“‘Behold, the days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely And do justice and righteousness in the land. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely; and this is His name by which He will be called, the Lord Our Righteousness’” – Jeremiah 23:5-6 (NASB)
Although God had promised that the line of King David would last forever, there was a time when this seemed to be not possible. For the line of David through King Jehoiachin had been “cut off.” However, God’s promises will all be fulfilled and He promised to raise up to David another King who would be a righteous Branch, that is, another member of the Davidic line. Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of this prediction and as such He was born in that line both physically and legally. As King, Jesus will one day reign wisely and will do what is just and right. Though Christ offered Himself as Israel’s Messiah at His First Advent, the final fulfillment of this prophecy will come at His Second Advent immediately before His millennial reign. At that time the Southern Kingdom (Judah) and the Northern Kingdom (Israel) will again be delivered (Romans. 11:26) from oppression and reunited as a single nation and unlike today’s conditions, Israel will live in safety (Ezekiel. 37:15–28). The name of this coming King will be the “LORD Our Righteousness” (Yahweh ṣiḏqēnû). Unlike Zedekiah, “my righteousness is Yahweh,” this promised King will live up to His name as Israel’s righteous God.
Charles H. Dyer, The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, 1985, 1, 1158.
“And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.” – Genesis 15:5-6 (NASB)
This is where it begins for every person who by faith believes the Word of God. The words of this verse are the words God spoke to Abram when he reaffirmed His covenant (unbreakable promise) regarding Abram’s descendants. They were to be uncountable. Genesis 15:6 provides an important note, but it does not pinpoint Abram’s conversion. That occurred years earlier when he left Ur. Verse 16 is a truth recorded here because it is foundational for making the covenant. It is repeated three times in the New Testament (Romans 4:3; Galatians 3:6; James 2:23) and teach us that righteousness is reckoned in return for faith. It is belief in God which is only by the gift of faith that we are saved. Nothing exists that we can do to earn the righteousness God gives to us in Christ. Good works and good behavior has no bearing on us having from God eternal life. This truth is repeated many times in Scripture. Trusting God’s promises is where it begins for us and those who truly believe by faith will find that it never ends. That is why it is called ‘eternal life.’
“And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” – 1 Corinthians 1 :30-31 (ESV)
Man trusts in his understanding and seeks for peace and by its own devices apart from the Lord Jesus Christ. Even when converted, they trust in their education and look at the Words and Cross of Christ with too little reverence and love. For them the call to believing faith it is too simplistic. Like the Greeks of antiquity, they trust their reason above God’s wisdom and fall into mixing God’s revelation with their learned philosophies. When they find that the two cannot fit together, they dismiss revelation and faith. So, when they stumble over the simplicity of the truth of Christ crucified they create one of their own to suit their “intellectual” understanding. In the early church such teaching was false and lead into Gnosticism* giving birth to many heresies still plaguing seekers today. As faith believers we are redeemed and not only are given salvation by God’s wisdom, rather than by our own, but we are also graciously given (“by His doing”) a measure of His divine wisdom, as well as imputed righteousness, sanctification from sin, and redemption by God in order that, above all else, the Lord will be glorified.
*GNOSTICISM: A variety of second-century AD religions whose participants believed that people could only be saved through revealed knowledge, or γνῶσις (gnōsis). Gnostics also held a negative view of the physical or material world. Early church fathers, such as Irenaeus, deemed Gnosticism heretical.
NOTE ON OUR ABSENCE: 90 Seconds with God’s Promised missed posting for three days. This was due to illness for 5 days that kept us from the process. God is good and the publication of these daily devotions is possible only by the grace and mercies of God and when done is only for His Glory.1 Corinthians, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, redemption,
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” – 2 Corinthians 5:21 (ESV)
Here the Apostle Paul summarized the heart of the gospel, that which he stated was ‘the message of reconciliation” (v.19). This explains how sinners such as us can be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. Two actions by God the Father upon Jesus, the Son of God resulted in the fulfillment of the promised destruction of sin in Genesis 3:15. Jesus the sinless Son of God, knew no sin was made to carry our sin on our behalf. God the Father, using the principle which is called imputation, treated Christ as if He were a sinner though He was not, and had Him die as a substitute to pay the penalty for the sins of those who believe in Him. “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself” v.19 “God by His own will and design used His Son, the only acceptable and perfect sacrifice, as the means to reconcile sinners to Himself.” “On the cross, Jesus did not become a sinner (as some suggest), but remained as holy as ever. He was treated as if He were guilty of all the sins ever committed by all who would ever believe, though He committed none.”*
* John F. MacArthur Jr., The MacArthur Study Bible: New American Standard Bible., (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006), 2 Co 5:21.
“…in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him. not having a righteousness of my own, legal righteousness but that (which is) through faith in Christ. the righteousness (which is) from God (and rests) on faith” – Philippians 3:9*
There is a purpose for us to also toss all our self-effort to please God on the refuse heap. This is a warning from the Apostle Paul for any who would think and expect that their own good deeds were in any way a righteousness that counts before God. Such “good works” will never be regarded as true righteousness. We’re to never expect God to accept us into His Kingdom based on how good we have been in life. Those that do will be disappointed. Some receiving this letter by Paul may have been offended by this. Paul says accomplishments which conformed to the Old Testament Law of Moses and the myriad of additional interpretations and traditions built up by the Jewish religious authorities since Moses. Yet it applies to any self-effort to please God and any effort by us to be righteous by following any set of laws. The only righteousness which is through faith in Christ has any value. By faith our hand extended to receive God’s free gift. Only righteousness that is imputed to the us sinners as God’s free gift is how we obtain this righteousness. Not earned, for a gift is never earned.
*(Translation from: William Hendriksen and Simon J. Kistemaker, Exposition of Philippians, New Testament Commentary, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1953–2001), 5:164.)
“Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.” – 1 John 3:7-8 (NASB)
It’s Christmas Day on our calendar and our thoughts are turned to the Gift of Gifts, Jesus the Son of God. Remembering so many other names we can use; King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. We might think our selected verse is sort of unusual for this day. But, no. It is appropriate in many ways that we recall and think about the reason we have this day on our calendar and what we celebrate God becoming fully Man while remaining fully God. It is mind blowing. Let’s take time to contemplate this extraordinary situation.. If the Son of God came to help us stop sinning — to destroy the works of the devil — and if he also came to die so that, when we do sin, there is a propitiation, a removal of God’s wrath, then what does this imply for living our life? For the next three posts, thanks to notes from John Piper’s “Solid Joys”, we will look at three gifts which God in Christ has given us. They are, A Clear Purpose for Living, Hope That Our Failures Will Be Forgiven, and Christ Will Help Us.
21 “The Lord dealt with me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me.”
25 “And the Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
according to my cleanness in his sight.” – 2 Samuel 22:21 & 25 (ESV)
Context is important. Referencing God’s strength and might by saying He is our rock and fortress appears frequently in the Psalms of David and others. But this song was written to remember the deliverance God gave him from all his enemies. It could be that David finished this song near the end of his reign. Once they were at war with the Philistines and not ordinary Philistines in this case. David’s army was up against the giants of Gath – the same tribe which Goliath came from. This occasion there were four giants and one in particular is identified in this way; “And there was again war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on each hand, and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number, and he also was descended from the giants.” (2 Samuel 21:20) With God’s might and provision, David’s nephew, Johnathan defeated this monster. David’s army prevailed. David was not claiming to be righteous or sinless in any absolute sense. Rather, David believed God, and was considered righteous by faith. He desired to please the Lord and obey His commands. Thus he was blameless when compared with his enemies.
“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” – Philippians 1:9-11(NASB)
Paul wrote letters to the churches he helped start and in them he scribed some awesome promised packed prayers. This verse today is one and it is so full we can’t cover it all. But we focus in on the first requests in Paul’s prayer; ‘love may abound,’ ‘in real knowledge,’ and ‘all discernment. The word for ‘knowledge’ describes genuine, full or advanced knowledge. Our practical application of knowledge out of moral and spiritual perceptive is the exercise of discernment. This is our ability in love to distinguish between right and wrong. Paul prayed the Philippians’ love for other believers would abound still more and more and, run over as a cup or a river overflows. The Philippians were already known as a loving assembly of believers and the apostle prays that it would increase. The result would be advanced knowledge and spiritual sensitivity and discernment in their lives. Why does he pray this for the Philippians? So that they would be filled with the fruit of righteousness through Jesus Christ, to His glory and praise of God. Lest we forget, also that we would be able to stand blameless until the Day of Christ.
“To grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before Him all our days.” Luke 1:74-75 (NASB)
The singing at Christmas time reminds us of the great things God has given us through His Son Jesus. This is in line with the songs recorded in our Bible before Jesus was born as well as when He was born. We look today at a song which Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist sang when his son John was born. A few days ago we looked at a portion of Mary’s song, The Magnificat. Today we select a passage from the prophecy by sung by, Zechariah. This, of course was just six months before Jesus was born. Our verses for today remind us about what God was doing in sending His Son to earth. Jesus came to earth to serve God in holiness and righteousness. He came to help us live pleasing to God through all our days. Jesus came to be our Savior to make our lives different so that we will bring glory and honor to God the Father and Jesus our Savior, God the Son. If He is your Savior, my Friend, He will help you live today in a way that pleases God. That is a promise.
“Only in the LORD, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength; to him shall come and be ashamed all who were incensed against him.” Isaiah 45:24 (ESV)
Today’s verse is an example of God giving to His prophet the very words that He wanted written down and delivered to His people. This is why it is correct to call the Bible the Word of God. We know that its teachings come from our creator. Sometimes God gave his prophets the words to say in various methods. One of those methods was to instruct the prophet to copy verbatim His words and deliver them as a message in God’s words. In this instance Isaiah received the Word of God directly from God. God predicted here what people would say about Him. If we are walking close to the Lord in our Christian life we can say what God predicted we would say. Yes, as we walk with the Lord we find that He is the source of our ability to live right. We find His righteousness keeps us in the straight way. It is how we find strengths that we need to do what we’ve been given to do. Walking close to the source of the promised strength, let’s commit to doing that today.