Sponsored Purity by Deon Crafford
Malachi 4:1-3 For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings.
Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Romans 1:16-17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
In as much as we live in a world where greed, exploitation, addiction and corruption are rife, we will also encounter many people who proclaim or are proclaimed to be righteous i.e. being morally right and/or justifiable. But as we often witness – almost without fail – these proclamations are constructed of hay and stubble and they’re soon shown up for their fickleness. Perhaps it would be a better world if we were all concerned with the question Job asks, “But how can a man be in the right before God?” (Job 9:2). The answer is clearly that there is absolutely no way that man, given his fickle and flawed existence, can ever be right with a God so uncontainable and limitless as the God we serve. O yes, we can try, but we will constantly embarrass ourselves, and the biggest embarrassment will be on the “righteous” believer, the one who sets himself apart from the rest with a plethora of good behaviours and deeds.
I look at my world and I see so many people who behind the veneer of good and moral, fall fate to some if the most ghastly abuses of power, wealth, position and profession. Our world is littered with Christian scandal, abusive church leaders, commercial Christian exploitation and any number of other ills. It all just proves that man or woman can only be right with God if there were to be a higher intervention than the pathetic efforts we put on display. And this be joy, that God so loved us, so desired a relationship of good with us, that He would avail us perfect righteousness through His Son, Jesus Christ. Without Christ I am none other than disposable rubbish (and this I know too closely). But in Christ, God casts His eye on me, loves me and embraces me in joyful affection. He has made me to be right with Him, so that He can love me into eternity.
When Jesus left the grave behind Him, He presented me the offer of righteousness – being right with God. It was a watershed between being untouchable and being embraced in love and acceptance. If I or anyone else claim that my life and behaviour sets me apart in righteousness or puts me on a different level or class, it’ll be nothing but sewerage. If I live a life integrated and interwoven with Jesus Christ, I am covered by His righteousness – eternal, unfailing and affirmed by God the Father. No further effort, no competition, just knowing that without Christ I am indeed an untouchable – even if my peers may be deluded as to some good in me.
Love to all