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Changing what you Believe (5 of 6)

Mike Connell

Christianity is completely different. In Christianity God did the work through Jesus Christ. God said this is good enough for Me, this makes people totally acceptable to Me. There is something Jesus did for us that provides a clothing, a covering for us. In the Bible the Bible uses the word 'righteousness' which refers to this: it means to be declared or to be announced judicially clean, clear, not guilty. It's a pronouncement in the legal system of heaven, not guilty, innocent, there are no charges that stick. Shame will cause the charges, accusations to stick. Righteousness is God's clothing and answer for this issue of shame. I need to know I am a righteous person. Now of course because we don't use the word righteous very much except in church people in the world haven't got a clue what it means really. Righteousness, well a righteous person I suppose is sort of some churchy person I guess. We don't have much concept of it, but the original word meant to be declared or decreed and announced to be innocent and free of all charges. Now if you are innocent and free of all charges you have nothing to be ashamed of. There is no reason for any shame.

Not only are you announced as being free of all charges, you now have privileged access to come in as a child of God into the presence of God. Who am I? Am I sinner? No, I'm a child of God. I'm a child of God. Religion will keep calling you a sinner. Religion will keep focussing on your faults, your failings, it'll make you conceal them, cover them and work trying to get over them, but Christianity, the word of God declares now you can become the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ! Now you can be clothed with all His goodness and free from being ashamed about anything lacking in your life - so God does two things; one, He pronounces those who come to Christ clean, clear, innocent. Now you've got to not just have that as a head knowledge. That has to get into the heart because the problem is most Christians have been around a while or two, they actually believe that scripture. They know [unclear 00.23.19] I'll put it this way - they know that scripture, see? But the problem is believing it.

To believe it I've got to believe it in my heart. It has to get into my heart. It has to get in my heart I am righteous, but I've got these weaknesses and lacks - I am righteous. I am righteous. I actually have to bring my heart into agree with what God says about me in spite of the flaws, the lacks that may still be apparent externally or in my life in some areas. I need to agree with what God says about me - righteousness. Look at this in Romans, Chapter 3. I'll get it down and I'll bring it to where it becomes incredibly practical in just a few minutes. Romans, Chapter 3, we'll pick it up in Verse 21. Now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. There is no difference; for everyone has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, but they are made just freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ, whom God set forth as a mercy seat by His blood through faith.

Notice it's continually through faith; demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness. Now these words are hard to pick up. They're hard to get a handle on, but let me just give it to you in a kind of a really simple way. God has made possible for us to be absolutely declared innocent of all failings, of all mistakes, of everything that we have done. He's made that possible. There are two ways that you can try and get this. One is you work for it, you strive for it, you try hard to be a good person, try hard to run a good life. You try and the works of the Lord - you try to do things to satisfy this thing of righteousness - but there's another way and this is the way that the Bible says we can be made righteous, by faith. I have to put my heart trust, no matter what my mind and feelings are telling me, that what God has said is completely reliable and legally I can come into His presence.