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RIGHTEOUS THE GOSPEL IN TEN WORDS By: Paul Ellis

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1 RIGHTEOUS THE GOSPEL IN TEN WORDS By: Paul Ellis
HOW MANY HERE KNOW THAT THEY ARE RIGHTEOUS? HOW MANY HERE FEEL THAT THEY ARE RIGHTEOUS? Paul Ellis: Several years ago I visited a church to hear a preacher from out of town. The guest preacher opened with a question. ―How many people here know they are righteous? Hundreds of hands went up. Virtually everyone in the room knew that in God‘s eyes they were righteous. The preacher got everyone to put their hands down before following up with another question. ―How many people feel righteous? This time almost no hands went up. I guess what I saw in that meeting is true of Christians every- where. Most have some idea that they have right-standing before God, but in their hearts they don‘t feel it. It‘s not a truth that has sunk in. It just sits there on the surface waiting to be prodded with leading questions like the one asked by the guest preacher. ―Am I righteous? Sure, I guess so. Everyone else has their hand up so I had better raise mine.‖ But deep down they are unsure. They don‘t know exactly where they stand with God. And since they are not resting in his righteousness, they are seeking to establish their own. By that I mean they are constantly trying to do the right thing. They are trying to choose the right course, the right job, the right spouse, and they are trying live right before God. By: Paul Ellis

2 There is nothing wrong with wanting to do the right thing
There is nothing wrong with wanting to do the right thing. The problem is we often don‘t know the right thing to do. ―Should I choose A or B? What does God say? Our sincere desire to do right combined with our inability to tell how things will turn out leaves us feeling apprehensive and insecure. ―Did I make the right choice? And when our best laid plans go awry we become perplexed. ―How did I end up here? Where did I go wrong?

3 Those who don‘t feel righteous feel anxious. They lack real peace
Those who don‘t feel righteous feel anxious. They lack real peace. Of course we don‘t base our faith on our feelings but feelings should follow faith as surely as peace and joy follow righteousness. A lack of peace is a byproduct of having to constantly justify one‘s existence as a Christian. It‘s the result of living with the mentality that says, ―I‘ve got to do my bit. I‘ve got to bear fruit. It‘s expected of me. People who think like this go to church, attend every conference, and read the latest books because they are looking for someone to tell them what to do. ―Have I done enough? Am I good enough?‖ They are on a righteousness-quest. Like the rich young ruler they are asking, ―What good thing must I do to inherit eternal life? Issue: What good thing must I do to inherit eternal life? Is there really I need to do to inherit eternal life? Answer: Nothing. There is nothing you can do to inherit eternal life because it's a free gift from God given to you.

4 Why is good news still news for so many?
Most believers have not heard that the righteousness you and I both need comes to us as a free gift from the Lord. There is simply no way to be righteous other than to receive the gift of his righteousness by faith.

5 God's Grace is a Good news, God's Law is Not
The bad news of the law proves you can never be good enough to impress God on your own merits, but the good news of grace declares that he offers you his righteousness as a free gift, no strings attached.

6 Righteousness is a Gift
It's not something you can earn but it's freely given. Your part is to receive, believe and trust in God that He already made you righteous through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

7 As any child knows, there are only two things you can do with a gift; you can receive it or you can reject it. You can say, ―Thank you Jesus, this is exactly what I need.‖ Or you can say, ―Oh no, Jesus, let me give you an offering instead. Look at all I am doing for you. Are you impressed?‖ Only the first response pleases the Lord.

8 One thing you must never do with a gift, and especially a priceless gift, is insult the giver by trying to pay for it.

9 My friends, how I wish with all my heart that my own people might be saved! How I pray to God for them! I can assure you that they are deeply devoted to God; but their devotion is not based on true knowledge. They have not known the way in which God puts people right with himself, and instead, they have tried to set up their own way; and so they did not submit themselves to God's way of putting people right. For Christ has brought the Law to an end, so that everyone who believes is put right with God. Romans 10:1-4 GNT Romans 10: 1-4 next slide

10 Zeal without knowledge of the gospel is a recipe for self- righteous religion. You may be working a hundred hours a week for Jesus but if you have not submitted to the righteousness revealed in the gospel of his grace, your work is for naught. You‘re stacking firewood and you‘re not saved.

11 Many churchgoers are zealous for God with a zeal based on ignorance and unbelief. They are working like slaves but in God‘s eyes their deeds are incomplete.

12 We Christians do not wake up each morning planning to be self-righteous, but self- righteous is what we are if we trying to impress God with our deeds and our sacrifices. LET’S TAKE FOR INSTANCE THE CASE OF MARTHA.

13 As they continued their travel, Jesus entered a village
As they continued their travel, Jesus entered a village. A woman by the name of Martha welcomed him and made him feel quite at home. She had a sister, Mary, who sat before the Master, hanging on every word he said. But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen. Later, she stepped in, interrupting them. "Master, don't you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? Tell her to lend me a hand." The Master said, "Martha, dear Martha, you're fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it's the main course, and won't be taken from her." Luke 10:38-42 MSG ( GOOD WORKS) There are believers like Martha who see Jesus as tired, needy and helpless. They neglect to see Him as the one who is the only source of strength. As a result, they find no joy in serving Him. They can't give more because they have never received from the source from the start. On the other hand, Mary chose the best part. On the outward, it looks lesser than what Martha did for the Lord. But it is actually what Jesus is expecting not just for Mary but for Martha as well. He came to serve and not to be served. He is not troubled about His need for food that day because He is the One who fed the five thousand! He wanted the sisters to rest at His feet and take from Him. That's the main course for Him and not Martha's all out effort to feed Him.

14 Martha‘s problem was not that she was cooking; it‘s that she wasn‘t eating. The Chef of Heaven had come to visit and all she wanted to do was make sandwiches for him. That‘s not how it works. That‘s back to front. We‘re not saved or made righteous because we bless him but because he has blessed us. The lesser is blessed by the greater. Jesus never condemns Martha, that‘s not his way. But he clearly says her sister Mary made the better choice. Do you see the significance of this? The one who made an impression was the one not trying to impress him. It was not the one who came with the food but the one who came with the appetite. We can get so caught up in serving the Lord that we forget the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve (Matthew 20:28). And the main dish on his menu is a hefty helping of righteousness.

15 That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not be served—and then to give away his life in exchange for the many who are held hostage.” Mathew 20: 28 HEAR NOW THE WORDS OF THE HEAVENLY CHEF – NEXT SLIDE

16 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Matthew 5:6 ―filled: means gorged (fed to the full). Allow Jesus to feed you for He serves a hearty dishes. And you will never hunger again. He is not stingy with grace. When you partake of his righteousness you are filled to the point of satisfaction.

17 He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. John 6:35
When you eat the Bread of Life you get a meal that sustains and nourishes you for eternity.

18 When you have had a hearty meal, the last thing you feel like doing is cooking. You just want to sit and digest and heap praises on the chef. This is a very appropriate response to grace!

19 How can you tell when a Christian has submitted to God‘s righteousness
How can you tell when a Christian has submitted to God‘s righteousness? They have a look of well-fed contentment. They are not sweating in the kitchen making sandwiches for Jesus. Neither are they singing discontented songs of hunger and thirst (―Oh feed me Jesus‖). Instead, they are pointing hungry people to the Bread of Life by proclaiming the gospel of his satisfying righteousness.

20 The importance of doing nothing for Jesus
As far as righteousness is concerned, you really must do nothing. Anything you do to help the Lord in matters of justification will be utterly disastrous. We are justified by faith alone. Paul said his zealous Jewish brothers did not submit to God‘s righteousness but sought to establish their own. The operative word here is ―submit.Think of a swimmer drowning in the ocean. To be saved he must completely submit to the lifeguard who would rescue him. If he panics and tries to save himself, he will only make the lifeguard‘s job more difficult. - NEXT SLIDE

21 Illustration: a swimmer drowning in the ocean must depend and completely submit to his lifeguard in order to be saved. If he Panics and tries to save himself would only make both of their lives in danger and more difficult for the lifeguard to execute his lifesaving techniques. Paul Ellis:This is exactly how it is with us and Jesus. We are saved by trusting in him, and we must do nothing to help. Trying to help only makes things worse and leaves us exhausted. And yet, we try. Ever since Adam took up sewing to hide his sin, it has been the nature of the flesh to take control and try and fix things. I can save myself from drowning. This is why we should thank God for the magnificent law which reveals the hopelessness of our situation. But you‘re in the middle of the ocean! You can‘t swim that far. And then thank him even more for good news of his grace that saves us. Jesus the Savior is here. Stop struggling and submit to his righteousness. THE KEY IS TO SUBMIT

22 illustration School exam
illustration School exam. A student is being evaluated on how much he learned about a certain curriculum by taking a final exam. It's either he pass or fail. If he pass, that means he met the requirements. If he fails, that means his knowledge of and efforts of studying the curriculum isn't enough for him to finish it. NEXT SLIDE

23 Bad news is: as far as righteousness is concerned, our own knowledge and effort won't give us a 100% passing mark. Good news is: There is a gift for you. You don't need to take the exam because there is someone who took it on your behalf, He is Jesus. And guess what? He passed! He is the perfect lamb that was slain so your failures and mistakes will not just be covered but will be remembered no more!

24 For he made him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21, NKJV How many sins did Jesus commit before he was made sin? None. And how many righteous acts did you do before you were made righteous? None. God did it all! The moment you put your faith in Jesus, you were stamped ―righteous for all time and eternity. At one time you were unrighteous, but you were washed, you were sanctified, and you were declared righteous in the name of the Lord.

25 What does it mean to be righteous?
It means you have had a complete renovation, a Holy Spirit renewal, an entire rebuild. You have been straightened out. You are no longer the crooked person you used to be. Whereas in Adam you had bent inclinations that led you towards sin no matter how hard you tried to avoid it, in Christ you are inclined to walk straight and true. You have a Holy Ghost gyroscope inside you that keeps you stabilized and on course. Your desire is to please the Lord. I‘m not saying you are incapable of sinning. It‘s just that sinning no longer appeals. Neither does it satisfy. When you do occasionally sin it bothers you—―I wish I hadn‘t done that—testifying that this sort of behavior is contrary to your new nature. if I‘m so righteous, how come the Holy Spirit keeps convicting me of my sin?‖ Actually, he never does that. That‘s an extra-Biblical myth that needs to be busted. Adam didn‘t need God‘s help in recognizing his sin and neither do we. Any guilt you have over wrongdoing comes from a condemning source and not the one called Comforter.4 There is no condemnation—not now, not ever—to those who are in Christ Jesus. NEXT SLIDE

26 The comforter’s conviction
Jesus said the Holy Spirit would seek to convince us of our righteousness in Christ. When do you most need convincing of your righteousness in Christ? It is when you are feeling unrighteous. It is when you have just sinned. When you sin the Holy Spirit will seek to remind you that you are still righteous because you are in Christ the Righteous One.

27 And when He comes, He will convict and convince the world and bring demonstration to it about sin and about righteousness (uprightness of heart and right standing with God) and about judgment . John 16: 8-10 AMP

28 The Holy Spirit is not closing his eyes to your sin; he is trying to open your eyes to Jesus.
Just as a gyroscope in a plane will always reveal the true horizon, the Holy Spirit will always point you to the Righteous One. He will always encourage you to fix your eyes on Jesus. The church has an unhealthy obsession with sin. We spend our lives watching out for sin, resisting sin, fighting sin, hiding sin, running from sin, owning up to sin, talking about sin, turning from sin, and hopefully, overcoming sin. With so much emphasis on sin, guilt, and shame, is it any wonder so many of us don‘t feel righteous? We need the ministry of the Holy Spirit now more than ever.

29 PEACE ALWAYS FOLLOWS RIGHTEOUSNESS
Do you know why so many believers have no peace in their relationship with God? They would tell you it is because God is angry with them and their sin, but the real reason is they are ignorant of him and his righteousness. In the kingdom, peace always follows righteousness. If you are more conscious of your sin than his righteousness, you will never enjoy peace with God.

30 Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Romans 5: 1 NLT

31 The paralysis of analysis
Another sign that some don‘t appreciate the gift of righteousness is anxiety regarding the Lord‘s will. What should I do? What does God want me to do with my life? God‘s word and the Holy Spirit are declaring together that you are truly righteous. This means your desires are righteous, your dreams are righteous, and your deeds are righteous.

32 God‘s word and the Holy Spirit are declaring together that you are truly righteous. This means your desires are righteous, your dreams are righteous, and your deeds are righteous. Righteous deeds are what righteous people do. I am not saying you are incapable of dumb choices, and there is no such thing as righteous wrongdoing. But when you abandon yourself completely to his love trusting in the gift of his righteousness, your choices will all be good. Since Jesus has already won, in him you cannot lose.

33 And now, children, stay with Christ. Live deeply in Christ
And now, children, stay with Christ. Live deeply in Christ. Then we‘ll be ready for him when he appears, ready to receive him with open arms, with no cause for red-faced guilt or lame excuses when he arrives. Once you‘re convinced that he is right and righteous, you‘ll recognize that all who practice righteousness are God‘s true children. 1 John 2:28–29, The Message We don‘t practice righteousness to become God‘s children; we practice righteousness because we are his children. Like our Father we are bona fide, qualified, righteousness practitioners. You are going to have to trust God that your dreams and desires are righteous. Better still, learn to see the desires of your heart as God-given seeds planted by him.

34 LIVING DEEPLY IN CHRIST
One of the greatest failures of the modern church is that we have defined career success in terms of formal ministry. The message many young people hear is this: If you want to be a Somebody in the kingdom, you have four choices; pastor or deacon, if you work well with others, or missionary or evangelist if you don‘t. Living up to other people‘s expectations or trying to be some- body else is not how you live deeply in Christ. I can also guarantee you that God can think of more than four fulfilling occupations for his children. Since his imagination is unbounded the possibilities are endless. Your prospects are good. It‘s quite possible you were put on this earth to do something that has never been done before.

35 You are a precious and unique member of his body
You are a precious and unique member of his body. There are things that are easy for you that are hard for others. You feel and see things differently from other people. These differences are not accidental. They hint at the flavor or expression of the kingdom that God has given to you alone. They point to your gifts and we need them. The world waits to see Christ revealed in you. There are only two ways we can screw this up; by refusing to participate (God what should I do?) or by reverting back to old habits of Adamic independence (I‘m a self-made man). For some the temptation is to do nothing; for others the temptation is to pull the levers and make things happen. But these are inferior ways to live. You were born for greater things. You have been called to shine like the sun. The God who made you righteous and planted righteous desires within you has set you up for success. He has lined up the resources of heaven in anticipation of blessing all the work of your hands. To reiterate, this is not about divining the Lord‘s will in advance. This is about knowing and trusting the One who made you the way you are, who even now orders your steps and who swells your heart with God-sized dreams.

36 Be convinced of your righteousness, fan the gift of God into flame and go for it. Live deeply in Christ and be the person he made you to be. Your future is bright!

37 The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. Proverbs 4:18

38 CONCLUSION CONCLUSION

39 When you stumble and sin, an old covenant preacher will say, ―Look at what you did!‖ But a new covenant preacher will say, ―Look at what He did! (Pointing to Jesus’ accomplishment on the cross) An old covenant preacher would have you turn from every sin until you‘re a dizzy sinner. But a new covenant preacher will release the grace of God that empowers you to sin no more.

40 Under the old covenant you were righteous because of what you did, but in the new you are righteous because of what he did. You are declared righteous, recreated to be like God in true righteousness. What does God want you to do with the gift of his righteousness? He wants you to receive it, to walk in it, and to rule and reign with him in righteousness.

41 The Good News is not a list of things you must do to inherit eternal life. It is the blessed announcement that the righteousness you need to enter the kingdom of heaven—the righteousness that exceeds that of the Pharisees and law teachers—comes to us as a free gift through faith.


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