Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Unity Series, Ch. 1: Purity, part 3

Purity is a necessary ingredient for fellowship and unity. There are two causes of purity or, I should say, two biblical expressions of it. They are the words “righteousness” and “holiness.” They are not synonyms, but they have the same character, absolute purity. Righteousness is impurity that has been made clean. Righteousness is imparted to the believer when the believer is forgiven, cleansed from all impurity. Righteousness is the subject in this chapter

This purity is in heaven but is available on earth; in fact it is a requirement to be on earth. It comes from heaven to earth. “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere” (James 3:17).

Zechariah prophesied about the Lord Jesus and his own son John. It is recorded in Luke 1:67-79. In verse 74, Zechariah spoke of the Lord Jesus. “to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days” (Luke 1:74, 75). Jesus is going to enable us to serve Him without fear in holiness and righteousness all our days. That is either true or false. It is a resounding truth.

“The words ‘it was credited to him’ were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death from our sins and was raised to life for our justification. Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 4:23-5:1).

The text uses a form of the word “justify.” That is a synonym for “to make righteous.” In other words, something unjust has been made just. Something unrighteous has been made righteous. This righteousness is from God. “For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.’” (Romans 1:17). We receive this righteousness by faith. The result is that we are made pure in our hearts from our unrighteousness. We are made righteous.

(Taken from Day & Night: Unity Series, 2003)

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