|RIGHTEOUSNESS: The Old And The New
Sandra G. Kennedy
HIS GLORY REIGNS
Mar 20 2009 08:00 AM
What a blessed people we are! God has made us righteous by the Blood of His Son that was shed on Calvary.
Him." II Corinthians 5:21
By that gift of righteousness, God Himself enabled us to come boldly into His presence without guilt, condemnation, or
inferiority. We truly have an open door into the glory of God Almighty. Once born again, or rather born from above, we
become a totally new creature in Christ Jesus; one that is created into the exact image of God.
We're not just the same person painted over - not just somebody we have to pretend to be. God in His mercy,
completely severed the power of darkness and sin that held each of us in captivity through justification. He took up
residence in these bodies of clay, and put us in right-standing with Him as sons and daughters - so that each member of
His family could walk out on earth the life that Jesus exemplified for us. Think of that!
Through the Blood, the Cross, and the Resurrection of Jesus, He has accomplished everything necessary to perfect
and place each of us as "living stones" into the spiritual Temple of His presence here on earth. Each stone is complete
in itself with the fullness of the deity within, yet we are all important integral parts of the bigger corporate Body of Christ -
the Church of the Living God!
His people are not only walking mobile temples of His glory, but are also empowered and commissioned to mediate and
make this power available for the individual needs of the people as priests. In truth, Jesus has never left. His Spirit has
filled each one of His sons and daughters to continue to accomplish the will of the Father.
What God has desired us to be on this earth is almost beyond our comprehension. But God really does love us. He
cares about us and is totally committed to our well being. Our names are written in the palm of His hand! We are His
cherished treasures, the roses in His garden! He wants us to show forth to a dying world the power of God.
The Father placed Himself in us so that we could shine so brightly with the glory of His presence that others will be
drawn and come to a knowledge of this Wonderful Savior!
BULLS AND GOATS
Righteousness is such an incredible gift. When we can truly grasp what Jesus has done for us and what the goodness
of our God has attained for all of mankind, we are going to shout. He is absolutely outstanding!
Righteousness actually existed in the Old Covenant as well as the New. We know that Moses and the prophets had
intimate access to God Almighty, yet there is a major difference between the two Covenants.
In the Old Testament, righteousness came through the sacrifices of bulls and goats, but it was only a limited type of
righteousness granted to servants. It was not the righteousness that is granted to sons and daughters of the Almighty.
Now, we can be servants to God as sons or daughters, however, we are not just servants.
You remember, once a year the High Priest entered with fear and trembling into the Holy of Holies with the blood of bulls
and goats to sprinkle on the Mercy Seat for the sins of the people. The blood of those sacrificial animals was only a
type and symbol of the Blood of The Lamb slain before the foundation of the world, but it was enough to cover the sin
and deliver the people for a period of one year. Yet it had to be repeated every year because that blood did not purge
the sin, only covered it. Old Testament saints were only servants of the Most High God.
There is a major difference between a servant and a son of God. In the Old Testament, these people were not born
again. In fact, no one was born again, even under Jesus' ministry - not until after Calvary, but they had a limited type of
The Holy Spirit was not living inside the Old Testament saints; He came only upon those directly commissioned of God -
the priests, the kings, and the prophets. As we read the Old Testament stories, there were some amazing and
outstanding things that God was able to accomplish through those devout (but unregenerate ) men and women.
However, if they were able to achieve such things under that inferior covenant, think of what the sons and daughters of
the most High God should be able to do under the New Covenant with the better promises?
which was established upon better promises.
NEW COVENANT WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AND WITH THE HOUSE OF JUDAH:
THEM BY THE HAND TO LEAD THEM OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT; BECAUSE THEY CONTINUED NOT IN
MY COVENANT, AND I REGARDED THEM NOT, SAITH THE LORD.
SAITH THE LORD; I WILL PUT MY LAWS INTO THEIR MIND, AND WRITE THEM IN THEIR HEARTS: AND I
WILL BE TO THEM A GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE TO ME A PEOPLE:
KNOW THE LORD: FOR ALL SHALL KNOW ME, FROM THE LEAST TO THE GREATEST.
REMEMBER NO MORE.
vanish away" Hebrews 8:6-13
Let's look at what some of the servants of God achieved - and remember, they were not filled with the Holy Ghost, In
fact, they were spiritually dead, unregenerate men.
Noah did a rather good job listening to God about the ark and completing the task exactly as he was instructed. How
about Moses? He also did some remarkable things. These two men were servants of God living under limited
righteousness. Their sins were not washed away by the Blood of Jesus, nor was the devil at that point defeated!
Have any of your parted a Red Sea lately - or built an ark to save all of life from total destruction? Have you initiated
ten plagues to deliver a nation, or gone up on a high mountaintop to sit in the presence of Jehovah while He talks to you
and writes His words on two tablets of stone? What about the faithful Joshua? Have any of you parted a river in flood
season or marched around a major city and seen the wall collapse at your command? Have you told the sun to stand
still and witnessed its obedience to your directive until you had time to win your battle?
These were only servants under a covenant that accepted the blood of bulls and goats!
ONLY A COVERING
How about David? Have any of you seen a Goliath and slung a rock and hit the one and only spot he was vulnerable?
What about Gideon? Would you like to take a 300 man army and go against enemy troops that numbered into the
multiple thousands - blow a few horns and light a few lamps and see what happens?
Once again, these men had only limited righteousness with Jehovah under the Old Covenant? Would you, like Esther,
go before a king knowing full well you could be executed just by reason of walking into his royal presence uninvited?
How about Daniel in the lion's den? What about Samson, who with only a bone, slew thousands? Elijah raised people
from the dead and stopped the rain for years!
All of the people involved in these Old Testament exploits were servants. None had the Spirit of God living and dwelling
within them. None were born again. No one was a child of God, but only justified by the blood of sacrificial animals.
Their sin was not wiped out, only covered over. They did not have the power to cast out demons. These things did not
become a reality until the completed work of Calvary, because Satan wasn't defeated until then.
WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT?
If God Almighty bestowed on servants that kind of power - that kind of ability, that kind of reward - what in the world
could He accomplish with a son or daughter who is full of the Spirit of the Living God, created back into the image of the
These powerful Old Testament saints were able to perform on this extraordinary level of divine operation because of a
limited form of righteousness based on the shed blood of bulls and goats. What should we expect to accomplish with
God when the Blood of His very own Son has placed us in full right-standing with God, set us completely free from the
kingdom of darkness, and put the devil under our feet? My Lord! Think of what could - and should - happen.
WHAT WILL PEOPLE THINK?
The very least the Church of the Living God should be doing is what we read about in the Old Testament. In fact, the
acts of the New Testament Church should far surpass the excellence of the Old Covenant, as wonderful as it was. Yet it
didn't have the power of the Blood of Jesus as its nucleus.
Oh, if the Church would wake up and believe the Word? If we would start trusting our God, take the Word at face value,
and be bold enough to step out, there is no telling what God could carry out through this Body in this day and hour!
You may say, "What if I do that and people think I'm crazy?"
Well, what do you think the majority thought of these Old Testament heroes? People said Noah was crazy building an
ark - talking about something called rain? It seems it had never rained up to that point. Scripture calls Noah a preacher
of righteousness, but nobody listened to him and repented when he preached of the coming destruction. No one
believed his message, but there was good news at the end of his story. He rose above the problem at hand, and what
others chided him for, ultimately gave him victory!
It's very clear that what the nation of Israel had in the Old Covenant was wonderful. God said, "I'll feed you. I will clothe,
protect and sustain you. I will be your God and you will be My people."
Those are outstanding promises, but the Bible says that we live under better promises than those offered to them!
The verses in Hebrews 8 were not just written to Israel, but also to us because we are spiritual Israel. We've been
grafted into the natural olive tree of Israel, so whatever promises belong to them, now belong to us as well. The Book
says that He will be our God and we will be His people and that He will remember our sins no more! That is God talking.
He has chosen to forget our failures.
service of God.
and for the errors of the people:
tabernacle was yet standing:
him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;
time of reformation.
with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
obtained eternal redemption for us.
purifying of the flesh:
purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" Hebrews 9:6-14
The blood of bulls and goats needed to be shed and applied every year. It could not purge their sin, only give them a
limited righteousness - yet it absolutely resulted in outstanding feats. They did those exploits under the power of an Old
Covenant the Bible states has now been replaced by one that is better. If that sacrificial blood could give them a right-
standing with Jehovah that lifted them to the heights of such power - how much more shall those of us who come to
God, receive our forgiveness by the cleansing power of the Blood of the Lamb, and receive this gift of righteousness,
reign in life by the One Man, Jesus Christ?
The blood of those animals under the Old Covenant could not make them perfect nor could it cleanse the people of
their sin. But the covenant sealed in the Blood of Jesus does! This precious Blood of the Son of God has been poured
on the heavenly Mercy Seat for us. And this free gift of righteousness has placed the Church in its God-ordained
position. The Father gave us His righteousness - the ability to triumph in the affairs of life. How much more shall the
Blood of Jesus purge your conscience from dead works to serve the Living God? That is not only righteousness, it is
outstanding. Praise God forever!
HIS PRECIOUS BLOOD
Let's keep reading the Word:
and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people,
heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:
he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." Hebrews 9:18-26
Even in the Old Covenant it took blood to deal with sin. But that was in God's design from the beginning. This is one
reason He made man to inhabit a body of flesh, blood, and bone. He knew His Blood would have to be poured out from
the Messiah as a ransom for mankind.
God revealed His plan line upon line, precept upon precept through the ages, and what He required in the Old
Covenant only foreshadowed the true events to follow.
Previously, the high priest would enter the Holiest of All with the blood of the sacrificial animals year after year in the
Temple of God made with hands. But when Jesus came into the heavenly Holy of Holies with His precious Blood -
having already obtained eternal redemption for us - He appeared once and for all times. And that Blood has not lost its
power as it cries from the Mercy Seat to Almighty God on our behalf!
time without sin unto salvation." Hebrews 9:27-28
To those looking for Him, He will return; not bearing sin again, but as the Champion of our Salvation. The implication is
that if we are not looking, He will not return for us.
NOT A RELIGION
There is a remnant within the Church - those of us who are hungering and thirsting for this righteousness to fully
manifest in our lives. There are believers who are serious about their Christianity. To us, it is not a religion, but a way
of life. We want to turn loose of yesterday and its chains, to uphold righteousness and walk uprightly before God and
This is the crowd who is looking for Him to come back because they are preparing themselves as a bride would adorn
herself for her husband. We prepare by walking uprightly and in holiness. We need to get our lives together by
mortifying the deeds of our flesh and walking in love, whether anyone else does or not.
HOW MUCH MORE!
We want to walk in the blessings that eternal life, justification, and righteousness have provided by the New Testament,
ratified by the Blood of our Savior. I want to live above situations and circumstances by reigning as a king by the one
Man, Christ Jesus - the Word of the Living God!
Scripture states that Moses was 120 years old when he died, but his eyes were not dim nor was his natural strength
diminished. Today, we have to fight hard to say alive to 75! And if God did that for a man who did not have the same
covenant, the same divine promises, the same righteousness - how much more would He do for someone who has been
cleansed by His own Son's Blood if they only knew it? What could He do for a group of people who would make a solid
decision to trust Him, believe Him, and go for it all in the Name of the Lord. It's here. It's available. God is waiting on us
to seize this abundant life Jesus came to give!
these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." John 14:12
In other words Jesus said, "Man, if you've been taken aback with what I have done at the instruction of My Father, you
haven't seen anything yet! You are going to do greater things than these because I will be at the right Hand of the
Father on your behalf. I am your Advocate before Him. I may be in heaven, but I will send the Holy Spirit to live and
dwell within each of you. And He will come to endue you with power to be the witness of My resurrection. Ah, but your
sins will not just be covered, they will be wiped away - obliterated."
Let's see the completeness of our forgiveness by looking at another Scripture.
having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was
contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;" Colossians 2:13-14
Glory to God! Our debt of sin and failure is not just stamped "Paid in full by the Blood of the Lamb," there is now no
record of our sin. The handwriting of that debt was wiped away having been nailed to the Cross of Calvary. We have
been set free, given life, and placed in right-standing with the Great "I AM." We can scarcely perceive what God has in
store for His people. However, there is a problem in this Blood-bought Church of Jesus Christ. There are people who
do not know they are living in sin. How do we think we are going to control the devil (in our lives or anyone else's) when
we have too much of Satan and his hellish traits operating in us.
The power to be victorious comes from holiness and living uprightly while we walk in the light of the Word of God. You
see, it was the Father's full intent that Jesus keep walking on the earth through us.
It is not right to say Jesus left. The Original returned home, but we have been made copies - still here to accomplish the
will of God on earth as it is being done in heaven.
Jesus had one purpose, one goal. That was to do the will of His Father. He made that central and utmost in His life,
and let nothing move Him from His objective.
When you and I reach the place that what is most important is our obedience to Almighty God, and to be pleasing in His
sight, we will say the same thing: "I am here for one reason only - to do the will of my Father!"
The righteousness of the New Testament sealed in the Blood of Jesus enables, empowers, and equips us to fulfill that
YOUR ROBE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, by Sandra G. Kennedy, Copyright 2004, LifeBridge Books.
|LIFE IN JESUS-MINISTRIES