The Imparted Righteousness of Christ. 11/08/2014 (Evening thought)

Philippians 3:8 ... "I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.

The imparted righteousness of Christ is that which is bestowed in our our hearts from day to day as we behold Him in the scriptures, and as the Holy Spirit renews our minds after His image and glorious character. The plan of salvation originated with God and is complete in its efficacy to bring about the necessary changes to our hearts so that we may be prepared to hold open communion with God. While it does not make provision for cherished sin, it does give the sinner assurance of salvation at every level of development, once we abide in Christ. However the mantle of Christ's righteousness should not be viewed as a cloak to cover sin, because this view negates the very effect which God purposes to accomplish in us.

As we study Christ's character in is interactions with the human family, and as we observe the practical application of the law of God as manifested in His life and ministry, an ardent desire is born within us to be like Him, but in and of ourselves we can do nothing to bring about the change we so desire. Here is where The Holy Spirit goes to work in our lives, doing for us what we can never do for ourselves, by changing our characters through our choice and cooperation with God in this delicate work. This includes writing the principles and laws of God's kingdom upon our hearts and empowering us to put them into practice on a consistent basis, until righteousness becomes natural to us, without even a second thought. Let's read:

Hebrews 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: 11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

There is a form of Christianity that has become very popular with the masses, which is satisfied only with the initial stage of justification, but does not move on to sanctification, in which the righteousness of Christ is imparted to us on a daily basis. And because of this, growth in the Christian life becomes stagnant, not producing any fruit to God's glory. This brand of Christianity calls for no self-denial or self sacrifice, but rather places all the self -abnegation upon the shoulders of Christ while we live a carefree, self centered life. This is not what Christ meant when He said "Follow me" and if it isn't given up, it will nullify all the good that God intended to do in us, and we will lose our hold on eternal life.

We therefore end with a passage of scripture which demonstrates how the imparted righteousness of Christ is to be manifested in the Christian, bringing our lives into harmony with the perfect character of The God whom we serve. Let's read:

2nd Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

May God add His blessing to the study and practice of His word. "Good night" and God bless!