Spiritual Warfare 6: Weapons Training: Righteousness

This is a continuation of the previous five posts beginning with “Know Your Enemy”.

Eph 6:14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place

The breastplate protects the heart, liver, stomach, and the other vital organs that are necessary for life. The hands and fingers may suffer injury but life could go on. But an attack to the vital organs are lethal. This is the picture that Paul gives to help us understand the need for Righteousness as part of God’s Full Armor in the ongoing spiritual battle.

We are called to obey God’s Word. Jesus’s commission included teaching everyone to obey everything He commanded…

Matt 28:19-20 NIV 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

In Matthew 7, Jesus distinguished between true and false disciples. It doesn’t mean that if someone calls God, “Lord” that this person is saved. Not even those who prophesy, drive out demons, and perform many miracles in God’s name are certified true disciples. God looks at the heart. At the time of judgment, Jesus may tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (v23). And off they go to where there is gnashing of teeth (description of hell).

God’s Word is filled with training in righteousness (2Tim 3:16) and how to walk by the Spirit (Gal 5:16). So it is evident that we are called to righteousness. We are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Phil 2:12).

Apart from Jesus and remaining in Him, we can do nothing.

John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

After we put our faith in Jesus Christ to be our Savior and Lord (salvation), we undergo a process of sanctification (being made holy, according to God’s will for us Rom 8:29) until we get to heaven. In that process which takes time, as we keep morphing to shed off sinfulness and increasingly learn and relearn how to walk in step with the Holy Spirit, there are times when we blow it and sin. As people say, a Christian is not sinless but a Christian will sin less and less and less…

We can appreciate God’s love for us for providing the solution for those times when (not if) we fall short of the calling of righteousness.

Rom 3:22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference. 23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

God seems to tell us, “I know you are a sinner. You fall short of My glory. I am holy, holy, holy; therefore, to Me, even the slightest sin is unacceptable. BUT, if you believe that Jesus died for you for the forgiveness of your sins, and you are putting your faith in Him as your Savior, you are forgiven. His sacrifice was an all-sufficient once for all payment, by His own blood, having obtained eternal redemption (Heb 9:12b) for you, then you are justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law because by observing the law, no one will be justified (Gal 2:16b). When you stand in judgment, if the blood of Jesus Christ covers you (if you have put your faith in Him as your Savior), just like the plague of the firstborn in Egypt in the time of Moses when God’s judgment passed over the homes of His people who had been marked with the specified prescribed blood of a lamb, God’s judgment will also pass over us, because He will no longer judge us by our unrighteousness but by the righteousness of Jesus Christ which we are covered by.”

We are further reassured that yes, God knows we are sinners and in fact calls us liars if we claim to be without sin in 1John 1 vv 8 and 10.

1John 1:8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

But the solution to our sin is in the sandwiched verse 9 that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

When we confess our sins to God, He will blot out these records of wrongs and remove these from us as far as the East is from the West (Ps 103:11-13). That means, He will remove our sins far, far away. Those previously committed sins won’t cross paths with us. We can start afresh. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” (Isa 1:18b)

We should also keep short accounts with God, confessing as often as we are convicted of sin.

Yes we are sinners and yes, we are cleansed and forgiven when we confess our sins and yes we are justified by faith in Jesus Christ and not in observing the law. Does this mean that we can keep sinning? No. God looks at the heart and he can see right through.

Jude has a warning in verse 4 where it says that those who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ are condemned. We can not abuse God’s grace as a license to live a lifestyle of sin. We can mislead and hide from others but to God, everything is known.

1John 3:6 No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen or known him.

A believer may sin but he will not remain in sin or keep a lifestyle of sin. The Holy Spirit will convict us of sin. God looks at our hearts. Sin is an attitude of the heart. When we realize that we have sinned, we should immediately come back to Him and repent of (turn away from) our sin.

1John 1:6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

God knows that Satan will continue to accuse us of our past sins, maybe sound like “Oh stop it. I know what you’ve done. You’re acting like some angel, righteous and holy. You are just a filthy sinner, so quit acting. Just go back to where you came from.” Satan may put these condemning guilt-tripping thoughts in our minds or use people to say them to us. He is The Accuser.

Rev 12:10c For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night has been hurled down.

On the contrary, God will not always accuse…so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the East is from the West, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. (from Ps 103:9-12)

Rev 12:11 says They overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb…

What overcomes the accusations of Satan is the blood of Jesus Christ, the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross.

Rom 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus because through Christ Jesus, the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.

Why do we need to know these things? Imagine we are soldiers in battle and we hear voices (our own or someone else’s) play like a broken record how unworthy we are, how we are never going to be good enough, what failures we are, how we should quit this “playing holy” acting job and just go back to the failures we are because we will never win. This is the expected enemy’s psy-war attempts to defeat us and stop us on our tracks away from the victory God has already won for us.

By knowing who we are in Christ, according to His Word and not how we feel or what someone says, knowing that when we put our faith in Him, that He is our righteousness, and when we rely on His power to cleanse us and enable us to live a righteous life by His Spirit and grace, we can continue on towards victory.

Here is a link to the post: “Remember Who You Are”

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