Matthew 6:33 asks us to, ‘Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness…’
This word ‘seek’ can mean a desire to discover and respond to. So, how do you go about seeking first His righteousness?
Last week we began to reflect on this topic by referencing 2 Corinthians 5:19 & 21.
19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Then we explored the implications of the phrase: “not counting their sins against them.” Today we explore: “made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf.
Jesus took all of our sin so that we could receive all of His righteousness. He identified with us at our worst so we could be identified with Him at His best. This is why Paul wrote that he who has died is freed from sin (Romans 6: 3 – 7) and then concludes that we should ‘consider ourselves to be dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Our sin is to be a place of learning and not a place of disqualification. That is, ‘if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.’ (Romans 8: 10) Paul goes on to say that: ‘if you are living…by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, (and) you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. (Romans 8: 13 – 14)
Paul is declaring that it is His righteousness we have received and this qualifies us to be Sons of God. We are dealing with sin by learning from it so that the very life of Jesus is built into us. However, our sin does not disqualify us from being Sons and relating to God as our loving Father. Sin consciousness along with shame, guilt and condemnation result in us believing we are unworthy to be co-labourers with Jesus, doing the things He did and even greater things. Paul explicitly says there is no condemnation (Romans 8:1) so we should never allow our sin to bring us into an inferior place of our identity as children of God.
God is not interested in what is wrong He is interested in what is missing. He convicts us of our righteousness (John 16:10) because He is calling us ‘up’ into our identity, not calling us ‘out’ on our failure to then punish or judge us. As we grasp these truths we can walk in our identity as ‘the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.’
More of this next week.
Until next time may you be blessed with God’s favour and life.