|RIGHTEOUSNESS: Yielding to Righteousness
Sandra G. Kennedy
HIS GLORY REIGNS
Mar 27 2009 08:00 AM
One of my (Sandra G. Kennedy) favorite chapters in the New Testament is Romans 6. In the letter of the Apostle Paul
to the believers at Rome, he ties together many of the great themes of Christianity - sin, grace, salvation baptism,
death, resurrection, righteousness and eternal life.
Let's look at these God-inspired words:
the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
we should not serve sin.
What a glorious declaration! We've been delivered from the power of sin - justified by the Blood of the Lamb and
declared righteous in the eyes of Almighty God. As a result of this miraculous new birth into God's family, we have more
power over our lives than Satan exhibited over us while we were yet serving darkness.
WHAT A MIRACLE!
Our righteousness in Christ Jesus is stronger than the death that held us captive with no hope of escape. But, thank
God, Jesus came for us. We truly have been set free to live for our dear Savior.
Sin held complete dominion over us until we were born again. At that moment, our old, regenerate man died - it was
crucified with Christ at Calvary. Jesus hung on the Cross in our place as our Substitute, and we were immersed into Him
and buried through baptism into His death.
In the eyes of God, we died on Golgotha with His Son so that we might be free from sin. Yet, Jehovah didn't leave us
dead! We have been resurrected to walk with God in this newness of life. The same life that raised Jesus from the
dead is the power that raised us from our death!
What a miracle! God gave us His own life to indwell and place us in heavenly seating beside Him.
Knowing our old man is dead, this newness of life enables us to be free from the dominion of sin and our fleshly nature.
We were crucified with Him so that sin could be broken and we could be married or joined to another, even to Him Who
is raised from the dead, to bear fruit for God (Romans 7:4).
This divine life of the Almighty gives us the power to subdue and mortify the deeds of our body and make it obey our
new spirit, created in righteousness and true holiness.
"RAISED FROM THE DEAD"
The Bible declares He who has died has been liberated from sin, with all its power and control. Death no longer has a
hold on us. Yes, we'll lay this body down one day, but there is no longer any sting in that death. Glory to God!
as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God."
whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to
righteousness unto holiness.
end everlasting life.
This marvelous life God imparts is given so that we might be in service to Him - not to fulfill our own desires and plans. It
was not just provided as a way we could escape hell. He wants to deposit Himself into earthen vessels such as you and
The Almighty spoke many generations ago that the glory of the Lord would one day fill this earth (Numbers 14:21) and
He fully intends to pour that glory through and out of us in this awesome finale. Can we comprehend it? Can we fathom
such a plan?
We must break away from the sin and darkness of the world and be separated unto Him - to become clean vessels in
order to be "this glorious Church" without spot or blemish. Because of Jesus this is possible!
In these final days we must "reckon ourselves" to be dead to sin; I mean totally dead to it. With the power of Almighty
God residing inside, we are not to allow sin to rule and reign in our mortal bodies. As His people, we are destined to
walk in the same realm as the Lord; we are made in His image!
It should be entirely natural for us to walk with God, yet we can't do it carrying around all this "sin luggage." We've tried
sitting on the fence with one foot in the world and the other in the Church, and still we have expected victory. The
House of God is filled with saints who are attempting to serve both good and evil. They continue to think and do things
that are acceptable to the world - keeping their Christianity low-key in order not to draw attention to themselves. These
same people attend church on Sunday morning believing they will receive the full blessings of the Lord.
This lifestyle will not work. And when trouble hits them through the doors they've opened because of sinful behavior,
they are absolutely astounded!
We cannot serve two masters - period! Jesus said we would hate one and love the other or be loyal to one and despise
the other (Matthew 6:24). I suppose we cleave to the one from which we desire the benefits.
Since we have been bought with a price we are longer our own and are not to present or yield ourselves to sin.
I (Sandra G. Kennedy) believe if we truly understood the cost Jesus paid to redeem us from iniquity - the agony and
suffering He experienced and what an astronomical price He paid to set us free - we would not be so nonchalant about
If we knew the love of our Father and truly reciprocated that love, we would tame these mortal bodies. After all, we
should no longer have anything in common with the world. All believers understand they should crucify the flesh and
the old nature. Unfortunately, even though they know it should be dead, they really don't want it to die.
That "dying" part is not something that appeals to us. We know that Jesus gave His life for us, yet if we'd be honest, we
would rather not die - even in service to Him. But death is only painful when we don't want to give up what God
We not only have to be dead to sin, but must also "reckon ourselves" to be alive unto God and present ourselves to Him
(Romans 6:11). That's the only way we will have the ability and power to remain out of the world system and resist the
temptation it offers.
Scripture tells us to overcome evil with good. It takes the enforced Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus to subdue the
law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).
A LIVING SACRIFICE
Sin's behavior doesn't end just because we are born again. It takes our cooperation and effort with the Word of God to
sever the bad habits of our former lifestyle.
This new life has raised us from the dead so that we can be free from the evil demands of our flesh. Thank God, our
carnal man is no longer in control.
It is our fleshly nature that normally gives us the trouble. True, we are still waiting on the redemption of our bodies,
when, as Scripture states, mortality is going to put on immortality (I Corinthians 15:53), but the Word of God within
enables each of us to live our days in the power of this new life.
Think about that, Church! By faith we should be walking in the power of our resurrection by the Glory of the Father that
resides within us.
We were crucified with Him on the Cross so that our bodies could be loosed from the dead spirits that controlled our
actions. We certainly were slaves of sin because we yielded to it continually - that is all our old unregenerate spirits
knew. But now, we are to take this life of God that is within us, declare ourselves dead to sin, subdue our body, and
present it to God as being alive from the dead. This is truly a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to Him (Romans 12:
In the eyes of God, this is the reality of the new birth.
IN LINE WITH THE WORD
We are to offer our bodies to serve God, making them instruments of righteousness and holy living. Remember, we've
been liberated from sin - it no longer has dominion over us. We are to walk free from it by renewing our minds to think
in line with the Word, to dominate this flesh so that we can bear righteous and holy fruit for God.
Scripture states we can train this body to know the difference between good and evil by practice (Hebrews 5:14 AMP). It
can be developed so it flows with our God-indwelt spirit instead of constantly causing us problems.
Seeing ourselves dead to sin as well as alive unto God takes spiritual exercise and practice. And let me say it again: if
we don't talk it, we won't receive it. We will never rise higher than what our mouth gives us steps to climb, because our
words direct the course of our lives.
BENEFITS AND BLESSINGS
No matter which kingdom we serve, there are wages that accompany our service (Romans 6:23). We have a choice: we
can continue to be slaves of sin and reap death, or we can serve God and enjoy the results and benefits of eternal life.
In the past, we've yielded to the worldly way of doing things because it was more familiar to us, and also seemed an
easier path to travel. The world runs in a negative direction on a broader path, and that's the one most people follow.
Yet traveling that road will not produce the godly fruit of eternal life which has already been given to us.
Let me encourage you that as born again Christians, we are not like those who are spiritually dead. Even while we
remain in this physical body, we can walk with God every day and serve in total union with Him. The benefits and
blessings will be ours.
"THE GREAT I AM"
I trust you are beginning to realize what righteousness has done. When we are conformed to the image of the Lord
Jesus and live in union with Him in this glorious life, we travel a higher, more wondrous path.
but after the Spirit." Romans 8:1
Some read this verse and exclaim, "There's no condemnation in the Lord at all." They want to believe they won't be
condemned regardless of what they do, but that's not what Paul wrote.
This verse declares there is no blame or censure only if we are walking after the Spirit and not after our fleshly nature.
In fact, I John 3 tells us that our heart will condemn us if we are not walking in the light of the Word of God.
We can only have confidence with the Father when we are living according to the promptings of our resurrected spirits.
The righteousness of God is fulfilled when we walk not after our sinful nature, but after the Spirit.
Too often we forget that we have been bought and paid for - and the One Who paid the price is watching. Most of us
don't have a true revelation that we are transporting "The Great I AM" everywhere we go.
We must never forget, the Lord sees everything we do. It makes no difference if we close every blind, or paint every
window black; there are at least two people who always see what we are doing - ourselves and God. And, if we commit
a fleshly act such as to steal or commit adultery, there is condemnation. Our spirit - which is fused to the Holy Spirit -
will rise up and convict us.
condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not,
then have we confidence toward God." I John 3:19-21
The Holy Spirit is within, teaching us how to be holy and live a righteous life before God and man. Yes, heavenly
correction will surface to keep us from continuing down that pathway of sin. I'm even talking about when we eat out in
restaurants and sneak home all the extra packets of "Sweet'n Low" on the table. It's wrong, and our heart knows it.
Walking in righteousness demands that we make adjustments in our lives. For example, if we are to be at work at 8:00
A.M., that doesn't mean we come strolling in at 8:15 - because that is stealing time from our employer.
When we give our word we will be at a certain place at a certain time, we need to fulfill our promise and be punctual. In
actuality, it may make little difference if we are there or not, but our words will be a lie if we fail to do so.
"LIVE IT," DON'T "TALK IT"
Living out our righteousness means we are people of ethics - living at a higher standard. The true test of our character
is not limited to who we are in public, but who we are when we're alone - the person who is in our own heart.
Every day we deal with the temptation to compromise. We're all enticed to walk close to the edge and push the limits.
For instance, when we pay a bill and are given too much change, we need to be honest and tell the salesperson. Don't
remain quiet and think, "Well, God has blessed me." Instead, we must walk back to the counter and say, "I think you
gave me too much money."
If they reply, "Don't worry about it," then we are blessed of the Lord.
We must live this life, not just talk about it.
THE LIFESTYLE TEST
The reason we can yield righteous fruit is because we are literally dead to sin. It no longer has dominion and we must
not allow hell to rule our lives. Satan should not dictate what we do or don't do. And since the devil has no authority
over us, let's not give him any!
When sin entices us, we can put that temptation on the Cross and consider it dead. By our lifestyle we demonstrate to
our family and our employer we are honest and trustworthy - that they can have confidence in us.
In Romans 6 we see death and life at the same time; dying to self and living to Him. As we present ourselves to the
Lord, He begins to live through us. Instead of saying that "one day" we will be dead to sin, we must see that happening
today. God needs us as clean, righteous vessels here - to impact our world now. And according to the Word, our
death to sin has already taken place.
Each time we put off our righteous position until another day, we are giving the devil an extension of control over us.
We need to see ourselves as victorious children of the Living God this very moment! In the eyes of the Lord there is no
condemnation, inferiority, or guilt - and we are to reign over sin from this heavenly God-ordained position.
What a wondrous life awaits us if we'll just begin the journey. The Lord is here to lift us to a place where the elementary
things of this world's system no longer entrap us. By setting our affections on heaven, earth loses its grasp and our
freedom in Christ grows.
BREAKING THE DARKNESS
Can we live like this? Can we be the Glorious Church - the remnant that will choose this higher life and walk in fullness
I (Sandra G. Kennedy) believe we can. That's why I am admonishing you to join us and become a part of what the Lord
is doing. I (Sandra G. Kennedy) am convinced that in this great final move of Jehovah, His glory and power will explode
and turn the earth upside down once more - just as in the early days of the Church.
When we discover who we are in Christ Jesus, and begin to walk like somebody in God, hell will bow its knee. We will be
the light that penetrates and breaks the darkness. We'll bring hope to the hopeless and life where death has prevailed.
By knowing who we know and who we are, it's possible to walk as that resurrected man, full of the Father, the Son, and
the Holy Ghost. Then, as we begin to live in righteousness, with humility before God, He will clear the way ahead and
hell will not be able to stop the glory that will surely come!
Friend, you can only become what God envisions by raising your head and walking uprightly before the Lord - not
succumbing to the dictates of your flesh. Living in your past will cause you to miss your future.
We are in no way boasting of ourselves when we talk about righteousness. Instead, we are bragging on the Father,
and how by His power, grace, and mercy He is able to live His righteousness out in and through us. Praise our
even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?"
I John 5:4-5
If you have given your heart to Christ you are an overcomer! The Bible says we are "born of God" and thus prevail
over the world and its ways.
THE FAITH WALK
Let me (Sandra G. Kennedy) ask these questions: Why aren't we seeing more victory in our lives? When God says we
absolutely overcome every situation and circumstance of life because we are born of Him, why are we not seeing that
I believe it is because we are not acting on what is said in the above verse - we are not operating in faith. Instead, we
are being swayed by what we see or feel, not what the Word of God has declared.
Every victory we ever experience is because we walk not by sight, but by faith. In the midst of the hellish things swirling
around us we must stand immovable, confessing what God said about the situation. When we believe that we are
overcomers, well, we overcome! The one who conquers knows that Jesus is the Son of God.
The Bible is clear that from heaven's point of view, we are righteous and have certain rights and privileges that come
with our inheritance as a child of God.
When we confess, the devil has us on the run and it looks like he is winning, we are in error. Sure, we've all felt that
way - that we are being ambushed and fading fast. However, what we were actually saying is, at that moment, we were
not sensing our righteousness. We are being moved by what we felt: "God is not listening to my prayers. Nothing is
happening. He's nowhere around!"
That is the time to stop and declare: "But the prayers of the righteous man avail much and I am righteous in Him."
Address the situation through the Word and the victory of the Cross. We are already the conqueror! The devil is under
BY THE BOOK!
Here's the problem. We have not yet made ourselves victors in our own heart. My friend, we cannot triumph if we don't
know with surety we are already conquerors according to Scripture. The Word of God is the truth, regardless of what
we might feel or think about the situation.
The reason we can know and believe we have overcome is because it is written in the Book. Talk to yourself and
meditate on the Scriptures until they are fully planted in your heart. We must be convinced that "Greater is He Who is in
me than he who is in the world!"
With confidence of the Creator, we know there is no circumstance of life that God cannot remedy. Too often, we remain
earthly minded, centered on the problem rather than the solution. We even ignore the power of God's Word that can
Do you see why we must make a diligent effort to keep moving toward God - to keep thinking His thoughts and speaking
His Word? Unless we persevere, the law of sin and death will continue to drive us, even though we have been
"JUST DO IT!"
In order to be vessels of honor fit for the Master's use, we must no longer keep lying in bed with the world. Since we
have been made into the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, we must live in that privilege and walk as the Spirit-
indwelt saints we are.
Righteousness and power go hand in hand. Believing what we are in Christ will automatically change how we live. We
walk 'right' before God and man because we honor the death, burial, and resurrection of our Savior. The Lord is
searching for someone who will stand up and"just do it" based on what He proclaims, not on what we feel.
All of heaven knows and understands the position born again saints have in the Kingdom of God - but all of hell knows it
too. So the devil's strategy is to keep us ignorant and deceived, detoured from waling in the paths of truth. Satan
doesn't want us to act on what we certainly have the power and authority to accomplish. Let me remind you the devil is
the father of lies. Satan is hoping we won't see the depths of the Blood of Jesus and what it did - and continues to do -
for us! The devil is doing everything in his power to keep us from taking the step of faith that moves us boldly into our
In a world filled with darkness and evil, we have the God-given ability to be separated from it.
The older I (Sandra G. Kennedy) become, and the more I walk with God, the stronger I recognize the power of our
tongue to put into motion what we believe.
Everyday, we need to consistently affirm and declare what God's Word says concerning us. Our words resemble
flashlights, dividing the darkness before us as we walk - shining the light we need to live in holiness and righteousness.
What we say can activate the switch of our faith to the "on" position and illuminate the valley of death! It can clear the
pathway for us to travel unharmed. Truly, our mouth can show us the traps of hell as we proclaim the oracles of the
Child of God, stop speaking about the negative side of life. Oh, we might throw out some righteous-sounding
sentences, but when we get down to the nitty-gritty, we start talking the problem again. When that happens, we turn off
the light and return to the world's system of darkness where hell can ensnare us.
WILL YOU YIELD?
It grieves my (Sandra G. Kennedy) heart the Church has forgotten that our God is Holy and we are to be like Him. Yet,
there are those who refuse to yield to authority and balk at pastors who establish biblical standards of behavior for their
flock. Many Christians would rather have a "modern" God - Who will tolerate their laziness and sinful actions. My friend,
Jehovah won't do that! He sets marks of spiritual excellence for us to reach and invites us to that high calling.
It is impossible to experience a real encounter with God and have everything remain as it was before that time. You
see, when the Father does something for us, it demands our action. So, if we've been attending church for years yet
nothing in our home has changed - if our former routine has not been disturbed - something is missing. We need to fall
on our faces before God in true repentance.
Everything the Lord has for us comes out of His glory - out of His character. Righteousness propels us into that
glorious realm. And the more we live under what He has provided, the more we move toward His glory.
There are those who may say "In the Name of Jesus" to everything they do, yet it is very obvious nothing ever changes
for them. That happens when people have a religious understanding, but have not yet moved into the reality of
fellowship with God - where the Lord is real and evident in their lives.
What will it take for the Church - and for you personally - to radiate the glory of the Father to the world? That day will
come when we totally yield ourselves to righteousness.
YOUR ROBE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, by Sandra G. Kennedy, Copyright 2004, LifeBridge Books.
|LIFE IN JESUS-MINISTRIES