Thursday, October 6, 2011

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Righteousness Or Self-Righteousness

Christians have been accused by some as being self- righteous bigots based solely upon their stand that there is but one way to the Heaven. Some
of these accusers even claim to be Christians. They have even said that for any faith to proclaim that it is the one and only way, rather than believing in ‘many paths’ to God, is even fascism and self-preservation communication. If Christianity was merely a religion equal with all other religions then I too might even agree with those that say all paths, regardless of who or what the god is, lead to the same heavenly destination. However, Christianity is not just a religion, but, more importantly, a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

The God of the Bible proclaims that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one and they each bear record of one another. Man is given direct access to the Father through faith in Jesus Christ. Man must not just have head knowledge of Christ, for Satan and his demons ‘know’ Christ and the Bible, but they will never obey Jesus, or His Word. That is the main difference in a true believer and one who is a believer in name only. A true believer is not just a hearer of the word, but is also a doer of the word. He does not do the word out of tradition or ritual, but out of the desire to love and serve the one true God in thought, word, and deed that he might glorify and magnify the Lord with every part of his being. God desires our obedience to Him more than any sacrifice. All He asks of us is a contrite and humble heart.

I can understand those who think Christians are self-righteous when we claim to be better than others because of our ‘personal’ good works, as if we are not sinners like everyone else. Even born again Christians, though we endeavor not to practice sin, will fail and fall into sin time after time. As the scriptures say, Jesus did not come to save the righteous but the unrighteous. It is only when we repent and acknowledge our need for our Savior, that we can be forgiven.

Self-righteousness is boasting in ones own goodness and deeds. For the Christian, our own ‘righteousness’ is as filthy rags before the Lord. We can not boast in anything but in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, and Him alone. It is He that paid the price for our sins. We are cleansed only by the precious blood of the lamb. We can not even boast in our faith, for it too is a gift from God. Nor can we boast in our good works, for our works do not gain us God’s favor for He loved us first. We are not saved by good works, but to do good works that we might glorify and magnify the Lord.

How can a person who claims to be a Christian not believe that the God of the Bible is the one and only true God? How can he not believe that Christ is The Way, The Truth, and The Life? How can He not believe that Jesus is the only way to God the Father? How can he be a Christian and not believe that the Bible is the true Word of God? How can he believe that other gods, like the gods of Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, paganism, selfism, etc. are equal to or the same as the God of the Bible? How can we call ourselves Christians while we behave as though feeding from the Bible is like feeding from the trough of a buffet, while they picking and choosing what to believe or not believe based on their own imaginations and opinions? No wonder the church, the body of Christ on earth, is confused when we Christians don’t even know who we are.

I know that serving Christ and being transformed into the image of Christ is a lifetime commitment and process. It will never be completed until we see Him face to face and He completes His work in us. I know I am so often like the scripture says, I look into a mirror, turn away and immediately forget who and what I am supposed to be in Christ. Yet, I also know that He has sent His Holy Spirit to indwell me, lead me, and guide me into all truth. Without Him I am no more than a blade of grass that comes up, withers and dies, but with Him I am a child of the living and sovereign God who will never leave me or forsake me. I am His, and He is mine. His Word will forever stand, and I have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb by the grace and mercy of God the Father.
By faith Abraham believed in the one true God and it was imputed to him as righteousness. I am made righteous by the redemptive work of Jesus on the Cross. Because He was resurrected, I too will be given a new body and a home in Heaven with Him in Eternity. It is all a gift from God, and not of my own doing except for opening the door of my heart and asking Him to come in and be my Lord and Savior. So if I, or any other Christian, stands committed to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit based on the promises of God in His Word then I can not be self-righteous, for I boast not of anything except for Jesus, my Savior and Lord. It is His righteousness in which I boast and not in myself. It is His Word upon which I stand, committed to, enduring to the end. He is the Rock upon which I stand. I am carved in the palm of His hands and nothing can separate me from the Love of God. For me to live is Christ, for me to die is gain. How can anyone reject such a loving God? He’s done it all for us-paid the price and shown us the way.
Yet, even among those who profess to be Christians, the blood of Christ is made meaningless by luke-warm, fence sitters who would proclaim that those Christians that stand on the word of God and profess Jesus Christ to be the one and only way, as He says, are self-righteous bigots. Either they have not yet learned who they are in Christ, or they are Christians in name only and don’t really know Jesus as their personal Savior and Lord. Lord, search our hearts and cleanse us Father that we be not deceived, but be forever committed to Thee in thought, word and deed. Forgive us Lord when we fail to stand as a flame on fire for the Lord. May each of us, with the help of the Holy Spirit, forever stand upon the righteousness of the Lord alone. Give us spiritual eyes to see, ears to hear and an obedient heart to serve forever the one true living God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

Ginger Rahn


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