Posts Tagged ‘Righteousness


We Don’t Live That Way Anymore

Every follower of Jesus has a past. We all have a transformation story. We used to live one way, now we’re living differently. This was as true in the first century as it is now. Peter writes:

For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4 They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. – 1 Peter 4:3-4 (NIV)

Notice what he says about persecution. When we live differently and we don’t go along with the crowd, we are abused and persecuted. People who live for Jesus stick out like a sore thumb. We should never look down on others or condemn them. That’s not our job. We need to make sure that we are living righteous lives that please our Heavenly Father instead of sinning with the crowd. We should rejoice when persecuted for great is our reward in Heaven.

Blessed In Spite Of Suffering

We expect to be punished when we do the wrong things. What happens when we are picked on or punished for doing what is right? We feel persecuted and not blessed. Yet Peter says that we are blessed when we suffer for doing the right things. He says:

Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” – 1 Peter 3:13-14 (NIV)

Even if we are threatened by punishment for doing the right things, we should do them anyway. We should always be eager to do good and to do what is right. Regardless of the consequences of doing what is right, we should live lives of character and integrity. God will have the final say and He is the One who will bless us when we do what is right. While we may suffer for a little while on earth, we will be eternally blessed in Heaven.

Those Who Do Evil

Peter quotes Psalm 34:12-16 in chapter 3 of his first letter. He quotes David as he writes:

“Whoever would love life
and see good days
must keep their tongue from evil
and their lips from deceitful speech.
11 They must turn from evil and do good;
    they must seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
    and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” – 1 Peter 3:10-12 (NIV)

Peter has been writing about responding to evil and insults with a blessing. Again, this is a difficult proposition, but we’ve got to remember that there is more than this life for which we are living. Yes, the temptation for revenge is great when we are wronged. But instead of taking matters into our own hands and repaying evil with evil, let’s let God fight our battles and let Him judge those who do evil. Our job is to keep our eyes on Jesus.

No One Else Like Jesus

Jesus suffered and died on the cross. Why? Why would He endure such a thing as the excruciating pain of crucifixion. The word “excruciating” literally means “out of the cross.” It was a word invented to describe the pain of crucifixion. Why would the perfect Son of God willingly go through the cross? Peter writes:

“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 25 For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. – 1 Peter 2:24-25 (NIV)

Through the death and subsequent resurrection of Jesus, we are set free from the power of sin. We are healed by His wounds. We are able to return to a right relationship with God. We no longer live for sin, but we live for Jesus. We find rest and hope and joy and peace through Him. We find our true home in Him. We can live the life we long to live through Jesus. No one else is like Him.

Righteousness And Love

When you become a follower of Jesus, God the Father adopts you into His family of faith. When you are born again, you become a child of God. There are two ways that we change when we become God’s children. John wrote:

No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. 10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister. – 1 John 3:9-10 (NIV)

Righteousness and love are two of the distinguishing characteristics of God’s children. If you are a child of God, your life will be marked by doing the right things and loving people. Think about these things as you move about through your day today.

God’s Children Do What Is Right

Whose image are you reflecting in your life? Are you reflecting God or the evil one? John wrote:

Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8 The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. – 1 John 3:7-8 (NIV)

When we do the right things, our lives are characterized by righteousness and we reflect Jesus for He is righteous. Those whose lives are characterized by sin reflect the devil for the devil does what is sinful. We who follow Jesus have had our many sins forgiven. The Holy Spirit of God helps us to do what is right. If you haven’t trusted Jesus for forgiveness yet, your sins are not forgiven and are not a child of God. What are you waiting for? Trust Jesus for salvation and forgiveness and become a child of God.

Continuing To Sin

To know Jesus is to love Him. To love Him is to obey Him. If we live lives that are characterized by sin and disobedience, do we really know and love Him? John wrote:

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

These sound like scary words, right? I don’t know about you, but I still sin and fall short. So do I not know Him? Am I not living in Him? I believe that the idea that John has in mind here is a life characterized by sin. Is your life more characterized by sin or by repentance and righteousness? Every single one of us has sin in our lives. We’re not perfect and we know it. God does, too. That’s why He sent Jesus. He is the One who can deal with our sin by forgiving it. When we realize what He’s done for us, we will desire to sin less and love Him more.

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