Walking in Righteousness
March 11, 2020
“If we’re not set free from sin until we die then Jesus isn’t our savior, death is.”
I have personally struggled with outbursts of anger. Mostly a competitive anger in basketball and volleyball. Though this may seem like a small thing, what happens when I get competitive with my wife and she beats me in a game. If my anger goes unchecked, it will lead to sin.
As a christian, is it possible to live a life without sin? Yes!
No one is perfect, and to live a perfect life even after salvation seems impossible, but it’s what we should strive for. “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Romans 6:14-16 TPT
14 “Remember this: sin will not conquer you, for God already has! You are not governed by law but governed by the reign of the grace of God.
15 What are we to do, then? Should we sin to our hearts’ content since there’s no law to condemn us anymore? What a terrible thought!
16 Don’t you realize that grace frees you to choose your own master? But choose carefully, for you surrender yourself to become a servant—bound to the one you choose to obey. If you choose to love sin, it will become your master, and it will own you and reward you with death. But if you choose to love and obey God, he will lead you into perfect righteousness.”
- Grace empowers you to change (v14-16)
Grace is getting what you don’t deserve: unmerited favor. The strength to live a sanctified, holy, life.
Mercy is not getting what you deserve: death, hell, and the grave
Grace empowers us to become more like God in our thoughts, words, and how we do life.
Road rage is something I have struggled with for many years. Time and time again I would yell from inside my car at drivers and believe it or not traffic lights. As God began to deal with my driving habits, I saw that the only person I was hurting was me. The Holy Spirit began to convict me and I started to repent after every negative word that came out of my mouth.
Through the new birth, you have been made holy and are now set apart for a higher calling and a higher standard.
Continuing in Romans 6:17-18 TPT
17 And God is pleased with you, for in the past you were servants of sin, but now your obedience is heart deep, and your life is being molded by truth through the teaching you are devoted to.
18 And now you celebrate your freedom from your former master—sin. You’ve left its bondage, and now God’s perfect righteousness holds power over you as his loving servants.
- The Word of God brings a heart change
In other words, righteousness given to us in the new birth, when we give our lives to Jesus, puts us in right-standing with God. Giving us what Jesus deserves.
Now, not only do I catch myself before saying something while I drive, but I began to pray over the driver who agitates me that God will bless them. And if they are driving recklessly, I ask God to protect them and those around them.
1 Corinthians 1:30 ESV
And because of [God] you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption
You have been made righteous, meaning He took away your sin and now you can stand before Him (who is a perfect being) as if you have never sinned.
Paul is a perfect example of a true heart change. He thought he was killing christians for righteousness sake, but after his encounter on the road to Damascus, his heart completely changed and he became a radical, devoted, follower of Jesus for the rest of his days.
1 Corinthians 10:23 NIV
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive.
There is nothing more we can do to become righteous.
God now looks at you and sees Jesus, because of His work on the cross. Not only does he take your sins of your past, but the shame that you have carried with it.
- heart; mind, character, inner self, will, intention, center
- 2588 kardía – heart; “the affective center of our being” and the capacity of moral preference (volitional desire, choice; see P. Hughs, 2 Cor, 354); “desire-producer that makes us tick” (G. Archer), i.e our “desire-decisions” that establish who we really are.
Leviticus 10:10-11 ESV
10 You are to distinguish between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean,
11 And you are to teach the people of Israel all the statutes that the LORD has spoken to them by Moses.”
Continuing in Romans 6:22-23 & 7:5-6 TPT
22 But now, as God’s loving servants, you live in joyous freedom from the power of sin. So consider the benefits you now enjoy—you are brought deeper into the experience of true holiness that ends with eternal life!
23 For sin’s meager wages is death, but God’s lavish gift is life eternal, found in your union with our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One.
5 When we were merely living natural lives, the law, through defining sin, actually awakened sinful desires within us, which resulted in bearing the fruit of death.
6 But now that we have been fully released from the power of the law, we are dead to what once controlled us. And our lives are no longer motivated by the obsolete way of following the written code, so that now we may serve God by living in the freshness of a new life in the power of the Holy Spirit.
- There is a new way to live (v22-23 & 7:5-6)
Righteousness through Jesus makes it a joy to change and fellowship with God.
“A slave is one who has to serve, while a servant is one who lives to serve.”
~ John Bevere, Bait of Satan (pg. 125)
A relationship with Jesus takes us from a merit driven life under laws and regulations to a life motivated by love.
Where do you see yourself living right now?
Do you feel like you must obey God, that He doesn’t really love and accept you, or do you have a desire to live differently because there is a relationship inside you with a living, loving God?
When we walk in a desire to live differently because of the relationship inside of us with a loving God, we begin to naturally walk out the calling God has placed in our lives.
Ephesians 4:1-3 ESV walk in a manner worthy of the calling which you have been called
The Great Commission = The World (the lost), Socially (communities/workplace), Domestically (our family), Ourselves (character)
If you act like the world, don’t be surprised when people reject you for preaching Jesus. They see no difference between you and them.
Jesus gave us the answer, AND He is the answer.
In Matthew 5:17 – 7:20, Jesus teaches on: Anger, Lust, Divorce, Oaths, Retaliation, Enemies, Giving, Prayer, Fasting, Treasures, Anxiety, Judging, etc.
Luke 6:43-45 NLT
43 “A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit.
44 A tree is identified by its fruit. Figs are never gathered from thornbushes, and grapes are not picked from bramble bushes.
45 A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.”
If it is a challenge for you to produce good fruit, the answer lies within a deeper relationship with God. A deeper relationship with God gives us the grace to change from the inside out.
Fruit of the Spirit Galatians 5:22-23
The fruit of the Spirit is first love. With love comes joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. It is possible to have all of these and still not love, but you can’t have love without the rest of these.
Philippians 1:9-11 ESV
9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment,
10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,
11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”
It is through Jesus that we can become filled with the fruit of righteousness. He has to become the foundation on which we build our life.
Matthew 16:13-18 ESV
13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
17And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.
18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rockb I will build my church, and the gates of hellc shall not prevail against it.
1 Corinthians 3:11 NLT
“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ.”
Matthew 7:24-25 GW
24 He is like a person who dug down to bedrock to lay the foundation of his home.
25 When a flood came, the floodwaters pushed against that house. But the house couldn’t be washed away because it had a good foundation.
Because of the beauty of Jesus and who He is, if you feel like you’ve hit rock bottom, you couldn’t be any closer to your answer because Jesus is your rock, your foundation, your bedrock.
If Jesus is not your foundation, your will, your motive… you will eventually burn out or fail. It is all about Jesus for He is ALL, and IN ALL. Colossians 3:8-13
This was exactly my experience when I played the drums for a young adults group in Tulsa, OK. When I first moved to Tulsa, I was looking for any chance I could get to play for a band. I was given an opportunity to play for a young adults group and my motives from the beginning were wrong. I was searching for a way to satisfy my desire to play the drums. I got my wish and I played every week, but because my motives were in the wrong place, I had to rely on my own strength and I began to quickly burn out.
Once you come to the realization that it’s not about you, that I can’t do this on my own, that is the moment God looks at you and says “I can work with that.” God is always willing to forgive a sincere heart. This is why John wrote to believers (1 John 1:9) saying God is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1. How can grace empower us to live?
2. How can I live out my heart change?
3. Living a life in God’s grace will produce fruit consistent with righteousness.
John 15:5-8 NLT
5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.
6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned.
7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!
8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.