LOVE’S GIFT - RIGHTEOUSNESS by Edmonds Owhorode
In this message, we will be looking at what is righteousness, how to attain this righteousness and who is righteous? These are important questions that you need to answer as believers. As a minister of God, if you don’t know this, you are not qualified to be a minister of God and you are just a novice (someone who is without necessary knowledge but is just in position) because Bible is all about righteousness of God.
In Genesis chapter 3v8-9, we see the very first problem the man will ever face and that is fear. Here we see Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of God. Why should Adam hide himself? This is where you will find the meaning of righteousness.
Adam hid himself because he was scared. He did what God told him not to do. Understanding the gift of love, when Adam was created, he didn’t do anything right and he didn’t do anything wrong. So, therefore he was created righteous. The breath of the Almighty which was released to Adam’s nostril and made him a living being, it’s a breath that contain the chemistry of righteousness. I question theology that if God knew, Adam was going to disobey Him and He is going to restore Adam back, that theology is questioned because it is like a drama. God is all-knowing, omniscient but He telling me that He loves me and thinking that I will not love Him, I question His love.
Whatever a man sows, so he will reap it. It’s a law. If God loves me, He is supposed to expect me to love Him. So, understanding this don’t rush to the conclusion of some kind of theology that gives God a weird kind of picture that shows that God knows that Adam was going to fall, He was waiting for Adam to fall and He kept those two trees to test Adam. I’m in support and accept theology that the knowledge of the tree of good and evil was to be given at a specific time because Adam need to live a life of God. So, here is where opposite of righteousness starts – sin. Here, you get the clear definition of righteousness. Adam could not stand in the presence of God. Why? Because Adam was conscious of what he has done wrong. These are opposites of righteousness.
Many believers hear the voice of God today over and over and hide themselves. But this is a different time. In righteousness, we hear, we get excited and we stand. But what gives us that ability is His gift. Righteousness has been a gift from the beginning. It is not a New Testament doctrine. The uncovering of Paul - the Apostle, of the detail and depth of gift of righteousness in Romans and the other epistles is not a new revelation. It is the depth of what had been already there. When Adam was created, he was not taught righteousness. He was created with righteousness. The breath of the Almighty which made Adam a living soul, that same breath gave Adam the chemistry of justice, morale upright and good standing with God. That’s why Adam could stand in the presence of God. And that’s the definition of righteousness – being able to stand in the presence of the Most High God without sense of inferiority, guilt, fear or shame.
Anything you are running from God for or anything you are hiding from God for, is manifesting the sin nature in you. We don’t hide anything from God. Those people who think you are worldly when you ask certain questions to your pastor or cell leader, they are self-righteous pitiable people with filthy rags thinking that they are wearing some garment. They think they are better than you.
People talk about Apostles or prophets are not there today. What is the qualification of an Apostle or a prophet? They hang on the very dark theology of limitation of human senses and their minds. When Apostle Peter said in Acts chapter two, let’s search for one who has been always with us. So, they got one – Matthias who fitted in. People think that as the Lord’s qualification of an Apostle. To say that this is qualification of an Apostle, Paul will not qualify to be an Apostle because Paul was not with them always. Another school of thought, Apostle Paul said it – signs and wonders that is at work among you. You witness Lord Jesus. There is one thing to believe Lord Jesus and is another thing to witness Him. Now this is the qualification of an Apostle – the one who witnesses the Lord. People build wrong theology and they teach that signs and wonders are not there anymore, it passed away with Apostles, tongues is devilish etc. If signs and wonders went with Apostles, your salvation is dead, Jesus is vain, and your claim of Christianity is fake and is a mythology of western religion. If Holy Spirit and talking in tongues is demonic, then Christianity is fake. But that’s not the truth. The truth is Jesus is whom He said He is and Bible is what the Bible says Jesus is. And the Spirit and Jesus are the same yesterday, today and forever. It is not by might nor power but by the Spirit. People have claims and give you picture of what they are doing is right. You get into God’s word and see for yourself.
The gift of righteousness is Love’s gift. Many people don’t like this phrase because they are like board of trustees in righteousness determining who is righteous and who isn’t. You don’t have that license. The one who has it, already gave it to us through His son’s blood. Righteousness is a gift because He has paid for it. What did God do, to pay for His righteousness, is the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ. That is the cost of the gift of righteousness. And the cost of the gift of righteousness describes the value of righteousness. Righteousness is life because life was given for it.
There is another righteousness that people know and teach. Isaiah 64v6 – Here the bible describes the righteousness of people perfectly as filthy rags. In king’s palace, there are rags and filthy rags. They use it for fasting, to mourn etc. Whenever you use a rag, you don’t intend to show or impress anybody. When people speak about their righteousness, they are rags. If you claim to be anything, let God prove it. If you claim that you are better than anyone, let God prove that as well. People talk about good deeds, doing right things and that’s just a technical meaning. But the truth is, it is a gift.
Luke 18v9- In this story there are two men, tax collector (Publican) and Pharisee (who knows the scriptures very much). If you know something, and you are not able to give it to the body of Christ, you don’t know anything. Now, the question here is which one of these men were righteous? None of these men were righteous. The one who thought he was doing good is filthy because he based his faith on what he did. And the other one who said he is not righteous is already not righteous. But the bible says the second one went home justified which means he was given the gift as well because he acknowledged his sins. But he wasn’t righteous. One thing I’ve faced all my life is when I came to Asia, there is self-righteousness that is sat in the mind and the system of the people. People are self-righteous and it is also entering the church. It is not possible to be in this world and not sin. If you are thinking you have done something to earn God’s goodness, you are deceiving yourself and it is a rag mentality. That is why others will receive healing, miracle etc. before you because you are justifying yourself because of your deeds.
Apostle James balanced it for us saying faith without work is dead. Work is important but the work doesn’t give you righteousness. Because if the work gives you righteousness, I can tell you there are virgins right now who are sinners. There are people who are having good deeds more than you, but they are sinners. Good deeds does not qualify you with righteousness of God. Good deeds only show your morale and your morale does not qualify you for the righteousness of God.
David is an amazing character. In the scriptures, the bible tell us, the man after God’s heart but what he will do and what he will say will amaze you. When I meet people, they speak about themselves. Many people think when they get saved everything is solved. But everything is not solved. For example, I rape a girl and in the process of that she gets conceived. Then I got saved. Now everything is not solved. Spiritually I made right with God and peace with God, but I have to go and take that child. And if need be, marry her. People don’t apply this practicality to the situation. They expect God to reverse the child. They come and cry but they have to face the consequences of sin. Righteousness as a gift doesn’t cover the consequences that you put to work. You will face the consequences. If truly you are saved, you will face any consequences. Salvation is not an eraser for crime. It is an eraser for your sin. It will give you place for mercy, grace etc. For crime, you will punished for what you have done. Romans 13v4 says He has given swords in the hands of rulers to defend people. Don’t think God will turn the justice for you. Yes, He can do that, but first of all you must trust Him and not fear justice because justice represents God in the society. The degree of your transformation will manifest in that situation, where you are willing to face what you have done. It doesn’t happen by you being a Christian and want to use your faith to swindle justice. You will go through every eyot of your punishment of your crime which you did before salvation. You should face it fearlessly because He who gives you life, is your Lord. The one who is justice is your Lord. This books we read today, the large part of them were written in the prison by men with chains. Nothing can stop the life of God in you. So, don’t be scared.
Psalm 51v5 (KJV) – This is David. People protect their family name but not David. He said “In sin my mother conceived me”. Be real with God. Your pain will become gain eventually. People walking with God in the name of Christian faith hide their sins. For self-righteous people, others are always wrong. They don’t have understanding of God’s righteousness. Know the righteousness of God and know that it is a gift. 2 Corinthians 5v21 says “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him”.
(Message by Apostle Edmonds Owhorode, extracted from sunday service dt. 31-03-19 by PR)
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