3. Teaching about Righteousness.

Let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of :-
1. Repentance …
2. Faith in God
3. Baptisms
4. Laying on of hands
5. Resurrection of the dead
6. Eternal judgement
And God permitting, we will do so.’
( Hb 6 : 1 – 3 )
Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about :-
7. Righteousness.
But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish between good and evil.’
(Hb 5:13-14)

👉🏻 So what is this teaching about righteousness ?
For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last …’ ( Ro 1 : 17 )
This righteousness from God, comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.’ ( Ro 3 : 22 )
Having believed in Jesus, we have been credited with his righteousness, just as ‘Abram believed the LORD and it was credited to him as righteousness.’ ( Gen 15 : 6 )
Since we have been declared righteous by faith, God requires that we work out this righteousness in all aspects of our life.

👉🏻 What then were the works that God required from Abraham, after he was declared righteous?
For I have chosen him so that he will direct his children and his household to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is ‘right and just’, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.” ( Gen 18 : 19 )
Likewise, it is required of us, who have been justified by faith, to do what is ‘right and just’; to do for others what God did for us.
Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you? In anger, his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured … This is then how my heavenly father will treat each one of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.” ( Mt 18 : 33-35 )
In this parable of the unmerciful servant, Jesus exposed the double standards among believers who have not been acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.’ Forgiving others who have wronged us is not a matter of our choice but a command !
Forgive as the Lord forgave you.’ ( Col 3 : 13, Eph 4 : 32 ) The impetus is therefore on the believer to forgive .

👉🏻 However the matter doesn’t end there because there are two ways to it ! Just as we forgave others who wronged us, we ought to be forgiven by those whom we might have wronged. Again the impetus is on the believer to reconcile; to return what might have been stolen or to make restitution if someone might have been cheated.
Zacchaeus stood up and said … Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Jesus said to him, “Today Salvation has come to this house …” because Zacchaeus proved his faith by works. (Lk 19 : 8 – 9 )
Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. ( James 2 : 17 )
So did Jacob prove his faith when he reconciled with his brother Esau and made restitution. In fact the restitution paved way for the reconciliation ! Many believers would forgive the wrongs of others but would not seek forgiveness for their own wrongs because their ego forbids it. They would rather give to charity than make a restitution, thinking that would suffice. But Zacchaeus did both!
“I have NOT found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore what you have received and heard; obey it and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief and you will not know what time I come to you.” ( Rev 3 : 2 – 3 ) Amen.

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