes I think that we use the words and say these phrases, but haven’t really stopped to consider what they mean, or what the implications of them are.

It may also surprise you to hear that a great number of Christians also do not understand these differences. And so we are going to explore this today, and look at how the mentality of religion, is actually quite backwards to the truth of the Gospel of Christ taught in the scripture. And right-away I need to mention that when I say “backwards mentality” – I am not using that term as slang for stupid or unintelligent; not at all…

What I am saying, is that there is a religious mentality among many Christians, that is actually 180 degrees opposite to what the scriptures actually teach, and what the Gospel of Christ actually says. And this is what we will be exploring (and exposing) in today’s study.

Jesus Has Given You New Clothes

Several times in the past, I have heard preachers say something along the lines of:

If you were going to meet royalty, you would put you best foot forward behavior, and you would wear your best suit! Well God is here now, and you should look your best for him, too!

In a certain way, these pastors are correct… we should look our best for God. The question is “how exactly do we accomplish that?” By what means and method do we “put on our best suit”? Where exactly can our best clothes be found – spiritually-speaking?

There are some who think that we must strive, struggle, and sweat, to work for God, and exercise our own force-of-will in order to look our best for God… but is that the truth?

Today we will answer these questions in this study.

Which Mountain Have You Come To?

There’s an interesting allegory within the books of Galatians and Hebrews, which speaks of two different “mountains”.

One mountain is Sinai, which represents the Old Covenant; the Law of Moses, with it’s many rules and regulations.
The other mountain is Zion, and represents the New Covenant; the Grace of Christ.

The question in the title of today’s study, is meant to be one of self-reflection and examination: which mountain have you come to? And as we look at these mountains today, we will see that only one of these two mountains is where God can be found today… and only one of these two mountains leads to life.

Join me today, as we examine this important topic.

Pictures of Jesus in the Beatitudes (part 7)

Welcome back to the 7th and final of our study series, looking at pictures of Jesus in the Beatitudes. Today we conclude with the last three verses of the Beatitudes – and while it is true that we have spent quite some time on them, I think that you will agree with me that it has been time well-spent; because it is always good when we see pictures of Jesus. Indeed this is the entire purpose of the scriptures (Luke 24:27, John 5:39), and this fact is something that we have studied previously also.

By seeing Jesus and more of His grace, His majesty, His splendor, power and love, it strengthens our own faith – our information of who He is, His character, His nature, and what He accomplished for us on the cross. And in-addition, as we see the truth of who Jesus is and what He has accomplished, we then also see our true selves… we see our real identity as new creations in Him; and this is the point of it all.

And today we continue seeing pictures of Jesus in the final section of the Beatitudes. Get ready, because this is going to be really good!

The New Covenant Perspective on Money, Tithing and Giving (part 3)

Welcome back again to the third and final part of our series on the topic of money, tithing and giving; specifically the New Covenant perspective on these topics, because it is so very important to actually have the proper spiritual perspective in all things – including money, that it was time to look at them honestly with fresh lenses and firmly on the solid foundation of Grace in Christ Jesus and the freedom which He has given to us.
In the previous two parts of this series, we first saw that money in-and-of-itself is not evil – and we also saw that our Heavenly Father is a generous giver who actually enjoys blessing us in every area, including our finances. He wants us to be healthy and wealthy; not only so that we can have pleasure enjoying the life that He has given to us (which He does want us to enjoy) but also so that we will have health and wealth to be generous with and share the love and blessings of Christ with others as well, as His ambassadors.

Then in the second part, we examined tithing, and saw that the old customs and Old Covenant system have been done away with in Christ, as He is the ultimate sacrifice, payment and tithe.

Now today we will complete this series by looking at true New Covenant giving, founded on the finished work of Christ. Giving freely, based on His love, and your new identity in Him.

Pictures of Jesus in the Beatitudes (part 4)

Welcome to part four of our series on seeing pictures of Jesus in the Beatitudes. So far we are about half way through, and we have already seen some fascinating and very awesome portraits of Jesus.

And so we will continue today, along the same path, because seeing Jesus is it the very core of our relationship and union with Him, and it benefits us – which is why the pictures are there to begin with. Think about it… Jesus doesn’t share pictures of Himself for His own benefit. God is not a megalomaniac – but rather He shares pictures of Himself with us for our benefit; because as we see more of Him, we can further appreciate and understand what He has accomplished for us, and in doing so, we can further so our new identity in Christ, and our standing in Him.

Pictures of Jesus in the Beatitudes (part 2)

Last week we began a new series looking at the first part of the Sermon on the Mount, commonly known as the Beatitudes. And as I mentioned before, this teaching of Jesus is often seen from the perspective of goals to strive for, and while that may not seem too dangerous at first, it can very easily lead a person down the road of self-works and a performance-mindset which can be quite damaging and deadly in the end.

So in this series we have been looking at the Beatitudes, but not with the typical self-focused lenses. Instead we have been looking at the Beatitudes, from the perspective of seeing Jesus, and already we have seen some amazing details.

Today we will be continuing from where we paused last week, as we look at more pictures of Jesus in the Beatitudes.

The Double-Minded Person

There’s an interesting group of verses in James chapter 1; a stipulation regarding asking God for things, the verses end with the pointed statement that a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. That seems like a fairly serious thing to be… but what exactly does it mean to be double-minded?

If we don’t understand the term, how do we really know if we are double-minded? How can we avoid double-mindedness?

It’s important to understand this, not only for our own peace-of-mind, but also so that we can actually receive things from God… because He truly does want us to receive His gifts, but double-mindedness can stop us.

So today we are going to explore this, and answer these questions… as always in the light of the finished work of Jesus Christ.