Righteousness, Holiness and Freedom from Sin

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. (Matthew 5:6)

I am beginning to see more and more that the Lord is always taking us through situations to help us become more dependent upon Him, to trust Him more, He is ever increasing our faith. This is what He did with all of the Bible characters for our examples. The reason for this process is to eliminate pride and increase humility. Pride is depending upon yourself and giving yourself credit; humility is depending upon God and giving God the credit. (1 Peter 5:5-7 NKJV) … “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” {6} Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, {7} casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

When we first came to Jesus for salvation from our sins and to be adopted as children of God, we came humbly, as little children, saying to our Lord have mercy on me a sinner. In our humble state we received the grace of God in our lives, and experienced our first love. (Matthew 18:2-4 NKJV) Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, {3} and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. {4} “Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Why did Jesus say that whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? Because there is no other way to enter the kingdom, and no other way to live in righteousness and holiness in the kingdom. Just as we are saved by God’s grace, His mercy and compassion, we are also kept by God’s grace, mercy, and compassion. The truth is God’s grace was at work in us and for us before we ever came to Christ. (Ephesians 1:2-6 NIV) Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. {3} Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. {4} For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love {5} he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will– {6} to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

Many people come to the Lord humbly for salvation but then something happens that causes them to begin to depend upon themselves to maintain righteousness and holiness. Sometimes this comes from bad teaching which has come down from generations but is not biblical. I am beginning to believe that the teaching of a person’s “free will” is false doctrine; although we do have choice our decisions are never free from influence. In order to come up with the free will doctrine many scriptures have to be ignored, and they have been, up until now, but they are now revealed unto us, “The Generation of the Upright”. We are going to walk in righteousness and holiness before our God it is our destiny it is our hour. By the teaching of free will we are taught dependence upon our selves to make the right decisions. Anything that causes us to become dependent upon our self and not totally dependent upon God is pride in disguise.

Let me just say here that anyone who is alive now is a part of this generation and this message is for you. But my heart goes out to the many young people who have written in to the ministry to say, “Pray for me, I became a Christian but now I am struggling with this sin or that sin in my life and I don’t want to do it.” One 15 year old boy said please pray for me Satan tempts me every hour of every day. The key is when they always say “I am struggling“. They are struggling because “they are struggling”, they have bought into a false doctrine that has made them try to become holy and righteous by their own will power. They did not know that the battle is the Lord’s, until now. This is also a good sign because it shows that young people all over the world are now hungering and thirsting for righteousness, they shall be filled and even now are being filled. PRAISE BE TO GOD FOR HIS SOVEREIGN MOVE OF HIS HOLY SPIRIT UPON THIS GENERATION. Not because of us, but because of His mercy. (Psalms 100:5 NKJV) For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.

The Bible teaches that we are slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness. (Romans 6:18 NKJV) And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. (Romans 6:22 NIV) But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.

True freedom is given to us by Jesus Christ, who sets us free. (John 8:34-36 NKJV) Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. {35} “And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. {36} “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. Jesus gives us freedom and we maintain freedom through the presence of the Holy Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:16-18 NKJV) Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. {17} Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. {18} But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. So even if there is such a thing as free will we are totally dependent upon God to give us the freedom, which brings us back to His mercy again.

There is something more important than our will and that is God’s mercy. (Romans 9:15-16 NKJV) For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” {16} So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. The NIV says it like this (Romans 9:16 NIV) It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. God’s mercy is the key not our free will, because we don’t have free will without God’s mercy.

When a person is bound to sin it is a setup by God so that He can have mercy on the person and set them free. (Romans 11:32 NIV) For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all. So the Lord is waiting for the person to come to the end of himself, the end of all his effort and striving. Then when He turns to the Lord as his humble child and says God I can’t do it please have mercy on me, the Lord does. It is in our weakness that God’s grace comes in. (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV) But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

God is Love. The first description that God gave of His character was to Moses. (Exodus 34:6 NIV) And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. In the original Hebrew the first word about His character means “Full of Compassion”, merciful. So the kind of love that God is, is what we call compassion. It is the kind of love that God gives parents for their children. Compassion demands action, compassion needs to nurture, to help, to rescue, to protect, to provide for, to give, to show mercy, to comfort, and many other things. These are things that God needs to do, things He longs to do. This is why He has placed us in a world where we desperately need Him to provide these things for us, to us, and in us. If we try to become righteous and holy any other way then we are robing God of being able to show us His mercy.

A prophecy given by Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, about Jesus said that Jesus was coming to rescue us and to enable us to serve God in holiness and righteousness all our days. (Luke 1:67-75 NIV) His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied: {68} “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people. {69} He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David {70} (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), {71} salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us– {72} to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant, {73} the oath he swore to our father Abraham: {74} to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear {75} in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.

Whoever humbles himself as a little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. We are to come as a little humble child that asks a parent for a glass of water because we can’t reach the glass or the water. In the same way we hunger and thirst for righteousness, and then trust and depend upon God to give it by His mercy and compassion for us. (1 Corinthians 1:25-31 NKJV) Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. {26} For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. {27} But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; {28} and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, {29} that no flesh should glory in His presence. {30} But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God; and righteousness and sanctification and redemption; {31} that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.”

When we are taught that “Well God gives us a free will, its our choice, our decision”, then we can glory in our decisions and are “spiritually correct choices”, instead of giving God glory for His mercy. Pride is depending upon yourself and giving yourself credit; humility is depending upon God and giving God the credit. There are Muslims that are having visions of Jesus right now, where He is appearing to them to bring them into the revelation of who He is for their salvation by grace. Is that God’s mercy or their decisions at work? If you have a child that seems to be separated from the Lord right now isn’t it good to know that the Lord may cause some situations that have a little interference in that child’s will to bring Him into the Kingdom. If you look outside and see a tornado coming from the horizon it will probably have an affect on your spiritual will. The Lord causes situations that affect our will and bring about His will. Sometimes I think that tornado’s are the reason that the Bible belt is the Bible belt.

(Romans 9:15-24 NKJV) For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” {16} So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. {17} For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” {18} Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. {19} You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” {20} But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” {21} Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? {22} What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, {23} and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, {24} even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

Some people that just read the scriptures above are thinking, “Oh no what if I am a vessel created for wrath”, you are not, or else you would not care. The fact that you are reading this and you want God’s righteousness and holiness, proves that you are a vessel created for His mercy. The vessels of wrath don’t care. Deep in your heart you hear the call of God, that means He has prepared you in advance for glory, it is your destiny, rest in the Lord your righteousness. There may be just a gleam of righteousness in you right now and it may be dim but it is increasing and will become as bright as the sun because of God’s mercy at work in you. (Proverbs 4:18 NLT) The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.

I began to come into the revelation that the free will doctrine is not helping people be righteous, but it is causing people to fail, and it is causing others to be judgmental, after all “they have a free will so it is their fault, their choice”. These people fail to realize that a person is bound by sin so that God can have mercy upon them. The people that recognize that a person’s failure is an opportunity for God’s mercy, have mercy. The Lord uses such people as vessels of His mercy, ambassadors of Love, that bring the good news of the Gospel to hurting people. (Daniel 12:3 NIV) Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.

When I first began to see that the free will doctrine is not so good, I said in my heart, “Lord there are some scriptures that seem to say it is by our effort like in having done all, stand.” (Ephesians 6:13 NKJV) Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Immediately I heard the Lord say in my spirit, “When I command you to stand I am not saying gather up all of your strength and stand by your own power, I am commanding you to stand with my power the same as when I told the lame to rise up and walk. They did not have a choice, the power of God lifted them right off the ground and stood them on their feet.” Also notice that when we put on the armor of God, we are putting on God’s armor not our own.

(Luke 5:22-26 NIV) Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? {23} Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? {24} But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. . . .” He said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” {25} Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. {26} Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.” By grace we are saved, by grace we stand, and by grace we walk in the power of the Holy Spirit.

When Jesus commanded Lazarus to come forth, Lazarus did not have a choice. (John 11:43-44 NKJV) Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” {44} And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”

So when the Lord says to you, “Be holy for I am Holy, you don’t have a choice it is your destiny, rest in it. (1 Peter 1:13-16 NIV) Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. {14} As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. {15} But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; {16} for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” This seems like a free will choice doctrine verse until you notice the part that says “set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed”. Once again our only hope, and our total hope, is in the grace that is to be given us when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Still wondering about free will I thought there is that verse about if you are willing and obedient. (Isaiah 1:18-19 NKJV) “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool. {19} If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land; So I looked up the word willing it is the Hebrew word ‘abah, aw-baw’; a prim. root; to breathe after, i.e. (fig.) to be acquiescent:–consent, rest content, will, be willing. So the word willing contains the meaning to rest content in Jesus, His salvation, and His work in our life. This is consistent with the message throughout the Bible about resting in God’s grace. (Isaiah 30:15 NKJV) For thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”

There is tremendous peace and rest in knowing that it is not up to us but by God’s grace only. Not anything we do, but only by God’s mercy. (Ephesians 2:4-10 NKJV) But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, {5} even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), {6} and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, {7} that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. {8} For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, {9} not of works, lest anyone should boast. {10} For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

(Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV) Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; {6} In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. The word trust here also contains the meaning of taking refuge, and even complacency. The kind of trust you can rest in, the way a child will rest in the arms of a parent. Here is a quote from the Believers Study Bible about this verse:

These verses express a firm admonition (v. 5) and gracious assurance (v. 6). Throughout Proverbs one sees the reward of trusting in (lit. “clinging to,” with the idea of setting one’s hope and confidence upon) the Lord as opposed to the futility of resting in one’s own wisdom and seeking one’s own way. God designed His creation to have a dependency upon Him. Even the ordinary decisions of a day need the counsel of God, who instructs His creation to consult Him about even the most minute details, whether in the spiritual or secular realm. God promises to communicate in return. The Fall itself was precipitated when man sought to live independently of God, and this human independence continues at the heart of sinful rebellion today. End of quote.

Jesus came to have mercy upon sinners, not to call the self-righteous people, but the people that recognize their own weakness and dependence upon His mercy. (Matthew 9:12-13 NIV) On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. {13} But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” The fact that a person recognizes their need for God’s righteousness means that the Lord is already at work in the person’s life.

(Hosea 10:12 NKJV) Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the LORD, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you. We reap a harvest of righteousness because of God’s mercy. Soften the soil of your heart and let pride be replaced by humility so that you can receive from the Lord, For it is time to seek the LORD, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.

(Titus 3:4-7 NKJV) But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, {5} not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, {6} whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, {7} that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

The conclusion of the matter is that if you are struggling with sin, it is because you are the one struggling. (Romans 11:32 NIV) For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all. You are bound to that sin so the Lord can have mercy upon you. Come to the Lord in all humility as a helpless child and receive mercy, grace, and help. (Hebrews 4:15-16 NKJV) For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. {16} Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. The Lord is waiting for you at the throne.

David recognized His need for God’s mercy and that the Lord was His righteousness. (Psalms 4:1 NKJV) Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; Have mercy on me, and hear my prayer. (Psalms 6:2 NKJV) Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am weak; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are troubled. (Psalms 30:10 NKJV) Hear, O LORD, and have mercy on me; LORD, be my helper!”

(2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV) And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

(Ephesians 6:10 NKJV) Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Remember it is His strength, His power, and His might. (Proverbs 21:21 NKJV) He who follows righteousness and mercy Finds life, righteousness and honor.

We are the generation of the upright, vessels of mercy, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do, it is our destiny. (Psalms 112 NIV) Praise the LORD. Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who finds great delight in his commands. {2} His children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. {3} Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. {4} Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man. {5} Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice. {6} Surely he will never be shaken; a righteous man will be remembered forever. {7} He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD. {8} His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes. {9} He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor, his righteousness endures forever; his horn will be lifted high in honor. {10} The wicked man will see and be vexed, he will gnash his teeth and waste away; the longings of the wicked will come to nothing.


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