April 18, 2021 Pastors Prep Notes
HE IS - I AM : LIVING OUT OF MY IDENTITY IN CHRIST!
HE IS RIGHTEOUS—I AM RIGHT.
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us,
so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:21.
Apr 18 He is - I am. Righteous -with a holy hunger
It is not a manufactured human righteousness. It is one that is unflawed and untainted by human involvement. It is never based on what I can do or how high a standard I can fulfill. It is a righteousness that is totally from my righteous Heavenly Father. It flows into me from him, it is in him, and I am in him, in Christ. p.47 HIIA
Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
“But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!
Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.
For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are
But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago
No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by the Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people.
Philippians 3:1-4, 6b, 7-8
3 For we who worship by the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised. We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort, 4 though I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could. Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more!
…. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault.
7 I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. 8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9 and become one with him.
I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith
14 For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. 15 He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups. 16 Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.
Bible story: Luke 18:9-14 Parable of the Pharisee and Tax Collector
Matthew 5:6 essentially says we’ll be happy if we hunger and thirst for righteousness. Sometimes like the number of different diets i’ve tried, it feels like i’ve done everything to try to satisfy this hunger. I want to be happy just like Matthew 5:6 says I will.
The Apostle Paul knew that joy. I can’t image how radical a departure it was from his life as a pharisee to come to a point where he would declare “I become righteous through faith in Christ”. He had an encounter with Jesus that changed everything.
For me, as in Paul’s writings, the tension between walking in relationship with Jesus Christ and what it means to be obedient to the Scriptures continues to be been an interesting journey. Personally, as a young teen, growing up in the United Church, I did not hold Scripture in high regard. I read the scriptures. I could be a Christian on my own terms. And I very much was.
Then I had a personal encounter with Jesus. Which was in time followed by another act of surrender which lead to speaking in tongues. Now it seemed like no longer did I read scripture, scripture read me…it was authoritative in a way like never before.
But there was still this tension between “obedience” as an act of will or as an expression of God’s grace. I’ve always wanted the latter. If i’m honest however, I probably go back and forth between the two. But my heart, my hunger is to be moved by Grace. I know the righteousness of God cannot come through my own efforts. It comes through a gift of faith. And so as concerns God’s righteousness in my life, I want it needs to be a heart thing more than a thing of my will. You know, where God is “giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him” Phil 2:13. Because I know, like Paul, it’s when I am in this “zone” that I am happy. For it is when Christ and I become one that my heart sings and I too cry out “everything else is worthless compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus”.
It’s in this space, I experience, as a gift, a righteousness that far exceeds that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the religious law. With deep humility and joy I know God has placed me in His Kingdom, and yes I am happy. It’s what I hunger for, and it’s my prayer for everyone who longs to be happy.