As the Bride of Christ, we are presently being formed and prepared for our role in Gods great end-time drama. To fulfill our role, it is critical for our faith to become firmly grounded in Gods plan of redemption. Herein lies our past, our present, and our future, for everything in the plan of God is contingent upon redemption through the shed Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. (See articles: Romance of Redemption Part 1, Part 2).
Made the Righteousness of God
Through redemption, we acquire a brand-new identity; an identity fashioned after the image and likeness of God. Although there are many components to our new spiritual identity, the foundational element of our identity is being made the righteousness of God. (See article: Awakened to Righteousness). Romans 3:24 states: [All] are justified and made upright and in right standing with God, freely and gratuitously by His grace (His unmerited favor and mercy), through the redemption which is [provided] in Christ Jesus.
The Apostle Paul writes to the Church in Corinth: For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become [endued with, viewed as in and examples of] the righteousness of God what we ought to be approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Jesus was made sin with our sin that we might be made righteous with His righteousness. We cant begin to fathom the depth of this astounding exchange! Through the process of regeneration (made possible through redemption), we are made what we could never become through our own effort - what we could never attain to through the works of our flesh. We are made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (righteousness is not merely imputed to us). In receiving His righteousness, we become all that God requires us to be both in this life and for all eternity.
Our righteousness gives to us a position of right-standing with God; it gives to us the ability to approach Gods presence boldly, without a sense of guilt, fear, or condemnation. Romans 8:1 confirms this: Therefore[ there is] now no condemnation - no adjudging guilty of wrong- for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit. In verses 33 &34 of this same chapter, we read this marvelous declaration: Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? Will God? No! He is the one who has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? Will Christ Jesus? No, for He is the one who died for us and was raised to life for us and is sitting at the place of highest honor next to God, pleading for us (New Living Translation). Condemnation is to have no part in our lives. If yielded to, it will destroy our confidence in both ourselves and the God we belong to. The remedy to combat a lack of confidence is in having a righteousness consciousness.
Whereas every Believer has been made righteous through the new birth experience, far too many are not living with a righteousness consciousness. We must understand that we do not increase in righteousness, for we receive the fullness of Christs righteousness when we become a new creature in Christ Jesus. A supreme need of every Believer is to become aware of their righteousness. In other words, acquire a righteousness consciousness.
For too long the Church has majored in her faults, failures, weaknesses, and short-comings. It is high time for our generation to realize that their entire spiritual identity rests on faith in Christs perfection (and who He has made us), and not on the imperfections of the flesh. As we fix our gaze upon our glorious Redeemer, we see the sum total of perfect righteousness. It is with this very same righteousness, that we are made righteous. Our Father God sees us in Christ and this is what constitutes our true identity.
Established in Righteousness
You shall establish yourself on righteousness - right, in conformity with Gods will and order; you shall be far even from the thought of oppression or destruction, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you. Behold, they may gather together and stir up strife, but it is not from Me. Whoever stirs up strife against you shall fall away to you. Behold, I have created the smith who blows on the fire of coals, and who produces a weapon for its purpose, and I have created the devastator to destroy. But no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against in judgment you shall show to be in the wrong. This [peace, righteousness, security, triumph over opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord [those in whom the ideal Servant of the Lord is reproduced]. This is the righteousness or the vindication which they obtain from Me - this is that which I impart to them as their justification - says the Lord. (Isaiah 54:13-17)
As we become established in righteousness, we come to understand the extent to which we have been made righteous. Once this revelation saturates our souls, we will then release the faith necessary to live in the fullness of our position as a righteous one.
From our position of righteousness, we will live with a sense of mastery; a sense of confidence and boldness; a sense of dominion and nobility. Satan will no longer be able to keep us in bondage with his lies. As a righteous one, when Satans tongue rises against us in judgment, we will declare what he has spoken to be in the wrong. We will boldly proclaim the Word of God, and Satan will have no choice but to flee, and take his pack of lies with him!
Righteousness is a strong fortress against the forces of darkness that are bent on your destruction. Always remember, Satan has no legal claim, right, or jurisdiction over you. You have been bought away from him at a great cost - the greatest ever paid!
What shall we say?
We, the Bride of Christ, are destined for greatness. The Apostle Paul speaks of our destiny in Romans Chapter 8. For those whom He foreknew - of whom He was aware and loved beforehand - He also destined from the beginning (foreordaining them) to be molded into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness], that He might become the first-born among many brethren. And those whom He thus foreordained He also called; and those whom He called He also justified - acquitted, made righteous, putting them into right standing with Himself. And those whom He justified He also glorified - raising them to a heavenly dignity and condition [state of being] (Verses 29-30). Wow! And to think this is speaking of us, for this is the wonderful state of being that we have come into through our redemption.
Consider carefully Verses 31 and 32, for they hold a very important key: What then shall we say to [all] this? If God be for us, who [can be] against us? - Who can be our foe, if God is on our side? He who did not withhold or spare [even] His own Son but gave Him up for us all, will He not also with Him freely and graciously give us all [other] things?
As we ponder who we have become (as awesome and inconceivable as it is), what shall we say? Paul tells us exactly what to say: We are to declare God is for us; He is on our side and because of the supreme Gift He gave of His Son, He will freely give to us whatever is necessary for us to experience salvation to the uttermost. Therefore, we refuse to cower in fear, or allow ourselves to be in bondage to Satans lies. We take our place as one who is justified, and with boldness of speech, we proclaim ourselves to be the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. (This proclamation of our faith is so important. What we believe with our heart, we must say with our mouth). Paul continues in Romans 8, and declares that through Christs death, and because of our righteous standing, we are more than conquerors through Him Who loved us, and gave Himself for us (Romans 8:33-37). This, Bride of Christ, is our spiritual inheritance. May we continually walk in the light of our glorious redemption!