Put God first (part 3)

The third important aspect of putting God first is to seek first God’s righteousness.

But how do we seek first God`s righteousness and not confusing it with man`s own righteousness and the righteousness which is in accordance to the law? It is stated quite distinctly that; “Since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and godly fear, for our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:28).
Our worship and appearance before God is to express our gratitude and thanksgiving to Him for His manifold graces, and it must be done in a way that is acceptable to Him with reverence and godly fear, which is made possible only because of His righteousness.

It is without any doubt that, God will under no circumstances coexist with sin, He is light and in Him there is no darkness at all. Therefore, if we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. Sin alienates man from God, for according to the prophet Isaiah “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear, but your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:1-2).

Now in the same token, if we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives.

So then, how can sinful man have fellowship with the Father? For anyone to have any kind of fellowship with the Father he/she must first be reconciled with Him; and what reconciles us with the Father and grants us the boldness and confidence to present ourselves before God and worship Him acceptably with reverence is the offering of the crucified body of Christ. For it is written; “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior; but now He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation” (Colossians 1:21-22).

The apostle Paul further endorsed this concept by saying; “Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, His body, and since we have a great High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water (Hebrews 10:19-22).

It is therefore imperative that we seek first the righteousness of God even before we can present ourselves before Him, and furthermore, practicing His righteousness is what distinguishes the children of God from the children of the devil; for thus it is written: “This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother” (1 John 3:10).

Because of the importance and seriousness of this calling to seek first the righteousness of God, it is imperative that we establish and prove without a shadow of doubt, what is this act of righteousness we should first seek, and when practice, differentiates the children of God from the children of the devil.

We can say with Certainty that, it can not be our own righteousness; because it is clearly stated that, “We are all like an unclean thing and all our righteousness are like filthy rags. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” We are all under the power of sin as it is written; “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands, no one seeks for God, all have turned aside, together they have gone wrong; no one does good, not even one” (Isaiah 64:6; Romans 3:10-12).

Neither can it be the righteousness from keeping the law, because it is again stated quite clearly that; “Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith, but as it were based on works. They stumble over the stumbling stone.” It is well understood that, “No one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by observing the law; rather, through the law one becomes conscious of sin” (Romans 9:31-32; Romans 3:20).

What therefore is the act of righteousness one should seek first, and when practice differentiates God’s children from the children of the devil?
The righteousness which one has to seek first, and when practice differentiates the children of God from the children of the devil, is having faith in the act of righteousness by which man was imputed with righteousness. And since faith without works is dead, it means demonstrating this faith by whatever symbol that proclaims, represents, and demonstrates this act of righteousness.

It is stated that, “As the result of one man’s act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man (Adam) the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the One Man (Jesus Christ) the many will be made righteous” (Romans 5:18-19).
This act of righteousness which imputed righteousness and brought life to all men, is the offering of the body of Jesus Christ which He offered to the Father as a sweet smelling aroma, and which satisfies His will, it is the bread of life that is our righteousness, the bread which both came and comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. It is the sign which identified Jesus Christ after his resurrection.

It is stated that after Jesus Christ resurrected from the dead, He met two of His followers walking going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that happened concerning Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ joined them and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing Him. They explained to Him all what transpired during the three days since Jesus Christ was crucified and how some women amazed them, when they went to the tomb early in the morning but did not find His body.
Then Jesus said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter His glory? And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He explained to them what was said in the scriptures concerning Himself” (Luke 24:25-27).

With all that being said they still did not recognize Him. It is only when He sat at table with them, took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them that their eyes were opened and they recognized Him, and He disappeared from their sight. “Then the two got up and returned at once to Jerusalem, there they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when He broke bread” (Luke 24: 35).
To be continued.
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