Ready-Made Righteousness

For every man and woman that pursues the mind of Christ, there will be moments where the Holy Spirit adds some salt to the scripture you are chewing on. Last night was one of those nights. I was reading a verse that my eyes had wandered over hundreds of times: Philippians 3:8-9 says, “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.”

Those words of Paul are the meat and potatoes doctrine of the Christian faith, yet like a foolish child, I often read it with the pride of “been there, done that.” Just when I thought that I had dug up all that the Holy Spirit had to say through that verse, I realized I had never grasped the significance in the first place. Let’s take a look at the critical part of verse nine. It reads,”Not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.” 

I got hit hard there, because suddenly, I realized that what I consider my righteousness is not even my own. Because of Jesus’ obedience, I am permitted the privilege of sharing in the righteousness of God. Now that’s something to fight for! Sometimes, the Holy Spirit enjoys revving his engine in order to display how superior God’s ways our to ours. That’s not meant for discouragement either. The Holy Spirit grandstands the nature of the Father and Son so that those who humbly pursue Him will always have another treasure of God’s nature to digest and display.

Reading God’s Word requires a double dose of dedication. The Word gives us the knowledge of God and that’s necessary to know who God is and what He says. However, there needs to be another foot put forward, and that comes by doing what the word says, as well as believing it. So often, I have stopped at knowing and deceived myself into thinking that mere knowledge will break down strongholds and desires. The Word does exactly those things, but we must rest in and activate those words by the broad shoulders of faith.

We must never forget that we walk in righteousness through faith. You can read the Word from cover to cover and analyze it in a historical, literary, or theological context, but if you never have faith that the truth exists behind the ink, then your work means nothing. The Word must become factual to you, and not just in the database of your brain but in the reality of your daily life.

When we finally lay down our pride, the Holy Spirit will burn some rubber with His revved-up engine and bring a sense of awe within us towards the God we serve. Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Solomon was explaining that a man must be in awe of His nature, because from godly fear, we become enamored and are inspired to pursue him.

When Philippians 3:8-9 hits us, we must never become lukewarm to the precious gift of righteousness given to us by God. Yes, we were not worthy of this righteousness apart from God, but if you are a believer, Jesus’ blood has made you worthy. Instead of self-immolating in the fact that you were not worthy, stand up today and just accept the gift God has given. Notice that we “were” not worthy; that’s in the past tense and we’re living for today. It’s time to step up and walk in that righteousness, and with Godly justification comes re-alignment of that which was broken.

P.S. As Veterans Day approaches, pray for those who have served. Pray that the next wave of the Holy Spirit would hit those with PTSD and physical trauma the hardest. Those men bled the blood, and we cannot neglect their sacrifice. I don’t know about any of you, but PTSD doesn’t stand a chance at taking on God and neither do missing limbs. It’s time to go to war for our veterans in intercessory prayer so that we can see trauma extinguished and missing limbs restored.

Kevin Cochrane is a nineteen year old writer  with the distinct purpose of radically restoring everyone with ears to hear to the original testimony of Jesus Christ. His mission is to live by the words he writes and develop his character along with the prose he pens. For updates on his latest blog posts, you can follow him on Twitter @RunFree_KC or click the follow button at the bottom of the page to receive notifications by email.

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