Right living doesn’t produce righteousness; rather, it’s our understanding of the fact that we’re God’s righteousness in Christ – that we have all of the combination of the qualities that make God who He is – His DNA running through in us – that produces or stirs up strength in us which empowers us to live right – #ProsperAnangQuotes
God’s Word teaches us that Christ died, but it also teaches us that He was brought back to life by the Father. It was exclusively the Father’s responsibility to bring back Christ to life, and He did just that. Speaking about Jesus’ death and resurrection, Saint Luke told his Jewish audience that: “And you killed the Author of Life, but God brought him back to life again. And John and I are witnesses of this fact, for after you killed him, we saw him alive!” [Acts 3:15, TLB].
Luke tells us further that “Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it” [Acts 2:24, KJV]
The Living Bible rendition of Acts 4:24 make it clearer: “Then God released him from the horrors of death and brought him to life again, for death could not keep this man within its grip”.
Two Important Questions We Need to Answer
- Why Did Christ Die?
- Why Did God Bring Him Back to Life?
I would like to begin by saying that Jesus died for our sins. When Christ was brought back to life [that is, when He resurrected] the purpose was to make available His NEW LIFE [the resurrected life] to all who would believe in His finished work and accept Him as their personal Lord and Saviour. This is very relevant. In order to authenticate this truth, Apostle Paul shares the following thought with us: “2, 3 of course not! Should we keep on sinning when we don’t have to? For sin’s power over us was broken when we became Christians and were baptized to become a part of Jesus Christ; through his death the power of your sinful nature was shattered. 4 Your old sin-loving nature was buried with him by baptism when he died, and when God the Father, with glorious power, brought him back to life again, you were given his wonderful new life to enjoy. 5 For you have become a part of him, and so you died with him, so to speak, when he died; and now you share his new life, and shall rise as he did. 8 Since your sin-loving nature died with Christ, we know that you will share his new life” [Romans 6:2-5, 8, TLB]
This new life brought to us by the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the same life that was imparted in Christ’s dead body, which quickened Him back to life. It’s different from the life that Jesus had before He was crucified. It’s the glorified life of God that was imparted in Him in the tomb.
The Amplified Bible interpretation of Romans 8:11 sheds more light on that: “And if the Spirit of Him Who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, [then] He Who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also restore to life your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies through His Spirit Who dwells in you”.
John the Beloved also attests to this when he says: “Men can only produce human life, but THE HOLY SPIRIT GIVES NEW LIFE FROM HEAVEN [John 3:6, TLB]
The New Life I’m talking about which you receive as a result of being born again, is from heaven and not from this world; and it’s imparted in the born again spirit of the repentant sinner by the Holy Spirit. It’s the supernatural life of God. In his attempt to describe the euphoria that accompanies the new birth, Apostle James quips: “And it was a happy day for him when he gave us our new lives, through the truth of his Word, and we became, as it were, the first children in his new family” [James 1:18, TLB].
Pressing further on this Paul tells the Christians in Rome that: “Your “husband,” your master, used to be the Jewish law; but you “died,” as it were, with Christ on the cross; and since you are “dead,” you are no longer “married to the law,” and it has no more control over you. Then you came back to life again when Christ did, and are a new person. And now you are “married,” so to speak, to the one who rose from the dead, so that you can produce good fruit, that is, good deeds for God” [Romans 7:4, TLB]
Another significant Question: What’s this New Life in Christ?
It’s imperative for me to show you what the Bible refers to as NEW LIFE IN CHRIST. Specifically, I’ve already said that God’s Word teaches us that Christ’s death guaranteed our complete forgiveness of every sin, while His resurrection procured a new life for him, which He’s ready to share with everyone who believes in Him.
The answer to the question “What’s this New Life in Christ?” is found in Romans 4:24-25 [TLB]
24 It was for us, too, assuring us that God will accept us in the same way he accepted Abraham – when we believe the promises of God who brought back Jesus our Lord from the dead.
25 HE DIED FOR OUR SINS and ROSE AGAIN TO MAKE US RIGHT WITH GOD, filling us with God’s goodness
Romans 6:4, TLB, tells us also that “Your old sin-loving nature was buried with him by baptism when he died, and when God the Father, with glorious power brought him [Jesus] back to life again, you were given his wonderful new life to enjoy”
Comparing Romans 4:24-25 and 6:4, results to the simple conclusion that Christ’s death took care of our sins; His resurrection took care of the new life which He shares with anyone who believes in Him. This new life is the life we receive when we get born again. It’s God’s life; it’s God’s righteousness. Take a look at these verses again:
“HE DIED FOR OUR SINS and ROSE AGAIN TO MAKE US RIGHT WITH GOD, filling us with God’s goodness” [Romans 4:25, TLB]
“Your old sin-loving nature was buried with him by baptism when he died, and when God the Father, with glorious power brought him [Jesus] back to life again, you were given his wonderful new life to enjoy” [Romans 6:4, TLB]
You see, dear friend, what the Bible refers to as our righteousness in Christ is basically the impartation of the very life of God into our born again spirit. This is the straightforward reason why you don’t become more righteous as a result of your longevity in the faith; but you can grow in your consciousness of Christ’s righteousness by growing in your knowledge of it. It’s either you have this new life in Christ called righteousness or not. No one has more of it or less of it. To explain this further, I strongly recommend you go through the following scriptures prayerfully, asking the Holy Spirit to enlighten the eyes of your understanding:
John 10:10 [Amplified]
10 The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).
2Corinthians 5:21 [Amplified]
21 For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become [endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness].
Acts 13:38-39 [Amplified]
38 So let it be clearly known to and understood by you, brethren, that through this Man forgiveness and removal of sins is now proclaimed to you;
39 And that through Him everyone who believes [who acknowledges Jesus as his Savior and devotes himself to Him] is absolved (cleared and freed) from every charge from which he could not be justified and freed by the Law of Moses and given RIGHT STAND with God.
This new life is imparted instantly; and that is when a person accepts Jesus into their life as personal Lord and Saviour. Through this new life, which is likened to imputing God’s righteousness in the Old Covenant, the born again believer becomes God’s righteousness in Christ Jesus. This is a supernatural relationship, and its implication is that anytime God looks at the person in question, He sees nothing else but His righteousness; His life, which has been imputed as a result of Christ’s finished work. In his opening letter to the Christians in Ephesus, Paul retorts: “Long ago, even before he made the world, God chose us to be his very own, through what Christ would do for us; he decided then to make us holy in his eyes, without a single fault – we who stand before him covered with his love” [Ephesians 1:4, TLB]
Righteousness is not a state; it’s God’s life in man. You don’t have to strive to become righteous, you simply believe in Christ and His finished work. Also, you don’t grow in it; what I mean is that you don’t become more righteous than another person; you just have it in full when you’re born again, and that’s all. Jesus tells us so in John 10:10 [Amplified] when He says “… I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)”.
We can only grow in our knowledge of it by becoming more conscious of it. Being righteousness conscious is what Jesus meant when He said “But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness His way of doing and being right)…” Matthew 6:33 Amplified.
My dear friend, in case you’re reading this and you’re not yet born again; I want you to know that God loves you in spite of what you’re doing now. He wants to share His New Life with you as He’s already doing with others all over the world. The choice is yours today. It’s very simple to become a part of God’s glorious family of the righteous. Accept Jesus into your life by praying according to 1 John 1:9.