Cope: Embrace Holiness - Righteousness

John 16:1-11 (NLT)

There is no one righteous, not even one. With a mere casual glance, this can be interpreted as a guarantee of eternal life outside the presence of God. How in the world are we supposed to cope if we’re not righteous and we have no one to whom we can turn who is? This can conjure up feelings from discouragement to despair. The solution to discouragement, especially in times of trial, is found in trusting that Jesus is righteous and we can therefore believe every thing He says and in every promise He makes.

Here, we have the ultimate companion to Jesus’ promise of salvation; His promise of sending the Holy Spirit to dwell in us. Once we receive the gift of salvation by accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, Jesus immediately fulfills His promise. It is now the Holy Spirit who makes righteousness available to us. Think of it. People like you and me have righteousness available to us!

And, through it all, God is a gentleman. He doesn’t force anything on us. Like free donut day at Hurts, the offer is real and the donut is available. But the donut is by no means mandatory. To receive it, we have to want it enough to pursue it; we have to go from where we are now and move to the right place. Still, even though we know we need true righteousness in order to stand before a perfect God, we may not want it. We may still be captivated (held captive) in the sparkle of the world’s false and “dumbed-down” definitions of righteousness. In his message on Sunday, Bart’s illustration of wearing a blindfold was humorous. But what if we shut our eyes to all the sparkle and fluff the enemy uses to catch our eye in this world? It would certainly be easier for us to trust in the only One who sees perfectly. The One who isn’t searching for righteousness. The One who is righteous. And who is, at this moment, making righteousness available for us to pursue, and thereby receive.

For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:8 (NIV)