You Are Righteous, Holy & Redeemed (As Jesus Is, So Are We / Set 3) – January 29, 2023 (42-44/365)

Grace Leadership Institute (As Jesus Is, So Are We)

Facilitated by Pastor Joedy

Transcribed and internalized by Yours Truly

Some thoughts that popped up during worship after lunch:

God’s love is pre-emptive. He loved us first. And that’s an aspect of grace. Or tactical grace for that matter: Grace is pre-emptive. As Christ did things first for you, so you are also directed as necessary to do things first, when needed.

Oh, precious is the flow, that makes us white as snow, no other font I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus. There should probably be times that I should personally lead worship after the word – or rather, as an end to the message.

Jesus, Our Righteousness, Holiness And Redemption

(This was discussed last Wednesday but I’m going through it again)

Eternal has to do with a life that is influenced by the divine. What is the difference between the eternal and the everlasting?

ChatGPT comes to the rescue: Eternal and everlasting both describe something that lasts forever, but there is a subtle difference in their meanings: Eternal refers to something that exists outside of time and is not limited by time. Everlasting refers to something that continues to exist indefinitely, but is within the confines of time. Therefore, eternal is considered stronger and more absolute than everlasting.

It’s fascinating, therefore, to see how we have both everlasting and eternal life through Christ. We see in the ESV version of John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”… However, in the KJV and NKJV say ‘everlasting life’ instead of eternal life. And 1 John 5:11-12 says the following:

And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

The speed limit on our highways is 60 kilometers per hour minimum, and 100 kilometers per hour maximum. But without those signs, we surely wouldn’t go 200 kilometers per hour – not unless we value our life! Or, Pastor Joedy points out, we wouldn’t go that far, because we love our life. We do what we do, because we love.

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Why did Paul write this to the Corinthians, of all people?  These were some of the most trouble people and churches at the time… but they needed to know the specifics of the everlasting and eternal love God had for them. That’s precisely why we have what we call the ‘Love Chapter’ from 1 Corinthians 13. As a result of this clarification, we see a huge change between 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians.

And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

1 Corinthians 1:30-31

The baptism of John was one of repentance, and that’s why the religious leaders thought they didn’t need to take part in it – they were hanging around thought, to see when John would make a mistake. But I imagine they were like everyone else who was surprised, when He proclaimed the approaching Jesus Christ – Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! And imagine everyone’s shock – Imagine John’s shock when Jesus asked to baptize Him! And here’s where Jesus told Him, that He came to fulfill all righteousness. As such, it was necessary for Him to be baptized… and that’s when the Holy Spirit descended upon Him as a dove, the Voice of God proclaiming, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

As such, when we are baptized, so we are proclaiming the repentance brought to us by the power of the Holy Spirit, that when we rise, sure, we recognize how we are new creations, but we are also made aware – That we are God’s beloved, and in us He is well pleased.

Jesus clearly came to fulfill the law, and He came to live an obedient life by the grace of the Father. Adam and Eve were given just one law in their day: Do not eat of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil. Pastor Joedy shares that he thinks the said tree is representative of the Law. Do’s and Don’ts. Jesus Christ fulfilled the entire Law – how? He became sin that we were. He became the disobedience that we were, and lay His life down, His literal body nailed to a cross, fulfilling what the scripture mentioned, when it says ‘Cursed are those who are nailed to the tree.’

(God could have just told Adam and Eve to eat from the Tree of Life. But I’m assuming that even this would have been natural. It’s His love for us to be free, but when we run astray, He takes no chances.)

We talk about the obedient life and point out things like miracles and things we ought to do… but we probably should talk about the obedient life being more of how naturally He moved. Maybe, instead of trying to ‘copy’ Jesus and talking to the storms and the wind, or telling sickness and spirits to flee, we should probably prioritize His more subtle responses. For example, take a look at how He responded to the adulteress brought before her. If confronted with a similar situation we’d probably do as they expected, and without a more realistic grasp of the grace of God we’d easily fall into their trap.

See, if He told the accusers to uphold the Law, the woman would be killed, and they would question the love He claimed God had for us. On the other hand, if He told them to spare the woman, then they would think of Him as weak, and more importantly, inconsistent with the Law they were all expected to follow as rabbis and teachers. No, in His wisdom, and in His obedience, He promptly told His accusers: ‘Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.’

To me, this seems to be a more profound miracle, and a greater work – One more magnificent than the waters being parted, or the sun standing still; A human life being spared fully and completely, outsmarting the minds of those who thought beyond a shadow of a doubt that they were able to take down this upstart teacher who claimed He was God.

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.Philippians 2:5-8

It was natural for Christ to be humble… even unto the cross. It’s not about trying your best to follow the Law, but it’s about us moving in celebration of the grace given to us… even unto death. See Hebrews 2:9: But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.Hebrews 2:9

We do what we do by the grace of God. We function, we move by the grace of God. That is who Christ is. Christ is the grace of God, and in Him we live and move and have our being. We prosper, we recover, we deliver by the grace of God. Pastor Joedy did express that this was a good exercise for us in the body of Christ – when we tell people what we would be doing, we would always follow it up with acknowledging that we do it by the grace of God.

So in my case, I will make back all the money I lost in these past years, by the grace of God. I will continue to strengthen our ministry and make it grow and thrive, by the grace of God. I will continue to inspire, motivate, and to encourage, by the grace of God. I will figure out and determine where to go and what steps to take next regarding my desire to delve into the visual arts, by the grace of God. I am a good investor, photographer, partner, uncle, son, and man… all by the grace of God.

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.1 Corinthians 15:10

But even Paul, in all the beauty of his words in this verse (Which I think would be a follow-up to our upholding of Galatians 2:20), cried at times. But when he complained, even then it was Christ who reminded Him: But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.2 Corinthians 12:9

But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”James 4:6

Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”1 Peter 5:5

In Christian living, is it keeping up with the Joneses, or is it living out of Christ? The answer is pretty obvious; the moment we try to keep up you’d better expect that you will fail. But here’s the thing: Our living out of Christ starts with acknowledgement (faith) and humility. There may be some recognition of competition, and we may even feel jealous and envious at times – but these feelings and these old perspectives would only last for so long, compared to the everlasting faith and astounding humility that has been planted so much deeper in us, by Christ.

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.Colossians 2:6-7

We abide in Him, because without Him, we can do nothing. Abraham was given a promise, and a guarantee… but Sarah and Abraham grew restless and doubted God’s promise of their child, Sarah allowed Abraham to take Hagar, and Ishmael was born. But here’s a perfect example of God’s goodness – even when they were faithless, and even when we would be just as faithless, or exhausted, or frustrated, guess what: God remains faithful to us.

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.Philippians 2:12-13

By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.1 John 4:17

Living the Christlike life, living our righteousness is not following Christ as in imitating what only He can do; It is living inspired from what He has done, and it’s all summed up in what we know as the fruits of the Holy Spirit: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.Galatians 5:22-26

And sure, we live enjoying and projecting these fruits, but it all is rooted from what Christ has done – An act of righteousness that has made us, first and foremost, righteous. Before we were able to love, before we were celebrating His peace, we were made righteous first. Any idea of our being patient, kind, good, and faithful? All that came out of our understanding how we have been made righteous before anything else.

For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.Romans 5:17-19

Tying this to our identity – the more you focus and depend on Jesus, the more you will know yourself in Him. The more it sits well with us, the more we understand how we are naturally righteous, and naturally obedient, just as Christ is righteous and obedient. But before we start to cringe, let’s ask: What does an obedient life look like? By the grace of God, we’ve been made to walk in sanctification. We’ve already been made sanctified – and this means that we progress in manifesting Christ-likeness, again, because of Christ’s life in us.

Obedience is this: We walk in love, just like Jesus walked, knowing that He is loved by God.  Ephesians 5:1-2 says the following: Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. As we realize how we have been forgiven, so we are able to forgive. As we realize how we are loved, so we walk in God’s love. As Christ prayed for us, so we are able to pray for others.

As you can see, the righteous life is not us trying to prove ourselves: We work knowing that Christ has proven Himself worthy.

It also means that we walk in good works, just like Jesus: As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.Acts 10:36-38

Ephesians 2:10 also says: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. We’ve been made new, and our works have been made new. We’ve been made good, and our works have also been made good.

Finally, to live a righteous life means that we walk in fruitfulness, just as Jesus Christ was fruitful. John 15:8 says: By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.

And let’s clarify: We’re not talking about physical or ideal fruit. We’re talking about the fruit, as the Holy Spirit has given to us.

A lot of things have been clarified in this discussion. We’ve been brought to re-think our perspectives on miracles, obedience, and fruitfulness. Clearly, there are miracles that are greater than what the world would have us think were, in Russell Peters’ words, ‘fantastic’ and ‘mind-blasting’: There is love that exists even in the deepest of hatred. There is peace that exists and thrives even in the most frustrating, vexing, and confusing of situations. There is a patience that exists, and is projected even in the most enduring of pain and torment.

There is obedience that is expressed in greater movements and acts than what this reality insists is compliance and religiosity – Greater than ritualistic prayer, and entrancing meditation, exhausting missions, and giving so extravagant that it’s borderline suicidal, there is joy that inspires us and those around us to honor those who have been placed above us as authorities, understanding that God is the authority of all authorities. There is faithfulness, borne out of the faithfulness we’ve experienced from God to us – a faithfulness that stands in the gap for those who have been long abandoned. There’s a kindness, one that does not seek to be recognized, more than it seeks to ensure that the beneficiary or recipient is set free of bondage (i.e. debt, threats, and any other variant of fear mongering).

Friends, there is fruit. And we’re talking about fruit as the Holy Spirit has given us – as demonstrated already in what was mentioned here as more ideal perspectives of miracles and obedience. This fruit that the Holy Spirit bears in us is far greater than what religion demands we seek to bear and provide: Unlimited income, immediate healing, instant escape from circumstances according to our own limited understanding of what is going on. No, there are greater fruits. There is a goodness that stands up for those who are otherwise left for dead. There is a gentleness that proves itself as more powerful that coercion, and there is a self-control that holds us together when the rest of the world is in hysteria.

Christ is our Righteousness, unto eternal life, naturally projecting miracles that matter, unto true obedience, and meaningful fruitfulness.


Until the next post, God bless us all.

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