Jan. 4, 2019

Cross Purposes 28 / The Sun Of Righteousness

“Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, ‘The Lord knows those who are His,’ and, ‘Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.’” 2 Timothy 2:19.

It seems clearer than clear that, yes, the Holy Scriptures do reveal Jesus Christ. It doesn’t stop there, since we are also guided to let the Mind of Christ be in us (Philippians 2:5). The Mind of Christ is that of humility and full surrender of our will to God our Heavenly Father, manifesting His righteousness through the Holy Spirit, “that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2Timothy 3:17.

We could say that if we are His “house of prayer”, then we are to be properly “furnished”.

For some reason when believers take their cue from what is politically correct these days, a tale is disseminated of a very unbalanced and incomplete half truth about the nature of being saved by grace. Certainly this is where the salvation journey begins, but it does not end there - as in, “OK, I’m saved now, so I can live any way I please, and I’m still right with God. I do not need to repent, to turn away from evil.” But this is not how it works.

This is as foolish as being given a reprieve from a life sentence in prison, but refusing to leave the jail! You have to use that “get our of jail free” card. It's the one with the Cross on it.

The Christian path is the Way of freedom from sin and the stranglehold of Satanic bondage. Christianity ought to be a grappling with spiritual reality, but so often is only seen in terms of mental assent to a doctrine. Anything short of a genuine spiritual experience, impacting the mind and the heart being set free from what is clearly evil, robs the soul of its salvation and its freedom to walk in the Way of the Lord. Scripture confirms over and over again that Jesus provided our salvation through His cross, but we have to live as new creatures in that new reality brought about through His resurrection. That’s the whole point.

The Holy Spirit confirms this to our hearts and minds, as the desire for righteousness and good works follow as a result of faith, “... that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) Salvation is a process wherein we ask and keep on asking, seek and keep on seeking, knock and keep on knocking (see Luke 11:9,10, especially in the Amplified Bible).

Salvation is experienced as the awareness of the reality of heavenly intervention and the willingness to walk in the power of God. We walk out of darkness into “His marvelous light”! (1 Peter 2:9) In other words departing from iniquity clearly means heading in the direction of righteousness, our beacon and lighthouse in the tempest. This is the way of repentance.

True - it is not our righteousness but the righteousness of God Himself, His holiness, His perfection with which we are adorned. We have the promise from Malachi 4:2 that upon those who fear the name of the Lord “shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in His wings”! God’s love radiates out to us. As we walk toward that Light of God, He draws near to us, and we are enveloped in His Light of transforming Grace! His righteousness becomes our righteousness as a manifest reality. His Light causes all the darkness within us to flee! Our world is changed as we are changed.

If indeed we have received Christ in this way, in a real way, there is a genuine hunger and thirst for righteousness. Another promise of Jesus then comes into view, that we shall be filled (Matthew 5:6). Where there is no appetite, one does not partake of food - physical or spiritual. Even this hunger comes from Above! It is always by God’s Grace that we are becoming “saved” as His likeness is restored within us. This is real divine intervention, for through the Holy Spirit we are then filled and shining with the Sun of Righteousness Himself.

Once Christ is genuinely received within our heart in His fulness, our personality, priorities, goals, life directions, and motivations change radically - from the inside out. The desires of the Lord become our desires! We become new creations, with the old passing away, and all things becoming new (See 2 Corinthians 5:17) by the Holy Spirit - from the inside out… Yes, I know I keep repeating that phrase “from the inside out”.

Apathy, selfishness, new age material success emphasis, and the like seem to run rampant among believers. But why? Could it be that people are satisfied with “easy belief” and “religion”, or continually look for some new type of spiritual entertainment, but have not really had a conscious, life-impacting brush with otherworldly reality - for good or for ill?

Maybe therefore we are not actually convinced that there is more to reality than what our five senses connect with. We’ve lost track of the mission in many instances - that as the Body of Christ we have the same purpose as our Head, Jesus Christ - to participate in the destruction of the works of the devil and to come personally into the fulness of Christ. What will it take to get us to awake?

This is real! It requires the righteousness of God, not our ego programs, or self righteousness, to do His work. His shining Righteousness is the only pure Light capable of routing out all the works of darkness! 

We’ve lost track of greater spiritual reality and how it has impacted Planet Earth, and we may not even see ourselves as having been affected by it. We’re not convinced, in our age of rationalism and relativism, that there is sin and evil, or in some cases even that God is real. We may go to a church or play church, but have we stepped up to the plate of being the church, the "ecclesia" - the ones called out of the world system and set apart for God and for His purposes?

Might it be that for lack of a vision that the people are unruly, or they perish? (See Proverbs 29:18.)

May the Sun of Righteousness forever enlighten our heart! Let us ask, seek, and knock as St. Paul did - “…that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” (Ephesians 1:17-23)

It doesn't get any better than this!