RIGHTEOUSNESS-CONSCIOUSNESS (Part 2)
“For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:17 NKJV)
It is not sin, but sin-consciousness that is primarily stopping or hindering many New Covenant believers today from reigning in life and enjoying the benefits of the New Covenant.
Through His blood the Lord Jesus has obtained for us eternal redemption, the forgiveness of sins (past, present and future).
The Scripture clearly states this truth.
Ephesians 1:7 – NKJV
7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.
Hebrews 9:12 – NKJV
12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
1 John 1:7 – NKJV
7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
Even though the Lord Jesus Christ has obtained eternal redemption, the forgiveness of sins for us through His blood, yet many born-again believers today are still living under condemnation and dominion of sin because their minds are stayed or focused on sins.
Many believers today are too preoccupied with sins, and not with righteousness. They are constantly thinking and talking about their sins, and not about the righteousness of God bestowed on them through faith in Christ and His finished work.
While praying, they are always reminding God about their past sins which He has forgiven and sworn to remember no more (Heb. 8:12).
Why are many believers today sin-conscious and not righteousness-conscious?
Because they are still living under the Law!
Without the Law, sin is dead or powerless. The power or strength of sin is the Law (1 Cor. 15:56). While it was not the Law that brought sin, yet it was the Law that revived, activated or stirred up sin in man.
It was the Law that revealed sin for what it is, and brought to us the knowledge and consciousness of sin. Therefore, under the Law, no man can be free from the dominion and condemnation of sin (Rom. 6:14).
Apostle Paul aptly explains this truth in his epistle to the Romans.
Romans 7:7-13 – NKJV
7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law.
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For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.”
8 But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead.
9 I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died.
10 And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death.
11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me.
12 Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.
13 Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful.
The Scripture clearly teaches and explains that the ultimate purpose of the Law is to bring all men under the guilt and condemnation of sin so that men may detest their sinfulness or wretchedness and then humbly cry out to God for salvation (Rom. 3:19-22, 7:22-25, Gal. 3:19-26).
Through the body of Christ the born-again believers have become dead to the Law and thus delivered or discharged from the Law.
Therefore, the believers in Christ are free from the dominion and condemnation of sin, and from the curse of the Law. Sadly, not many believers know, understand, or believe this truth.
Romans 7:4-6 – NKJV
4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another–to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.
5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death.
6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.
Although as a believer in Christ you have been delivered from the Old Covenant Law, yet if you put yourself again under the yoke or bondage of the Law by striving to keep the Law in order to earn God’s love, acceptance, approval, favour or blessing; the Law will exert its full power and wrath on you, and ultimately fill your mind and conscience with the consciousness of sin.
Therefore, you cannot escape the trap of sin-consciousness if you still choose to live under the Law or walk according to the written code or regulations of the Old Covenant Law.
It is walking in the Spirit that sets free from sin-consciousness!
This is why Apostle Paul sternly warns the born-again Jews against returning under the Law for justification and righteousness.
Galatians 5:1-4 – NKJV
1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing.
3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.
4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.
What are the blessings of possessing righteousness-consciousness?
First, righteousness-consciousness imparts boldness and confidence to you.
Sin-consciousness will erode your boldness and confidence, but righteousness-consciousness will impart boldness and confidence to you.
Nothing emboldens you in life as knowing that you are completely and eternally righteous, holy, loved, accepted, favoured and blessed by God in Christ Jesus.
The Scripture states, “The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.” (Prov. 28:1 NKJV).
It takes being righteous-conscious to boldly lay claim to, appropriate and possess your covenant-blessings in Christ.
You cannot approach God’s throne with boldness and confidence unless you are conscious that you are completely acceptable to God in Christ (Heb. 4:16).
It takes righteousness-consciousness (freedom from condemnation) to have confidence towards God.
John writes, “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.” (1 John 3:21 NKJV).
It is Satan and not God who condemns us by filling our minds and consciences with the consciousness of sin.
Second, righteousness-consciousness makes your prayers powerful and effective.
Sin-consciousness will empty your prayer of its power and renders it ineffective. But righteousness-consciousness will make your prayer powerful and effective.
The Scripture states, “…The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” (Jam. 5: 16 NLT).
Many believers today are not wielding the amazing power of prayer and enjoying the tremendous blessings of prayer because they are not righteousness-conscious.
They traverse cities and nations seeking for some anointed servants of God to pray for them because they erroneously think that servants of God are more righteous or holier than them in God’s sight and thus more acceptable to God than they are.
Your prayers will not be powerful and effective, producing wonderful results if you fail to see yourself as “the righteousness of God in Christ.” (2 Cor. 5:21).
Similarly, you will not be able to resist the devil and put him to flight wielding your God-given authority if your mind is fixed on your sins.
It takes righteousness-consciousness to enforce and enjoy the victory that Jesus Christ has won for you through His death on the cross. This is why the devil wants you to be preoccupied with your sins, mistakes and shortcomings.
Lastly, righteousness-consciousness enables you to reign in life.
Sin-consciousness will reduce you to a captive or victim in life. But righteousness-consciousness will set you above every adversary and adversity in life.
Paul testifies, “For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” (Rom. 5:17 NKJV).
You cannot reign over sin, sickness, poverty, failure, death and the devil while struggling under condemnation of sin. It takes a heart, mind and conscience free of any condemnation to reign as a king and priest unto God in this evil world.
It takes you walking in the light of the truth that you are always holy and righteous in God’s sight independently of your actions to reign as a winner, victor and champion in life.
Many born-again believers today are constantly experiencing defeat, failure and frustration in life because they allow the devil to beat and hold them down with guilt and condemnation. The devil will always harass, afflict, torment and defeat you if you allow him to preoccupy your mind with your sins or mistakes.
It is not sin that often kills and destroys men, but the guilt and condemnation of sin!
Beloved, stop listening to, meditating upon, or yielding to any accusation and condemnation from Satan! In Christ Jesus, there is no condemnation for you.
Paul affirms, “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” (Rom. 8:1 NLT).
Embracing condemnation from Satan is opening the door for depression, affliction, and oppression. You cannot maximize the grace of God available to you in Christ without possessing and walking in righteousness-consciousness.
Grace reigns through righteousness!
Paul writes, “So that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 5:21 NKJV).
It takes you seeing yourself as righteous in Christ notwithstanding your weaknesses or mistakes to appropriate the riches of God’s grace in Christ Jesus.
Don’t allow the devil to continue to rob you of the riches or benefits of grace through guilt and condemnation of sin.
Don’t submit to condemnation of sin from Satan, yield only to conviction of sin from the Holy Spirit. Don’t continue to muse over your sins or wallow in your sins and so give the devil an inroad to your life.
Friend, if you are under a conviction of sin, repent of it immediately and confess it to God, and receive and appropriate by faith the forgiveness of sins purchased for you by Christ with His precious blood.
John assures, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 NKJV).
You are not a sinner by your personal disobedience, but by the disobedience of the first man, Adam. Similarly, you are not a righteous person by your personal obedience, but by the obedience of the second and last Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul states, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.” (Rom. 5:19 NKJV).
Therefore, as a born-again believer in Christ, you are eternally righteous in God’s sight, not based on your obedience or good works, but based on the obedience and finished work of Jesus Christ.
Righteousness is not just a gift you have received from God, it is actually who you are now in Christ. Nothing can change who you are now in Christ!
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Cor. 5:21 NKJV).
Arise today and begin to think, pray, talk, and walk as “the righteousness of God in Christ.”
Don’t ever lose your righteousness-consciousness!
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for making me “the righteousness of God in Christ.” My Dear Holy Spirit, teach and help me to begin to think, pray, talk and walk as “the righteousness of God in Christ”, in Jesus’ name. Amen.