Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Righteous: A Continuing Search for Beauty Part III

There is no greater form of slavery than to be a slave to your own lusts. The condemnation of our sin is not just our justifying death, it is also the shackles and enslavement to sin and unrighteousness. Our inherent desires are at cross-purposes to the intents of God.
Romans 6:16, "Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slave whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?" 

Psalm 14:1-3, 53:1-3; "The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God," They are corrupt and have committed abominable deeds (injustice); There is no one who does good. God has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if there is anyone who understands, who seeks after God. Every one has turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one." This is repeated by Paul in Romans 3:10-12. Man is unable to comprehend the truth of God or grasp His standard of righteousness. This spiritual ignorance is not a result from any lack of opportunity, but is a direct expression of depravity and rebellion. Man's ulterior purpose to God's constucted plan of rescue and restoration is one of natural tendency to self-interest and escape. Clever and crafty shemes have been devised to constuct our own righteuousness, or own goodness, to satisfy our guilty conscience, to thwart the voices of conviction with false peace. These schemes are equated with the sight of open graves revealing the stench and decay of the dead. There is probably nothing more abhorrent to man than the sight of rotting flesh. This is sin allegorically portrayed and condemned.
To say that God hates sin is then an understatement of monumental proportions. It is a plain fact that God hates sin when we see that the only atonement for sin will be satisfied by nothing less than the blood of His own Son.

Sin is justified by the death of the sinner, 'dust thou art, and unto dust thou shall return'. My life is forfeit. However, "... if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. Romans 8:10 Romans 5:20b,21 "... where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death (needing justification), even so grace might reign through righteousness ..."

This life, this continued existence, after our justification (death) must be resolved as in a judicial manner. Although I continue to live, it is impossible for this life to be lived and not require my death again. It is impossible for me to live a life which meets the conditions of God's laws and righteousness acceptable to avoid God's judgement. A justified man who has died will not sin, a justified man who continues to live will sin. Only the righteous survive judgement. Since the law of God cannot be abolished, nor can my punishment be commuted, I need a legal standing before God which fulfills God's just requirements, while I yet live.

Sin is sin, in the nature of sin, wherever it is found. However, the damning effects of sin are taken away by the imputed righteousnes of Jesus. We are given by faith the right to live a righteous life. This is not to be taken in a trite manner, it is not a cliche, it is an appropriation of a legal standing before God. Justification does not require perfection as it is the punishment for sin. Righteousness, the legal standing before God declaring innocence, however, cannot exist apart from personal perfection, yet we say with Paul, "I know that in me, that is in my flesh, dwells no good thing."

Romans 8:1,2,13b-17a,
"There is therfore now no condemnation to those who are in Jesus Christ, who do not walk according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death ... if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God, and if children, then heirs -- heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, ..."

We are adopted into an intimate relationship with God. What a rich reality, Father-God, my Heavenly Father, not just a legal standing, but a son.

God for the sake of His righteousness by which His grace is imputed to us, declares us quit and discharged from any further penalty and by that grace enables us to truly fulfill the law's righteous requirements. Grace embodied in the love of a Father, no condemnation, unlimited access without fear or hesitation to the love of God the Father.

There is beauty in the love of God and His righteousness.

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