Birthdays: Melisa Riggins – May 22nd – Sarah Hall – May 27th
HOW DO WE APPEAR IN GOD’S SIGHT?
Proud, unbelieving men work hard to have an appearance of righteousness, holiness, and piety before men, but the vital issue of eternal life is how we appear before God. Christ rebuked the Pharisees over this issue – “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful
outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (Matt. 23:27-28). They appeared righteous before men, but it was only an outward show. God judges according to truth, not outward show. God looks on the heart. Rest assured that if a sinner appears righteous unto God, that sinner is truly righteous in God’s sight. It is neither a fake, pretend, nor merely outward righteousness. How, then, is it possible that a SINNER could truly appear righteous IN GOD’S SIGHT? The only way of righteousness before God is not by our works but only by God’s grace in the Lord Jesus Christ. Like Noah, the only way for a sinner to be found righteous in God’s sight is to find “grace in the eyes of the LORD” (Gen. 6:8). And God’s grace reigns “through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 5:21). This is the righteousness of God we find only in Christ. As Christ was “made sin for us” (our sins imputed, accounted, charged to Him), we are “made the righteousness of God IN HIM” (His righteousness imputed, accounted, charged to us) (2 Cor. 5:21). This is not a pretend righteousness but one that stands the test of God’s holy law and justice as we stand before Him in Christ (Rom. 8:31-34; Php. 3:7-10). As the result of this work of Christ for us, God’s people are given by the Holy
Spirit, in the new birth, the reality of the power of spiritual life and faith from and in the Lord Jesus Christ. As our righteousness in Christ is not merely an outward show, our faith is not merely an outward profession. It is true heart faith in Christ as the Lord our Righteousness. Paul wrote of this as the “circumcision of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not men, but of God” (Rom. 2:29). We who are made the righteousness of God in Christ are also born again by the Holy Spirit, and we glory NOT in appearance, but in heart (2 Cor. 5:12). This means we truly and sincerely glory in Christ from the new heart. This is how we appear IN GOD’S SIGHT. We who are righteous in Christ have spiritual life by which we glory in Christ and stand BEFORE GOD AS RIGHTEOUS.
--- Pastor Bill Parker
CHRIST REDEEMED HIS PEOPLE
We do not read in the Scriptures that Christ died to purchase eternal happiness for sinners. Rather, we find that He died to redeem His people. "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He hath visited and redeemed His people" (Luke 1:70). The church is said to be His "purchased possession" (Ephesians 1:14). "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law" (Galatians 3:13). In due time He came into this world "to redeem them that were under the law" (Galatians 4:5). "Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity" (Titus 2:14). "And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation" (Revelation 5:9). Peter said "ye were redeemed...with the precious blood of Christ" (1 Peter 1:18-19). Paul instructed the elders in the church at Ephesus to "feed the church of God which He hath purchased with His own blood" (Acts 20:28). "Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us" (Hebrews 9:12). The gracious Benefactor redeemed spiritually bankrupt beggars by His blood. We were in debt to His justice, an indebtedness which we had no ability to pay and about which, by nature, we had no knowledge or concern. The Lord Jesus Christ, by His sacrifice unto death, rendered to His own law the required payment of the ransom. His people were freed from the claims of the law by rightful, legal, justice-satisfying purchase. "Then He is gracious unto him and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom" (Job 33:24). There is not a single sin laid to the charge of those people whose ransom price Jesus Christ has paid. In the Old Testament, the high priest offered to God the appointed sacrifice for the cleansing of the children of Israel. "For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD" (Leviticus 16:30). If the typical blood cleansed the people ceremonially, how much more must the blood of Christ, offered unto God, perfectly, thoroughly and eternally deliver His people from all sin and make them righteous before the Lord! The result of the ransom price paid by Christ was the real and actual redemption of His people.