Are you righteous? If you see yourself as unworthy or having to earn right-standing with God, it’s time to learn the truth about righteousness!
Do you know the truth about righteousness? One thing holding more Christians in bondage than anything else is a lack of understanding righteousness. That’s why every day of your life on this earth, Satan is going to try to convince you that you don’t have any right to the things of God. He’s going to try to bring you into bondage again to sin in order to control your life. But he won’t be able to do it if you’ll reawaken yourself every day to who you really are in Jesus.
Righteousness is a big concept and can often seem complicated to understand. A host of different doctrines flying around doesn’t help, either! But it is critical that we, as Christians, take the time to discover the truth about righteousness, so we can live a life filled with faith and free from hindrances.
We’re about to bust open the door that has held Christians back for far too long. If you’ve been stuck on the other side of what belongs to you in Christ Jesus—failing to receive everything He has for you—buckle your seat belt; because you’re about to go into hyperspeed from uncertainty to full-blown, Holy Ghost, fire-of-God faith!
What Is Righteousness?
Traditional thinking confuses righteousness with holiness. Many people never stop to ask the question, “What is righteousness?” They think they already know the answer and believe righteousness is the way you act, but this is not true. Holiness is your conduct; righteousness is what you are—the nature of God.
In other words, righteousness is not a “goody-goody” way of acting or something that can be attained. The word translated righteousness literally means “in right-standing.” We have been put in right-standing with God through the work of Jesus at Calvary. When a person accepts Jesus, he or she is moved into a position of new birth and enters into the kingdom of God as God’s very own child and a joint heir with Jesus Christ. And it is critical that Christians begin to see themselves as righteous—because there is power in their knowing the truth about righteousness.
Faith is a force, love is a force, hope is a force—but did you know righteousness is also a force? If you begin to look at righteousness as a force, it will help you in your thinking, receiving and operating in it. If you break down the truth about righteousness into bite-sized pieces and take it for what it is, rather than what you’ve heard in church all your life, something is going to change on the inside of you. Something powerful is going to rise up and start declaring, rebuking, reclaiming, unshackling, enforcing, receiving and rejoicing in the power and righteousness of the Lord God Almighty that has been given to you!
If you’re ready to undo wrong thinking, pull back the religious curtain, and see your God-given identity for what it really is—it’s time to learn the truth about righteousness.
1. You Can’t Earn Righteousness
“We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.” –Romans 3:22
Do you struggle with feeling “good enough” for God? “Good enough” for His blessings and favor? Maybe you’re working to live a righteous life through works, and even comparing yourself to others in hopes of finding some place where you will finally feel like you deserve to be called righteous.
Here’s something that might mess up your theology—you can’t earn righteousness, because you already are righteous. You might be thinking, Well, I don’t feel righteous. But that doesn’t make it any less true! The moment you were born again, you became righteous. Not perfect, not holy, but righteous—right with God. How? By faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:21-22).
God’s gift to the world was when Jesus, who knew no sin, was made to be sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21, NKJV). We, who knew sin, were made righteous when we were born again and became new creatures.
Are you born again? Then you’re right with God. Now, there may be some things in your life you need to change, but you’re right with God. Righteousness is not connected to our conduct—you can’t earn righteousness with good behavior. It comes only through faith in Jesus Christ and is “for everyone who believes, no matter who we are” (Romans 3:22). That is a powerful and miraculous truth that will change your life forever when you really get revelation of it.
So, in spite of anything you’ve heard or believed, the truth is, righteousness is a free gift.
You’re righteous because God said you are righteous. You don’t need to take a vote on it.
No one can vote you out. Jesus has been seated at the right hand of God the Father, and the scepter of righteousness has been handed to Him (Hebrews 1:8). The scepter is what the King approves, anoints and appoints with. When you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, that scepter of righteousness was pointed to you just as He promised, and you were presented to your Father as righteous. Case closed.
Now, once you have revelation of righteousness as a free gift, you can begin to lean on it. Satan will come and tell you that you don’t have any right to be healed, to receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit, or to minister to others. If you don’t have revelation of righteousness, you might agree with him. But when you see in the Word that you have a right to the gift of righteousness simply because Jesus gave you the right, you won’t buy it when the devil comes peddling sin consciousness.
God expects you to take your rightful place and live in the truth about righteousness. Begin to believe and walk in it, and to lean hard on the righteousness which God has freely given you. When you come across rough spots, instead of buckling under them, you’ll stand tall and triumph over them. You’ll come out victorious!
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2. Sin Consciousness Is Not God’s Will for You
“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” –Romans 8:1
If you were to ask most Christians, “Are you righteous?” they would say, “Me? No!” They are trying to be humble. They’re afraid God wouldn’t like it if they said they were righteous. Actually, they’re speaking from the way they feel—from the way they’ve been trained—from ignorance of the Word of God concerning righteousness.
Every time we start toward the righteousness of God, Satan jumps up in our paths and says, “Remember the ugly things you’ve done? Don’t expect God to forget all that! Who do you think you are? You’re too unworthy to approach God!”
This is called sin consciousness—being focused on condemnation and negative outcomes rather than what Christ has done for you. Sin consciousness is not God’s will for you. Almost everyone is familiar with this scripture: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23, KJV). This scripture has been quoted untold numbers of times in preaching about sin. But read further into this passage, and you’ll find what Paul was really trying to convey:
Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood…God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus. (Romans 3:24-26)
God’s will is that His people be righteousness conscious—not sin conscious. Beating yourself up about every mistake you’ve made doesn’t make you holy. When you made Jesus your Lord, He didn’t just cover your sins, He put you into right-standing with God and re-created you by the Spirit of God as if sin had never existed.
But if you’re like many believers, you haven’t fully grasped that magnificent truth. You’re caught up in sin consciousness. You keep thinking of yourself as sin-stained instead of blood-washed.
Folks, it’s time to believe the Word of God. Did you know that there is no longer a sin problem? Jesus solved it! He stopped the law of sin and death at the Cross and Resurrection. The only problem we have is the sinner problem. It’s man’s choice. All we need to do is choose righteousness and walk away from the sin problem.
What does that mean? It means no more being curse minded instead of BLESSING minded. It means being GOD-INSIDE minded, expecting victory all the time. So, I can say with confidence, “Thanks be to God who always gives me the victory,” rather than, “Well, win a few, lose a few.” No! Win all the time!
It’s time to accept the truth that sin consciousness is not God’s will for you and to move in line with this revelation of the truth about righteousness. You were a sinner—you have been forgiven. You are now His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus! Begin to stand on this, instead of your past life. As far as God is concerned, your past life is forgotten. Now, you need to forget it.
Learn to recognize the hindrances to faith as Kenneth Copeland teaches you to understand your righteousness.
3. Righteousness Is a Powerful Force
“Much more surely will those who receive [God’s] overflowing grace (unmerited favor) and the free gift of righteousness…reign as kings in life through the one Man Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).” –Romans 5:17 (AMPC)
Righteousness is a powerful force, and this verse makes it clear—receiving righteousness enables us to “reign as kings in life.” In other words, when you make Jesus the Lord of your life, you receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness to enable you to reign in life as a king over your life circumstances.
Are you reigning over your life, or is your life reigning over you? Your righteousness is power—power to reign over your life, your garden, your body and your household. Take that power, and refuse to let sickness and disease come on your body. Take authority over it. Refuse to let poverty come into your household. Take authority over anything that threatens your safety.
You are a world overcomer. You are the righteousness of God. So, it is time, by faith in the blood, that you start talking like an overcomer, acting like an overcomer and telling the devil he is overcome.
As a citizen of the United States, you have certain rights, outlined in the Constitution, called “The Bill of Rights.” The same thing is true with God. As a believer, you are a citizen of the kingdom of God and have a right to everything in the Kingdom. And He wants you to be a partaker! That’s why Jesus said, “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32, KJV).
Righteousness is a powerful force. When we stand in the righteousness of God, we have the right to stand without any fear, knowing that demons have to flee in the Name of Jesus who defeated hell and death on the cross. And the force of righteousness completely overcomes the power of sin and death like a bonfire overcomes a drop of water. We have more power over our lives as the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ than Satan had over us while we were in sin.
Jesus has already won the victory. Satan is already defeated. He was whipped at Calvary. We’re not on the defensive—Satan is! So, don’t neglect the power of the force of righteousness. Stand in the truth about righteousness every day. Keep the devil on the defensive—and occupy till Jesus comes!
4. Awake to Righteousness
“Awake to righteousness, and sin not….” –1 Corinthians 15:34 (KJV)
Awake to righteousness. Become aware that you have been made the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ, and you have been placed in right-standing with Him through the sacrifice of Jesus at Calvary. When you have a revelation of the truth about righteousness, it will stop the sin in your life.
As long as Satan can convince you that you don’t have any right to the things of God, he can keep you under his thumb and sin will control your life. But when you awake to righteousness, you will realize that Satan is a defeated foe, and the struggle is over.
Awake to righteousness…become righteousness minded! You have been thoroughly equipped to handle every situation that comes your way. You are to reign in life as a king by Jesus Christ. You are to live in fellowship with the Father. He chose to give you His righteousness, His ability and His strength “because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4, KJV). Praise God!
In conclusion, when you get a revelation of the truth about righteousness, you will finally be able to answer the question, “What is righteousness?” You will discover you can’t earn righteousness, that sin consciousness is not God’s will for you, and that righteousness is a powerful force. Once you awake to righteousness, you won’t ever again question your right-standing with God. You were made to focus on, live in and operate by the power of righteousness. It’s God’s will for you. And that is the truth about righteousness.
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