You Are Righteous By Faith (Romans 4:3)

For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Romans 4:3 (KJV)

We are righteous in the sight of God not because of our works, but as a result of us believing Him. Faith in the finished works of Jesus is what declares us one hundred percent righteous. And it is out of us believing that we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus that our good works will then flow.

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Weekly Grace: Walking After The Spirit Frees Us From Condemnation

Much of the Christian life is about believing right. Unfortunately religion in many cases has made it all about getting our behavior straightened out. Yet the radial truth of grace is that the very moment we start to believe right as far as our identity in Christ is concerned, our behavior will take care of itself.

Romans 8:1 tells us, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Friend, have you ever realized the destructive cycle that comes out of living in guilt and condemnation? A person who is constantly living in guilt over something that may have happened in their past, or someone who carries an ongoing sense of condemnation—and on top of that believes that God is condemning them—has more or less cut themselves off from being able to receive the fullness of what the precious blood of Jesus has made available. Nothing keeps us bound to sin more than living in sin consciousness.

Yet there is “no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus!” When Jesus came into this earth and died on the cross for our sins, He made it possible for all of our guilt and condemnation to be removed once and for all—if we would simply accept this precious gift of His love!

In order to fully receive what Jesus has made available, we must understand and receive by faith who He has made us to be in Him. Realize that the very moment you gave your life to Jesus, He has completely changed who you are at the core of your being. He has changed the deepest part of you, which is your spirit. Remember that we are spirit beings, we possess a soul—our mind, will and emotions—and we live in physical bodies.

The part of you that got born again when you gave your life to Christ is your spirit. 1 Corinthians 6:17 tells us, “But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.” To be joined unto the Lord means that Jesus is the Lord of your life; one spirit with the Lord means that your born again, recreated spirit has taken on a nature that is spiritually identical to Jesus. In other words, it is the spirit part of you that has been made perfectly righteous in Him. It is for this reason that God, who cannot lie, can look at you and call you righteous. God being a Spirit (John 4:24), first and foremost deals with us in our spirits. And those of us who have been born again have been made perfect in our spirits, which is why the Bible talks about “the spirits of just men made perfect.” (see Hebrews 12:23)

And so there is no condemnation to those who walk “not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” And what ultimately determines whether we are walking after the flesh or after the Spirit is our identity. Are we identifying with who we used to be in the flesh, or have we shifted our identity towards who we have been made to be in Christ? To walk according to the Spirit is to walk according to who we are in Christ. It is to understand that the old sin nature which had been working in our spirits to produce sin and death which yields in guilt and condemnation, has been completely destroyed the moment we got in Christ, and in Him we have received a new born again nature—the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. (see 2 Corinthians 5:21)

And so to experience freedom from guilt and condemnation, our task becomes to shift our identity towards who we are in Christ. This shifting of our identity is the work of believing right. The more that we believe right, the more will we live right. This is what the renewing of the mind is all about. As we replace our thoughts with God’s thoughts about us, as we get our words to align with His Word, and as we keep our eyes on Jesus, the Holy Spirit will work in us to give us a revelation of the depths of His love for us, and the glory of His finished works which He has wrought for us on the cross. This is what enables Romans 8:16 to come into effect, “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,”—and that’s when all guilt and condemnation must flee.

Father, I thank You for the precious gift of Your love. Thank You, Jesus, for everything Your finished works have made available. I receive Your great love for me that You demonstrated on the cross when You took all of my sin, all of my guilt, and all of my condemnation so that I would no longer need to carry it. I receive now by faith that I am the righteousness of God in You, Lord, and that I am equipped and empowered to live a victorious, godly and overcoming life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

SCRIPTURES

Romans 8:1; Romans 8:16; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Corinthians 6:17; John 4:24; Hebrews 12:22-24; Romans 6:6; Romans 12:1-2

The Spiritual Principle Of Salvation

Many people have never been taught that there is a spiritual principle that underlies salvation. Yet God being a Spirit (see John 4:24), accordingly deals with us first and foremost in our spirits.

Coming to understand that salvation is inherently spiritual is crucial, for this helps us to realize and have confidence that our right standing with God has absolutely nothing to do with the actions of our body, nor is it dependent upon the mental and emotional condition of our soul. Right standing with God is purely rooted in our spirit. And while our body and our emotions can be in all sorts of states, our spirit can only be in one of two conditions—we are either spiritually alive through having made Jesus Christ the Lord of our lives, or we are what is considered to be spiritually dead.

come unto me

To be spiritually dead means to be spiritually separated from God and from the things of God. Now please realize that this does not necessarily denote the absence of spirituality. This is important to understand. It is actually very much possible for a person to be quite spiritual, and yet still to be spiritually dead to the things of God.

To be spiritually dead means to be unable to fellowship with God the Father, to be unable to relate to God; unable to discern His reality, His presence, and the truth of His Word.

When a spiritually dead individual opens themselves up to the spiritual realm, they will invariably fall into deception. They will open themselves to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons. (see 1 Timothy 4:1) And so the question is never how spiritual we are, the question is have we made Jesus the Lord of our life? Have we received God’s provision for salvation? If so, we are made spiritually alive through union with Christ Jesus. And so right here then we have what I have been calling the spiritual principle of our salvation. Brothers and sisters, this spiritual principle of salvation is union with Christ.

Every believer who has received Jesus as the Lord of their life has been spiritually united with Him. We have become one spirit with Christ.

Union With Christ

1 Corinthians 6:17 tells us, “But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.” To be joined unto the Lord means to be born again. And we are joined unto the Lord the very moment we surrender our life over to Him. We are joined unto the Lord by putting into practice the principles of Romans 10:9-10: “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

And so there are two things involved in order for us to be joined unto the Lord: the heart and the mouth. We believe in our hearts, and then we give life to what we believe by speaking it out. This is what unifies us in the spiritual realm with Christ.

christ-is-our-lifeNow consider this amzaing truth: the very moment you are joined unto the Lord, everything that is true about Jesus becomes true about you spiritually. In other words, the righteousness that is Jesus becomes your righteousness. The holiness of our Lord becomes your holiness. And yes, the power and authority of Jesus over all of the forces of darkness, is imputed to you through your union with Christ. This is why every believer is called to walk in their authority over Satan and his hosts of spiritual wickedness. (see Luke 10:19 & Mark 16:17-18)

Consider this passage in Romans 6:5-6 which also speaks of our union with Christ: “For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.”

The “old man” was the old, spiritually dead self which was unable to fellowship with God the Father. The “body of sin” refers to the sin root, or the sin nature. Friends, consider that the very moment you received Jesus as the Lord of your life, you underwent a total and complete spiritual makeover.

Your old spiritual self has vacated the premises, and what has moved in is a brand new self which is created in the perfect image and likeness of Jesus.

Total-Victory-In-Christ-608x405“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) This new creation that you are is the perfect image and likeness of Jesus, which is why Ephesians 1:4 says that we are holy and blameless before the Father in love. And 1 John 4:17 tells us, “as He (Jesus) is, so are we in this world.”

Laying Hold Of It By Faith

Now someone might say, “Alex, I appreciate that, but it sure does not feel that way to me. My circumstances contradict this, even my body and my emotions contradict this.” Friend, please realize that this is talking about what is true about us spiritually. In other words, it is not about how we feel, it is not an emotional thing. This is purely a spiritual truth, a spiritual reality. And the things of the Spirit cannot be perceived through the physical senses, nor can they be felt through our emotions. The things of the Spirit, 1 Corinthians 2:14 tells us, “must be spiritually discerned.”

faithTo spiritually discern something means to acknoweledge it and to accept it as true by faith. We begin to discern the truth of who we are in Christ and the victory we have in Him as we accept this by faith. Accepting God’s Word by faith enables the transfer to be made from the spiritual to the natural. In other words, the more you accept the truth of who you are in Him in the midst of circumstances, the more you are enabling His truth and His glory to manifest in your life. This is how you gain the victory over circumstances. The victory is won through faith.

Grace has already made victory available through the finished works of Jesus, yet faith is how we lay hold of what grace has made available.

victoryAnd so we see then that, while our actual salvation is not based on our actions or on the mental and emotional condition of our soul, our actions do matter, and so do our thoughts. Remember, we are saved purely by accepting what Jesus has done for us and making Him the Lord of our lives, yet in order for us to experience the fruits of salvation in our day to day life our role now becomes to bring our actions and our thoughts into agreement with who we already are in Christ. I like to call this part bridging the gap. This is the gap that exists between who we already are in Christ according to the Word of God, and what our day to day real life experience is. And simply put, we bridge this gap by renewing our mind in the Word (see Romans 12:2 & Ephesians 4:22-24). This means we must bring our thoughts and our words into alignment with the Word of God. The more that we meditate on who we are in Him, the more that we confess His Word over our lives, the more of His glory will we see made manifest in and through our lives!

Identifying With Who We Are In Christ (Galatians 5:16)

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Galatians 5:16 (KJV)

To walk in the Spirit means to identify ourselves with who we are in Christ—righteous and blameless before our heavenly Father through the finished works of Jesus. Our right standing before God has nothing to do with the actions of our body, and it has nothing to do with the mental and emotional condition of our soul; our right standing is found solely in our union with Christ through the Spirit. Yet when this becomes how we see and identify ourselves, our actions fall in line with our identity and we are able to overcome the temptations of the flesh.

Rejoice And Shout For Joy (Psalm 32:11)

Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.

Psalm 32:11 (KJV)

When we are in Christ, we have been made one hundred percent righteous in the eyes of God. When God sees us, He does not see the areas in which we fall short, but what He sees is His Son in us. And so the foundation from which we approach all things is our identity in Christ as a beloved child of the most high God. We never work for approval, but from approval; we need not try to win God’s favor, we already have it. Regardless of any circumstances or conditions, we may indeed rejoice and shout for joy, for we have already been made victorious.

Victory In The Midst Of Opposition (Isaiah 54:17)

No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgement thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.

Isaiah 54:17 (KJV)

As born again believers we have been given authority in Jesus’ name over anything that would attempt to rob us of the promises of God. No matter the form of opposition, whether it be a negative doctors’ report, marital challenges, lack in a certain area, or hurtful and judgmental words from other people, we may declare with confidence the Word of God: that no weapon formed against us shall prosper. Our confidence comes from the fact that our righteousness is not our own, but found completely in the finished works of Jesus. And so let us lay hold boldly of all that has been so freely made available.

Teach Me To Do Your Will (Psalm 143:12)

Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.

Psalm 143:12 (KJV)

This powerful verse reminds us that the only way we are able to walk in the will of God is by His grace. We must continuously look to the Lord so He may teach us to do His will. As we meditate on this, we are creating the space within us for the Holy Spirit to bear witness with our spirit, thereby leading us into the land of uprightness. And we enter into this land not by our own actions or efforts, but much rather through placing all our faith, trust and reliance upon the finished works of Jesus. The more we look to Jesus, realizing we are already upright in Him, the more will He teach us, day by day and moment by moment, to reflect who we are in Him into our world.

Healing Is Already Accomplished (1 Peter 2:24)

Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

1 Peter 2:24 (KJV)

When Jesus took our sins on the cross, He also bore our sicknesses, our infirmities, our guilt, our shame and regrets. This means that through being unified with Him in salvation, we have already been completely set free, redeemed, healed and delivered. Now in order for us to walk in this good news and see the manifestation of it in our lives, let us confidently lay hold by faith of what the grace of God has made available. Remember that faith takes possession of what grace has already provided. And so let us rejoice today in the glorious finished works of Jesus, and trust that His grace truly is sufficient for us.

Light Unto The Upright (Psalm 112:4)

Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.

Psalm 112:4 (KJV)

We are upright in the eyes of God, not because of anything we have done or failed to do, but through our faith in the finished works of Jesus. As a result of what Jesus has done for us on the cross, darkness has lost its power over us, and so even in the midst of challenges and opposition there will be light. We may rely fully upon the gracious and compassionate nature of our God who is continuously working on our behalf, and we may stand firm and secure upon His righteousness. Let us give praise unto the Lord for the victory He has already won for us!