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“Now this is His name by which He will be called; THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” (Jeremiah 23:6)

The political author, Joel Rosenberg, said on his blog on August 27, 2015, the following: "From mass shooters… to the genocidal acts of the Islamic State… to the unchallenged rise of a nuclear Iran… to the Planned Parenthood videos about the selling of baby hearts and lungs and livers over a salad and Chardonnay… to corrupt governments and corrupt leaders… to rampant marital unfaithfulness… to an epidemic of suicide and drug use… to the persecution and slavery of people all over the world… to so many other horrifying acts, it is easy these days to feel deeply discouraged and even depressed." Rosenberg could have added the following: from the war on police, which has resulted in the murder of many policemen… to the half-truths, untruths, and outright lies of government officials all over the country… to the shameful refusal of some government officials to enforce the current laws regarding immigration, internal revenue laws, and even government requirements to disclose all documents and emails to the government agency involved. These and many other acts of wrongdoing seem to suggest that mankind is depraved and that "every man does that which seems right in his own eyes".

    Rosenberg's blog was reporting from Central Israel that "the world is dark and getting darker". He was writing "… From my recent survey of the Book of Jeremiah." However, many in the media are constantly calling for investigations, consultations, and practices that will put an end to whatever particular event they happen to be addressing at that time, "so that it never happens again". They make an outright attempt to "treat the disease without identifying the cause".

    Of course, many simply do not believe that the Bible is the most relevant and up-to-date book in the world today. They do not believe the Bible has anything to do with all of these events that are occurring. But it does! It has everything to do with the events and circumstances that are occurring daily and it gives us real answers.

    When the Lord our God placed Adam and Eve in the garden, He told them "of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not, for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die." (Genesis 2:16b and 17) The attack of the serpent recorded in Genesis Chapter 3 which culminated with the serpent saying to the woman, Eve, "Has God indeed said, ‘you shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?"  And then the serpent said to the woman, "You shall not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (Genesis 3:1ff) This same attack is still going on today. Yet, there is a wide spread failure to recognize the truth of God's Word. Paul wrote to the Church at Rome and told them that both Jews and Gentiles are all under sin. This is found in the third Chapter of Paul's letter to the Church at Rome where he says, "It is written: there is none righteous, no, not one;" (Romans 3:10) God's Word continues the point that "there is none righteous" when Paul states in the 23rd verse of the third Chapter of Romans, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Indeed, it appears that what we are seeing in our day and time is what is prophesied in the first Chapter of the Book of Romans verses 18 through 21. God's Word states the following:

    "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because although they knew God they did not glorify him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” (Romans 1:18-21)

 

SIN IS THE PROBLEM

    Scripture tells us clearly in the 15th Chapter of First Corinthians that Adam did eat of the fruit and thus all died. God's Word is Truth. Scripture also tells us that the Lord God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and He changes not. We see in the 59th Chapter of Isaiah that God's "ear is not heavy that he cannot hear and his arm is not shortened that he cannot save". We are told that our sins have separated us from our God! This is the problem that is going on in America and all over the world. It cannot be solved by psychoanalysis, by committees, or by a multitude of investigations. What is needed is for God's people, “which are called by My name to humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways”; for the Lord God has promised, “then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."(2 Chronicles 7:14)

    The prophet Jeremiah wrote the words that are set out in the title of this devotional above. That title is actually the name of the Lord God. THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. Jehovah TSIDKENU. We see the fulfillment of that prophecy in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are told in 2 Corinthians Chapter 5 that "he who knew no sin became sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5:21) If we truly desire to turn this nation around, God's people who are called by His name must humble themselves and pray and seek his face and turn from their wicked ways. Pastors who have been placed in positions of authority to shepherd the flock of God must begin to "earnestly contend for the faith" and to do the work of The Great Shepherd. God's people must "live as becomes the Gospel of Christ". We can no longer support those who are godless and unrighteous who suppress the truth in unrighteousness whether in government or in other positions of authority over us. We cannot allow the ungodly and unrighteous to make laws that are ungodly and unrighteous. We have got to be willing to say as Martin Luther said, "Here I stand! I can do naught else! God help me, Amen!" We must do it and not count on someone else to do it. We must pray and proclaim the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ and preach God's Holy Truth. Only those of us who know the truth can preach the truth!

    What follows is a brief look, first at the proclamation of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ, second, at some powerful prayer principles all prepared by Joy Dawson and copyrighted in 1983 from Youth With A Mission, and third, at the need to live as becomes the Gospel of Christ; to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

I.    THE GLORIOUS GOSPEL OF CHRIST

a.    Man’s Natural State

In the beginning, God told Adam and Eve that if they ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they would die. When they did eat, they did die spiritually. Not only did they die spiritually, but all of their descendants come into the world spiritually dead. Not only did Adam and Eve die spiritually, and all of their descendants died with them, but the Lord God told the serpent that “…. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel." This statement which appears in the 3rd Chapter of Genesis in the 15th verse is generally acknowledged to be the promise of the coming Messiah. The Apostle Paul says:

“For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the first fruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at his coming. Then comes the end, when he delivers the Kingdom to God the Father, when he puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign till He has put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death." (1 Corinthians 15:21–26)

So, man is dead spiritually.

Man’s Hope

Since by Adam, all died, because the sin of Adam is imputed to all men, in Christ all shall be made alive. The righteousness of God is imputed to all those who hear the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ and surrender their will to the Lord's will in true repentance and place their trust in Jesus alone for their salvation. The Apostle Paul reiterates this same principle beginning with the 14th verse of the 5th Chapter of 2 Corinthians where he says the following: “For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again…”. He concludes in the 20th and 21st verses of the 5th Chapter by saying, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." Christ is our righteousness! His righteousness is imputed to us. His name is called the Lord our righteousness! So, man’s hope is Jesus Christ and His righteousness.

JESUS OUR SUBSTITUTE

This great doctrine of substitutionary atonement, is not accepted by all, however, it is nevertheless true. It is established by scripture and repeated many times. For Christ came “to seek and to save that which was lost, and to give His life a ransom for many. His Word is true and righteous altogether. Jesus declares that He is truth itself. So He Himself bore our sin in His body on the cross that we might be dead to sin and alive unto righteousness and with his stripes we are healed. Here is the way the Reverend Charles Haddon Spurgeon expounded this great doctrine of “the Lord our righteousness" from Jeremiah 23 verse 6 on the morning of June 2, 1861:

“Man by the fall sustained an infinite loss in the matter of righteousness. He suffered the loss of a righteous nature, and then a twofold loss of legal righteousness in the sight of God. Man sinned; he was therefore no longer innocent of transgression. Man did not keep the command; he therefore was guilty of the sin of omission. In that which he committed, and in that which he omitted, his original character for uprightness was completely wrecked. Jesus Christ came to undo the mischief of the fall for his people. So far as their sin concerned their breach of the command, that He has removed by his precious blood. His agony and bloody sweat have for ever taken away the consequences of sin from believers, seeing Christ did by His one sacrifice bear the penalty of that sin in His flesh. He, His own self, bare our sins in His own body on the tree. Still it is not enough for a man to be pardoned. He of course is then in the eye of God without sin. But it was required of man that he should actually keep the command. It was not enough that he did not break it, or that he is regarded through the blood as though he did not break it. He must keep it, he must continue in all things that are written in the book of the law to do them. How is this necessity supplied? Man must have a righteousness, or God cannot accept him. Man must have a perfect obedience, or else God cannot reward him.… We must believe, then - for there is no other alternative - that the righteousness in which we must be clothed, and through which we must be accepted, and by which we are made meet to inherit eternal life, can be no other than the work of Jesus Christ. We, therefore, assert, believing that Scripture fully warrants us, that the life of Christ constitutes the righteousness in which His people are to be clothed. His death washed away their sins, His life covered them from head to foot; His death was the sacrifice to God, His life was the gift to man, by which man satisfies the demands of the law. Herein the law is honored and the soul is accepted.… He completed the work of obedience in his life, and said to his Father, ‘I have finished the work which thou gave Me to do’. Then he completed the work of atonement in his death, and knowing that all things were accomplished, he cried, ‘It is finished’."

This great principle of the substitutionary atonement of Jesus our righteousness, who died on the Cross for His people, is described in the first Chapter of First Corinthians verse 18, “For the message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.… Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews require a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God." (1 Corinthians 1:18-24 selected verses)

Thus, God's Word reveals to us that the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ is God's power unto salvation to everyone that believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. He is our righteousness and that is His name – the Lord our righteousness. It is the righteousness which God supplies to us as a sheer gift by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and by repentance unto life. It is the righteousness that is necessary to avoid the wrath of God which is coming on all the earth. Are you ready? Is Jesus your righteousness? Come unto Him that you might have life.

 

II.    THE NEED FOR PRAYER

As we see the exponential escalation of ungodliness and unrighteousness among those who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, many of whom are in positions of authority in our nation, prayer from God's people is an absolute necessity.

Please pray that the great and mighty God, the God who created the heavens and the earth and all that is therein, the one true God who is the Lord our righteousness, who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we can even ask or think, would intervene in our nation and remove the ungodly and unrighteous who suppress the truth in unrighteousness; particularly those who are in positions of authority over us, including the President of the United States, the Justices on the United States Supreme Court, the judges in other courts across the land, and Senators, Congressmen, and Governors.

 

CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW

    I challenge you, as I also challenge myself and my own family, to study God's Word diligently to, “show ourselves approved unto God, workmen that need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” to determine how then we shall live. The Lord Jesus came to purify for himself a peculiar people zealous of good works. Some people may not like to be called peculiar. But are you one of the Lord's peculiar people? Are you zealous of good works? We are called to pursue holiness. In fact, in Paul's letter to the Church at Ephesus, he says in the first chapter, “blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus that we should be holy and without blame before him." We are called to be holy and we are also called to “live as becomes the gospel of Christ”. That, of course, necessitates studying God's Word so that we know how to live as becomes the Gospel of Christ. It calls for putting on the “whole armor of God that we would be able to stand against the wiles of the devil”. It calls for us to “put off the old man and put on the new”. We are opposed at every turn by the enemy. We don't wrestle against flesh and blood but against “principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age and against spiritual wickedness in high places”. We are called to “love not the world neither the things of the world". How are you doing in that regard? Just a few of the things of the world that tend to get in our way involve sports of all kinds; seeking pleasure rather than God; food; fixations on sex; obsession with education, hobbies, and athletic prowess; wealth and the pursuit thereof; and, in general, just stuff. We seem to be constantly obsessed with the “stuff mart”.

We are told in scripture in the little book of Colossians Chapter 3, “if you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of the Father,” and, “set your affection on things above and not on the things of the world”. Examine yourself as to how you are doing in these areas. Ask your spouse how you're doing in these areas. Seek to live as becomes the Gospel of Christ. Remember that “the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever!"

These are desperate, perilous times! There are many false teachers and false prophets who are seeking to deceive each of us. The world, the flesh, and the devil are all our enemies. But take heart: The Lord our righteousness is our salvation! Put off the old man and put on the new and seek The Lord.

 

CONCLUSION

Now unto him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty and dominion and power both now and forever more. Amen!

 

Your friend and brother in Christ:

Bill Gray

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