From The Heart

Publish date: 03/26/2006

Gracious is the Lord, and [rigidly] righteous; yes, our God is merciful.

Psalms 116:5 AMP

The Lord is [rigidly] righteous in all His ways and gracious and merciful in all His works. Psalms 145:17 AMP

For Christ [the Messiah Himself] died for sins once for all, the Righteous for the unrighteous (the Just for the unjust, the Innocent for the guilty), that He might bring us to God. In His human body He was put to death, but He was made alive in the Spirit. 1 Peter 3:18 AMP

Because of religious tradition, men have an erroneous image of God and His nature and character. They assign Him attributes that are way off the mark. In the mind of religious tradition, to be rigidly righteous is to judge sin and condemn and reject sinners – an image of punishment delivered. God may be rigidly righteous in all His ways, but He is also gracious and merciful in all His works. He is gracious and merciful toward those who least deserve it. Most people are not righteous in their ways and yet they feel free to judge others all the time, but God is personally rigidly righteous and yet merciful toward us at the same time!

In these bodies of flesh, we struggle to fully understand who He is and what He does, but if we will submit to His will and accept Him at His word, we can begin to put together a picture of Him, and when we do, we will realize how truly wonderful and precious He is, how great is His love for us, and how little we deserve it. Even though we are unworthy of His mercy, to turn Him down or to turn His gift down; would be nothing short of prideful. Knowing full well that we deserve no grace and no mercy, out of respect for Him, we must accept the gift He offers – the gift of His Son; His blood poured out; the sacrifice of the Innocent for the guilty, the Just for the unjust.

Since all have sinned and are falling short of the honor and glory which God bestows and receives. 24[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, 25 Whom God put forward [before the eyes of all] as a mercy seat and propitiation by His blood [the cleansing and life-giving sacrifice of atonement and reconciliation, to be received] through faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in His divine forbearance He had passed over and ignored former sins without punishment. 26 It was to demonstrate and prove at the present time (in the now season) that He Himself is righteous and that He justifies and accepts as righteous him who has [true] faith in Jesus. Romans 3:23-26 AMP

God demonstrates His righteousness by forgiving, justifying, and accepting as righteous, all those who have faith in Jesus. He did not expect us to keep the Law in order to be saved. He, more than anyone, knew that it was impossible for sinful man to keep the Law. Before He created us, He had a plan to rescue us. Before we sinned and fell from grace, He set in motion the plan to restore us by and to His grace!

But as for you, the anointing (the sacred appointment, the unction) which you received from Him abides [permanently] in you; [so] then you have no need that anyone should instruct you. But just as His anointing teaches you concerning everything and is true and is no falsehood, so you must abide in (live in, never depart from) Him [being rooted in Him, knit to Him], just as [His anointing] has taught you [to do]. 28 And now, little children, abide (live, remain permanently) in Him, so that when He is made visible, we may have and enjoy perfect confidence (boldness, assurance) and not be ashamed and shrink from Him at His coming. 29 If you know (perceive and are sure) that He [Christ] is [absolutely] righteous [conforming to the Father's will in purpose, thought, and action], you may also know (be sure) that everyone who does righteously [and is therefore in like manner conformed to the divine will] is born (begotten) of Him [God]. 1 John 2:27-29 AMP

When we receive Jesus, we also receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit and thereby the ability to live for Him and to serve Him. We cannot hope to fix ourselves up to be acceptable to Him – we must come as we are and humble ourselves to allow Him to change and transform us from within. Jesus and His anointing change us from the inside out – there is nothing on earth that can change us from the outside in.

His anointing teaches us to abide in Him, live in Him, and never depart from Him. We must be rooted in Him and knit to Him. When we abide in Him, remaining and living permanently in Him, and He in us, we are able to be confident and bold in His presence. When we abide in Him, we will be like Him. We will neither be ashamed to stand before Him nor shrink from Him at His coming. Jesus Christ is absolutely righteous and He conforms completely to the Father's will in every way - in purpose, thought, and action. You can know for sure that someone is born of God, and one of His children, if they do righteously and are just like Jesus, conformed to God’s divine will in their purpose, thought, and action.