a) Romans 5:1 – One of the most important scriptures to the believer.
i) We have been declared righteous by faith.
ii) We have peace with God.
b) Unfortunately, most of the teachings of the church tend toward sinfulness and the failure to be able to measure up to God – “sin consciousness.”
c) For many of us, growing up and into our adult life, we were told that even though Jesus has died for us, for our sin, we still have this sin nature in us. We are still a sinner.
d) 2 Cor. 5:21
i) We grasp the truth of the first part of that verse, but it is the latter that we fail, many times to grasp the impact of – becoming the righteousness of God in Christ. The devil has a fairly good idea of what it will mean to him and his kingdom if you understand fully what becoming the righteousness of God means.
ii) Righteousness isn’t for the sweet by and by. I believe it was purchased for us now, in this life.
e) Jude 24
i) If He cannot present us “now” before His presence with exceeding joy, He certainly won’t be able to present us before the Father after death with exceeding joy.
ii) If death is required to cleanse us from sin, we are in a difficult dilemma.
iii) Death is a result of the devil’s work. If death then becomes the means of cleansing sin, then God was unable to give us victory, and he needed the devil to help him out in completing His redemptive work. God never has and never will need anything from the devil, and neither do you!
f) 2 Peter 1:4 – When the scripture declares that we “have become partakers of the divine nature,” and that we are the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21). Christ himself has become our righteousness. We are in Him, if we are the children of God.
g) Some have taught that even after you are born again, you still have the fallen nature in you. The fallen nature if the sin nature that came into Adam at the fall. In John 8:41-44, Jesus made a separation between those who believed in the Lord and those who didn’t or were religious.
h) Also, 1 Jo. 3:10 – In the unbeliever, they are one of their father – the devil. They have Satan’s nature in them. In the believer, those who are the children of God, those who have made Jesus Lord of their life. Their nature has been changed. They no longer are of Satan’s kingdom. The Bible tells us that “ we have passed from darkness into light.” We have been brought into the family of God – His kingdom. We have a new nature, the nature of God. “Old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new.” (2 Cor. 5:17).
i) 2 Cor. 5 V6 – The confusion over natures is because we are looking from a worldly point of view.
i) Some may say well, if I have a new nature, why is there still a desire to sin at times, or why do I sin sometimes? Where does that come from? The nature of the flesh.
ii) Paul said that the outward man is perishing, but the inward man is being renewed day by day. The eternal part of your being – your spirit and soul – are the real you.
iii) Your body of flesh is temporary – it will die and turn to dust someday. It will not go to heaven. The only way for it to go with you, it would have to be changed.
j) 1 Cor. 15:40-57 – As long as we remain in this earth, we are clothed with mortal flesh.
i) Where did man come from? (V47) The dust of the earth. After Adam fell, what did God do concerning the earth? Gen. 3:17 – He said, the ground was now cursed because of man. Because of that, the curse abides in the flesh. Understand that when Adam sinned against God, he experienced two deaths: first, spiritual – he became spiritually separated from God; second, he died physically. So, when he sinned, he experienced in his entire being – spirit, soul, and body – the effects of his rebellion against God.
ii) From that time on, man was under the blight of spiritual death, because of that came sin consciousness.
k) When Jesus came, the last Adam, He was a life-giving spirit. When Jesus came and redeemed mankind, he, for those who received him, gave life to our spirit man. Thus, we received a new nature. We were born of God. But our physical bodies still carry the curse in them, as long as our physical body is made up of the dust of the earth, it will have a curse on it. The only way for you to totally be free from the curse – Romans 8:23 – when will our body be redeemed? At the sound of the trump and we will all go up to meet Jesus in the air.
i) Until then, you have a body that has a will that is contrary to the will of God, unless you bring it into subjection of the spirit of God.
ii) Gal. 2:20 – Your body doesn’t have power over you unless you allow it.
iii) God sent his Son, Jesus, to the world to become incarnate, to become eternally united with humanity. Jesus went to the cross by the determined counsel of God the Father, became sin, took our place as a substitute. Then, He conquered the enemy and made righteousness available to man. A redemption that didn’t make man righteous would be a fallacy!
iv) Until man is righteous and knows it, Satan reigns over him, sin and disease are his masters. But, the instant he knows that he is the righteousness of God in Christ and knows what righteousness means – Satan is defeated.
v) Righteousness comes to us by taking Jesus Christ as our savior and Lord over our lives. At that moment we receive God’s nature and we become the righteousness of God in Christ.
vi) We are no longer sinners, with a nature of the devil. We are new creatures in Christ. We have a new nature and a new name, and we are placed in the family of God. Now we have been made righteous. Next, we must know we are the righteousness of God in Christ. The knowledge of our righteousness comes as we renew our minds to the word of God. As we understand it, it creates a boldness and confidence in God. This confidence comes from knowing:
(1) Knowing what we are in Christ.
(2) Knowing how the Father looks upon us.
(3) Knowing what he considers us to be.
vii) Eph. 1:3, Col. 1:21-22, Eph. 5:27
(1) He has already done it, this isn’t reserved for a time after we are all in heaven. It happened the moment you accepted Jesus. You were present before the Father, the newest child of God, and all of heaven rejoiced over your new birth.
(2) Rom. 8:37, 8:1, Phil. 4:13
a) Eph. 2:10
i) These good works are all planned by the Father. There isn’t a thing that is demanded of us that we cannot accomplish.
ii) Because redemption is a completed work, Jesus then can present us before the Father without spot or wrinkle. So, everyone who has received Jesus’ work of redemption has become a new creation.
b) 2 Cor. 5:17
i) “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, old things are passed away; behold all things have become new.”
(1) All these things are of God.
(2) It is the life God has imparted to us, His life, that is producing these things.
c) Jo. 6:47 – “he who believes has everlasting life.”
d) 1 Jo. 5:13 – “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”
i) As believers in Jesus Christ, we possess this eternal life now!
ii) If we have the nature of God, we will do the things that the nature of God would do. We are to give the nature of God right of way in us!
iii) This will cause you to grow, because we have allowed the spirit of God, God’s nature, to gain the ascendency in us.
e) 1 Jo. 4:4 – You dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you Is greater than the one who is in the world. When you read these and other scriptures as well, you begin to understand that a higher type of life is demanded than we have ever lived, and they reveal that God not only demands that type of life, but he also gives us the power and ability to be what he wants us to be.
f) We have the resources of heaven at our disposal.
i) Therefore, we have no sense of condemnation.
ii) We are free to use the name of Jesus.
iii) We can lay hands, pray for the sick, and they will be healed.
iv) We can preach the word of God with power.
v) We can teach with the power of revelation.
vi) The riches of the grace of God in the word so that people can be built up in their faith.
vii) We are in touch with the fullness of love and the ability of God.
viii) Jesus said, “all things are possible with God,” and, “All things are possible to him who believes.” When we connect up with God, what potential for blessing becomes available. We who are the righteousness of God, have the key to the situation.
g) God cannot bless without our asking for it. We cannot ask for it with any degree of confidence unless we are assured of our righteousness. Once free from the sense of guilt and condemnation, our faith is free to grow to miracle-working power. All this is for one reason, that we might bring forth fruits of righteousness.
h) Jesus said, “the works that I do you shall do also.” He blesses the world, so shall we!
i) He fed the world, so shall we.
ii) He healed the sick, so shall we.
iii) He comforted the broken-hearted, so shall we.
iv) He gave encouragement, so shall we.
v) He gave strength, He gave himself.
vi) We will bear the same kind of fruit.
i) Heb. 10:1-4 – They were reminded of their sin continually. Jesus became the end of sacrifices.
i) We who have been recreated have no more consciousness of sins. Why? 2 Cor. 5:21 – In him (Jesus) we become the righteousness of God.
j) Heb. 10:12-13 – The high priest who offered the blood of bulls and goats couldn’t sit down, because he knew he was going to return again next year.
k) V 14 – Our righteousness, our recreation, our sonship are all perfect.
i) His blood has cleansed us from sin.
ii) We now can stand in the Father’s presence as though sin had never touched us.
l) Some of the fruit of righteousness
i) We will have faith in His words in our lips. Just as Jesus had faith in the words of His Father in His lips.
ii) When Jesus spoke to the sick, commanded the skies and wind to calm, raised the dead, cast out devils, set the captives free, He spoke the words of the Father, the Father had given Him those words. He had no doubt that what he spoke, the words of the Father would come to pass.
iii) Jesus did say that he who believes in me, the works that I do shall you do also and greater works than these shall you do, because I go to the Father. So, as we speak the words of our Father, we have assurance and confidence that our Father will make it good. We will have faith in the Father’s words in our lips. We will have faith in the name of Jesus.
a) 2 Cor. 5:21
i) Our right standing with God is on the basis of faith in Jesus Christ. God made him to be sin. Made – Greek – Poieo, to make a thing out of a thing.
ii) Jesus was more than a sin offering. He was actually made sin with our sins. He was made unrighteous with our unrighteousness. Therefore, Jesus being our substitute, taking our place, being made sin with our sin, went to the place of suffering after he left his body. He stayed there until every claim of justice against us had been satisfied. (Rom. 4:25).
iii) 1 Tim. 3:16 – “vindicated” – justified in spirit.
iv) 1 Peter 3:18 – made alive in the spirit.
v) He was born out of death so that he could be called the first born from among the dead. Our example. God laid our sin upon Him, He was made to be sin – made to suffer in our stead. When he fulfilled all the demands of justice, death could no longer hold him.
(1) He was declared righteous.
(2) He was made alive.
(3) He became the first born from the dead – the head of a new creation.
b) Col. 1:18-22
i) So when we make (receive) Jesus Christ as our savior, God is able to declare us righteous on the basis of what Jesus did. We are first declared righteous and then we are made new creations. We become partakers of the divine nature, so that we are righteous by nature and righteous by faith.
ii) We can see the fruit of that righteousness in Jesus’ life. After he had satisfied all of the claims of justice, He was justified in spirit. He was recreated.
iii) So when Jesus was declared righteous, justified, and made alive, then He was restored to perfect fellowship with the Father. After he was restored to fellowship and could enter heaven as though he had never been made to be sin, He sat down on the right hand of majesty on high. Redemption complete. He is able to stand in the presence of the Father as though he had never sinned.
iv) After being made sin, the fact that Jesus can now stand in the presence of the Father is proof that the vilest sinner can do the same thing through Jesus Christ. Righteousness becomes a living reality in Him. James 5:16b – the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
c) Romans 3:21-24
i) Righteousness means the ability to stand in God’s presence without the sense of guilt, condemnation, or inferiority. The object of righteousness is fellowship.
(1) Rom. 5:1 – declares we have peace with God.
(2) Rom. 4:25 – Jesus died and was raised for our justification.
(3) 2 Peter 1:4 – We are partakers of the divine nature (righteousness).
(4) 1 Cor. 1:30 – Jesus is declared to be our righteousness.
d) Righteousness under the old covenant.
i) Rom. 4:3 says that because Abraham believed God, it was credited to him as righteousness.
ii) Although under the old covenant, those whom we uphold as great men of God, they were servants of God with a servant’s position, with only a limited righteousness. Yet, even though they were operating in a limited righteousness, they were able to accomplish incredible feats for God.
iii) Once Abraham was circumcised and entered into covenant with God, God gave him a limited righteousness. Yet Abraham stood before the Lord and interceded on the behalf of Sodom and Gomorrah. Boldly and fearlessly Abraham stood in his covenant right before God.
iv) Moses, only having a servant’s standing, responded to the call of God and was used to bring the nation of Israel out of bondage to freedom.
v) Joshua dared to trust God and took Israel into the promised land, and conquered army after army despite being greatly out-numbered. He was successful.
vi) Elijah – at the battle of the gods on Mt. Carmel, he dared to call down fire to consume the water-soaked sacrifice. Then he prayed for rain after 3 ½ years of drought.
vii) Daniel and the three Hebrew Children.
ix) All these men had only a limited righteousness, yet what they were able to accomplish through it was amazing. Their righteousness was restored to them on the basis of the Abrahamic Covenant and the blood of bulls and goats. They were not recreated men and women as we are. They were only servants under a law that was to be set aside so that another could take its place, which would be established on a better sacrifice and better blood – that of the Lord Jesus Christ. Their walk with the Lord isn’t anything like what we have:
(1) They walked by sight.
(2) They heard his voice audibly.
(3) They lived in the realm of the senses.
(4) Their outstanding characteristic was obedience to the voice of God and obedience to the covenant.
e) But under the new covenant, which is founded on the spotless blood of the Lamb Jesus Christ, and has better promises. The righteousness we have is unlimited. Our standing before our Father, our rights and privileges in Christ, based on the new covenant, gives us limitless possibilities in the new covenant and in our relationship with him as sons and daughters.
f) Jesus was the “sample” son! He said, “greater works than these shall you do because I go to the Father.” Then he gave us the legal right to use His name, and in the great commission, he defines the power and authority vested in “the name of Jesus.”
g) (Mk. 16:15-18) – “In my name, you will drive out demons.” In declaring this, Jesus revealed that we were masters over the powers of darkness, not mastered by darkness. If you can cast out one demon, you can cast them all out. If we have dominion in the name of Jesus over the adversary, we have dominion over his works.
h) Can you see the limitlessness of the righteousness we have been given? We can stand in the presence of the Father without a sense of guilt or condemnation. We can stand in the devil’s presence without the sense of inferiority.
i) Matthew 28:18 – When Jesus said, “all authority has been given unto me in heaven and in earth,” that was for the church of which he is the head. That is for this dispensation.
j) John 14:13 – As we look at these scriptures as well as many others, we can see clearly that we are to take Jesus; place and act within the authority that has been invested in His name. All this is for us, the child of God, the believer, while you are functioning on this earth. The authority has been given to us.
k) We are not slaves, we are sons. And while we are here, on this planet, we are acting in his stead. We are taking his place here and continuing his work here on the earth, and doing what he came to do. We are operating in an unlimited righteousness. We are taking our place and using to the full our rights in Christ.
1) What righteousness means to us
a) Throughout the word of God, there is no other word which is probably less understood and appreciated than righteousness. Yet when we begin to realize and understand what righteousness means to us, we can see that it is everything that humanity is craving.
i) The very thing righteousness gives to man is the parent to all human religions. Paganism and other philosophical religions are the offspring of man’s desire for the very thing righteousness gives to him.
ii) Righteousness restored to man all that he lost in the fall, plus a new relationship as a son with all its privileges.
b) Our standing restored.
i) 2 Cor. 5:17-19, 21
(1) Righteousness comes to us through the new birth. As a new creation, righteousness restored our standing before God.
(2) Righteousness takes away the old sin consciousness that has robbed and crippled us in all our spiritual initiatives, confidence, and assurance in His presence.
(3) Righteousness has restored to man a standing before the father on the same ground that Jesus enjoyed during his earthly walk.
ii) Jesus is our example – John 13:15, 1 Tim 1:16, 1 Peter 2:21
(1) As we look at the life of Jesus, who is our example, we need to remember how fearless He was in the presence of the Father, and His fearlessness before Satan.
(2) Jesus knew he had a legal right in the Father’s presence. He also knew that He was master of Satan and all his forces.
(3) Remember how fearless Jesus was in the storm, and how he ruled over the laws of nature?
(4) When Jesus went to raise Lazarus from the dead, he was not intimidated or afraid, because of the crowd, to say, “Lazarus, come forth.”
(5) Jesus had no sense of inferiority in the presence of death. He had no sense of inferiority in the presence of sickness or disease. He was not afraid to speak to the maimed and command them to become whole.
iii) Romans 5:1-11, Romans 8:12-17
(1) Through righteousness lost, fellowship with God is restored. We can see the example of that in the life of Jesus. Jesus approached His Father with the same liberty and freedom that a child would approach their parent. Also, He spoke to the Father as familiarly and simply as a child would speak to his father. .Jesus enjoyed a unique fellowship with the Father. There was no sense of guilt, no sense of condemnation in his spirit.
(2) That is what our hearts cry out for – to enjoy our lives as the children of God, being able to commune fully and without hindrance. That was accomplished through redemption and that being a completed work.
(3) Jesus had no sense of lacking. When he needed money to pay his pole tax, he told year to go and catch a fish and he would find the money in its mouth. He fed five thousand men with only five loaves of bread and three small fish. The multitude was fed with twelve baskets left over.
(a) Jesus had no sense of a lack of money, love, knowledge, or ability in any area.
(b) He had sense of sin consciousness or an inferiority complex. The righteousness that Jesus had gave him the sweetest, most perfect fellowship with the Father.
c) Righteousness restored to man his lost faith.
i) Today, people are going to counselors, seminars, and reading all kinds of books that help them to build self-esteem and confidence in themselves. They are trying to restore faith in themselves. For Jesus, there was no need for that. He believed in himself, he believed in his mission, and most of all, he believed in his father.
ii) There are a lot of believers who are a lot like Thomas. Thomas’s faith was sense knowledge faith. It is faith in what you see and hear and feel. That is why Christians many times have a hard time taking God at His word; they want to see it or feel it or hear it. But in the words of Jesus, “blessed are those who believe and don’t see.” Sense knowledge faith isn’t faith at all – faith is believing in God and His word.
d) Through righteousness, peace with God is restored. (Is. 57:20-21)
i) Righteousness restores quietness and rest to the spirit. We are no longer afraid of circumstances, adverse conditions, or things unknown. With a sense of righteousness, boldness and confidence arises within us, like Jesus, and we face and deal with whatever comes.
e) Freedom is restored.
i) Righteousness not only restores peace, it also gives man the thing for which the human heart has sought and struggled for down through time: freedom.
ii) The greatest freedom is not political freedom, freedom from financial worry, or physical discomfort, it is freedom from sin consciousness.
iii) Righteousness restored to men the same kind of freedom that Jesus had. Freedom in Christ, freedom from fear of Satan, freedom from fear of man, because we trust in God with all our hearts. We are no longer harassed and depressed by sense knowledge or circumstances. We stand in the sweet, wonderful consciousness of the truth. My Father is greater than all. Greater is he who is in me than he who is in the world.
f) Sonship is given.
i) Righteousness produces in us a wonderful consciousness of sonship privileges. We are sons God is our Father. We are His children. We are in His family. We know our Father. We know our Father’s love for us and we love Him. Righteousness restores to us the joy of fellowship with heaven on terms of equality. We are not sinners and we are not slaves. We are sons of the most high God. We are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ.
1) Sin consciousness
a) To sin consciousness can be traced the reason for practically every spiritual failure. It destroys faith. It destroys initiative in the heart. It gives man an inferiority complex.
b) Because of sin consciousness, man is afraid of God. He is afraid of himself.
c) He is looking for someone to pray the prayer of faith for him.
d) He has no sense of his own legal right to stand in the Father’s presence without condemnation.
e) The inferiority complex that comes as a result of sin consciousness is something everyone in the church has to deal with.
f) As a result of sin consciousness, there have been many who have felt that if they could only get rid of the sense of sin consciousness, they could be a powerhouse for God, or they could get healed. Yet they feel powerless to get rid of it.
g) The question is, then, has God provided a redemption that cures this sin disease? If he hasn’t planned to take it out of man during his earthly walk, man can never stand right before God because redemption works only in this age.
h) God not only has made provisions to make a new creation, he also has planned to impart his own nature to the believing man – taking out the old sin nature and replacing it with his own nature.
i) This revelation will destroy sin consciousness.
j) The sense of unworthiness caused by sin consciousness destroys faith, robs us of our peace of mind, makes ineffectual a person’s prayer life. It will rob you of fellowship and communion with the Father.
k) People have tried all manner of things to rid themselves of it. They have tried things like repentance of sin, being sorrowful for sins, church attendance, doing some form of penance, fasting, giving money, doing good deeds, giving up pleasures, fighting bad habits, putting themselves under discipline of self-denial and self-abasement by neglecting the body.
l) Confessing sins may bring temporary relief from the pressure that is upon them, but no works of any type, whether they are works of self-abdication, repentance, penance, saying of prayers, or some kind of self-denial can ever rid a person’s heart of sin consciousness.
m) There are two kinds of sin consciousness:
i) One is the man who has never been born again.
ii) The other is the undeveloped believer – one who has never grown in the knowledge of the word of God – he does not know his rights and privileges in Christ.
n) With the person who hasn’t received Jesus as their Lord, the problem isn’t just that they are a sinner or a transgressor. He is by nature a child of wrath. He is spiritually dead, he is of his father, the devil, which is where his present nature comes from. He is united with the devil just as the believer is united with God.
o) The believer has become a partaker of God’s nature, just as the natural man is a partaker of Satan’s nature.
p) So, then, how has God legally dealt with the sin problem and the sins problem? How can he deal with the satanic nature that is in man?
q) God’s cure
i) God has purchased for mankind a redemption that covers every phase of man’s need and perfectly restores his fellowship with the Father, so that there is no sense of guilt or sin, no condemning memory of past wrong-doing.
ii) The believer stands complete in Christ. He has partaken of the fullness of God in Christ. John 1:16 – “for of his fullness have we all received, and grace upon grace.”
iii) Heb. 10:1-19 – Under the old covenant, there was a remembrance made of sins year by year. Under the new covenant, a man who has accepted Jesus Christ loses the sense of guilt or sin and in its place receives a sense of oneness and fellowship with the Father.
iv) Col. 1:13-14 – Notice that it says, he has delivered us out of the authority of darkness. That is Satan’s dominion, and at the same time brings us into the kingdom of the son he loves.
v) Paul brings out four important things for us to be aware of:
(1) We are delivered out of Satan’s dominion.
(2) We are born into the kingdom of the son of His love.
(3) “in whom we have our redemption.” That is a redemption from Satan’s dominion. Satan has no legal right to reign over the man who has accepted Jesus as his savior. That man has been delivered out of Satan’s dominion, Satan’s family, Satan’s authority. He has been born into the family of God, the kingdom of the son of His love. When this was done, the redemptive work that Christ wrought became a reality.
(4) He not only redeems us out of Satan’s dominion, there is also a remission of our sins.
(a) He redeems us.
(b) He recreates us.
(c) He delivers us out of Satan’s authority.
(d) He remits all that we have ever done.
vi) Righteousness restored to us all that Adam lost in the fall, plus a new relationship as a child of God, with all of the privileges of a child of God.