With Justice and With Righteousness

Isaiah 9:2-3 ESV

“The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone.
You have multiplied the nation;
you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
as with joy at the harvest,
as they are glad when they divide the spoil.”

When we come into this world we bear the image of Adam, even though we are created in the image of God. And this is because Adam sinned that we are all born with sin natures. We all come up short of attaining God’s divine approval and of sharing in his holiness and righteousness. We are all separate from God and not one of us has the hope of eternal life with God.

So, we are all people who walk in darkness (in sin and unrighteousness). Our minds are set on the things of the flesh and not on God. We by nature are objects of divine wrath. Not one of us is capable in our own flesh of earning or deserving God’s favor to us because not one of us can ever be good enough. Our good deeds will never outweigh the evil that is within us.

So, God the Father sent his Son (God the Son) to the earth to be born as a baby to a human mother, conceived of the Holy Spirit. So, Jesus Christ was born and he grew up to be a man, and when he walked this earth he was fully God and fully human. And while he lived on the earth he healed the sick and afflicted, raised the dead, delivered people from demons, performed many miracles, fed the hungry, and he comforted the sorrowful.

But Jesus came to the earth not just to perform miracles but to die on a cross for our sins and to bring us salvation from our sin and to give us the hope of eternal life with him. So, he also preached repentance for the forgiveness of sins and for eternal life with God. He confronted sin in sinful humans, and he called them to leave their lives of sin behind them to follow him in obedience to his commands, and many hated him for it, too.

So, one day the religious rulers and teachers of the Scriptures in the Temple of God, who were Jesus’ fiercest opponents, had him hung on a cross as though he was a common criminal, thinking that it would now be the end of Jesus and of this ministry on the earth. But boy were they ever wrong.

For, in Jesus’ death and resurrection he made the way for all of us to be delivered from our slavery to sin and to now become slaves of his righteousness. And he empowers us who believe in him to now live holy and godly lives, pleasing to him, and to take his gospel to the ends of the earth. So, Jesus’ ministry and his messages only have spread even further.

And some people who were once walking (in conduct, in practice) in darkness (sin, wickedness) have seen a great light, the light of Jesus and of his gospel and they have been turned from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God so that they can receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ (see Ac 26:16-18).

Isaiah 9:6-7 ESV

“For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.”

Jesus Christ came into this world for our benefit, that through him we might be delivered from our bondage (slavery, addiction) to sin, that we might now live to him and to his righteousness, that we would now walk in obedience to his commands, and that we would now honor him as Lord of our lives. For all of this is for our good, for this is the only way to true peace with God.

He also came as King, not in a worldly sense, not to have authority over a worldly government, but as King over all creation. He is fully sovereign and absolutely in control over all that he has created, for Jesus is our creator God. It is he who made us, who formed us in the wombs of our mothers. And it is he who gives us spiritual life in him by faith in him.

When we believe in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, we make him Lord (owner-master) of our lives and our lives now belong to him. We are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works which God had prepared in advance that we should walk in them. In other words, our lives are no longer our own to be lived however we want for we were bought back for God with the blood of Jesus so we would now honor him with our lives.

When we believe in Jesus Christ with God-given faith in him, the Holy Spirit of God comes to dwell within us. God is now living within us in a spiritual sense. And now we can hear God speak to us through his Spirit, and through his Spirit he now counsels us in the ways that we should go. For the Spirit teaches us all things pertaining to Jesus Christ.

And because God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – now live within us, we have God not only speaking to us through his Spirit and guiding us every step of the way in the way we should go, but he is within us empowering us to live holy and godly lives, pleasing to him, for we can only live for the Lord and be able to resist the devil and to say “No” to sin and “Yes” to righteousness in the power and wisdom of God working within us.

Now, Jesus didn’t come to this earth just to forgive us our sins and to promise us heaven when we die. He came to transform us and to conform us to his likeness. He died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He is all about righteousness and holiness for no sin ever dwelt within him.

He came as King to rule over our lives not to give us his stamp of approval and then leave us to our own devices. He came to deliver us out of our slavery to sin so we would become slaves of his righteousness. His grace, which brings salvation, instructs (or trains) us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return.

So, don’t ever get this idea that Jesus’ purpose was just to forgive you your sins so you can go to heaven when you die but that he makes no demands on you for repentance, obedience, and submission to him as Lord. He does not take a back seat to anyone. Either he is our Lord (master) or he isn’t. We either serve him with our lives or we don’t. Either we walk according to the Spirit or we walk according to the flesh.

And if we walk according to the flesh in deliberate and habitual sin against God we do not have eternal life with God, but we will die in our sins because we refused to die with Christ to our sins. So, please do not underestimate who Jesus is and what he is about and what he will do if we do not bow to him as Lord and if we do not obey his commands. Instead, submit to him, leave your lives of sin behind you, and follow him wherever he leads you.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10]

Breath Of Heaven (Mary’s Song)

Songwriters: Amy Lee Grant / Chris Eaton

I have traveled many moonless nights
Cold and weary with a babe inside
And I wonder what I’ve done
Holy father you have come
And chosen me now to carry your son

I am waiting in a silent prayer
I am frightened by the load I bear
In a world as cold as stone
Must I walk this path alone?
Be with me now
Be with me now

Breath of heaven
Hold me together
Be forever near me
Breath of heaven
Breath of heaven
Lighten my darkness
Pour over me your holiness
For you are holy
Breath of heaven

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