Righteousness And Holiness

Scripture : Ephesians 4:23

” And be renewed in the spirit of your mind “

Newness of Life

What is the true meaning of becoming a Christian? A Christian is someone has believed in the name of Jesus Christ. What happens when we believe that Jesus is the Christ? We are born of God (1 Jhn 5:1). God gives birth to us through His Holy Spirit (Jhn 3:6). We become a new creation, a new man; old things have passed away, and all things have become new (2 Cor 5:17). As a new man which was created according to God, we are to walk in newness of life, which is the life of righteousness and holiness (Rom 6:4, Eph 4:23).

The Life of Righteousness

What is righteousness? In the Scripture, righteousness is always related to the law of God. We are said to be righteous before God if we keep His law and unrighteous if we break His law. Hence, righteousness is the state of being right before the law of God. The opposite of righteousness is sin because the Bible declares that whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness (1 Jhn 3:4). Therefore, when we sin, we actually break the law of God. Sin and righteousness both have consequences from the law. If we sin, we shall receive the penalty of death (Rom 6:23), but on the other hand, if we practice righteousness, we will be delivered from the penalty of death and rewarded with life instead (Prv 11:4.19).

The Blessings of Righteousness

If we live in righteousness, the following blessings will be evident in our lives :

1) We will have the peace of God (Isa 32:17).

2) We will see answers to our prayers (1 Jhn 4:22).

3) We will reign in life (Rom 5:17).

4) We will direct our way aright (Prv 11:5).

Walking in Righteousness

How can we walk in righteousness? The answer is simple, by keeping the law of God. However, if we try to do it using our own strength, we will surely fail because we are carnal, sold under sin (Rom 7:14). The only way to walk in righteousness is by trusting in the righteousness of Christ and by walking in the Spirit. The apostle Paul wrote, “For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (Rom 8:3-4)

The Life of Holiness

Holiness is different than righteousness. Holiness is no longer a matter of keeping the law. It goes beyond our right standing before God. Being holy is being set apart unto God. The standard of holiness is not the law of God, but the purpose of God. We can be righteous, but not holy because we can live according to the law of God, but we do not live according to the purpose of God. Righteousness is, therefore, more of a legal matter, whereas holiness is more of a personal matter. The opposite of being holy is being unholy, which means not set apart unto God. We are said to be unholy when we still belong to ourselves and live for our own purpose. God desires that we belong wholly to Him. Therefore, He commands us to be holy (1 Pet 1:15). We are to pursue holiness (Heb 12:14). Holiness is a state of our heart that will manifest in our conduct (1 Pet 1:16). Righteousness gives us life, but holiness gives us abundant life.

The story of Jesus Counseling the Rich Young Ruler

“Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” He said to Him, “Which ones?” Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false  witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” (Mat 19:16-22)

The young ruler had kept the law since he was young. But when Jesus told him to sell what he had, to give to the poor then to come and follow Him, he did not do it. He was unwilling to live according to the purpose of God. He had lived the life of righteousness, but he had not lived the life of holiness. 

The Blessings of Holiness

The following blessings will manifest in our lives if we live in holiness :

1) We will have unspeakable joy (1 Pet 1:8).

2) We will see God (Mat 5:8).

3) We will know the secrets of God (Psm 25:14).

4) We will be directed into the way of holiness – which is the perfect will of God (Isa 35:8).

Walking in Holiness

How can we walk in holiness? By denying ourselves and taking up our crosses daily. The Lord Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” (Luk 9:23)  But just as we have no power to keep the law in ourselves, we also have no power to deny ourselves and take up our crosses in ourselves. The power to deny ourselves and to take up our crosses only comes from the Holy Spirit. We must be filled with the Holy Spirit to live the life of holiness. Our part is to surrender our lives to God.

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