What Grants Us Courage to Fight for What is Right: The Gift of Righteousness
When I first burst onto the activist scene to celebrate and support the Trump Administration, I protested at LAX airport in support of his travel ban. That was January 29, 2017. Fourteen other people joined me. When swarms of these crazy leftists were surrounding us, one verse from the Bible came into my mind: “No weapon formed against me prospers, and every tongue that rises in judgment I condemn. This is my heritage as a servant of the lord, and my righteousness is from Him.” (Isaiah 54:17):
Suddenly, the vile protesters backed off, then the police separated them away from us.
We were safe and protected. We won!
What I wanted to share today is what gives me the courage to do what I do. It’s not something special that I have. It’s a gift which everyone can receive, and keep receiving.
It’s called the gift of righteousness.
Someone paid the greatest price for all of us, to have life and that more abundantly, to be set free from the bondage and penalty of sin.
Jesus Christ and His death on the Cross ensure man’s redemption from his fallen state in this fallen world. His resurrection from the dead and his reign at God’s right hand affirms that promise.
Many Christians don’t know that, when Jesus rose from the dead, we rose with Him. When he was seated at His Father’s right hand, we were seated with him. We receive His righteousness and His grace, His favor, and through Him we reign in life.
Now, what does all of this have to do with being fearless and taking on all the challenges, the hate, and the threats to our way of life and.
Man’s greatest needs is not food and drink, shelter or clothing. Any psychologist will tell you that man’s greatest needs is acceptance. The more accurate word is righteousness. What does that word mean? It means that you are cleared from all guilt, from all wrongdoing; that in God’s eyes you stand in full accordance with His standards. Anything you owe has been paid; any wrongdoing you have committed has been paid for.
Jesus accomplished that at the Cross. He died for my sins—all of them—and accorded me everlasting righteousness. I am justified from all things that I could not be justified by through the law of Moses.
Now, what does this have to do with courage?
I had said man’s greatest need is righteousness. Man’s greatest fear is shame, humiliation. It’s true. There’s a well-known joke that most people would rather be in the casket than give the final eulogy at a funeral. Why? People are more afraid of public speaking than they are of death. They fear the same of looking bad. No one wants to see something shameful or incriminating shared about themselves. And in today’s age, anything bad about us can be taken or written down and shred to the four corners of the world in in an instant?
Why do you think Saul Alinksy in his book “Rules for Radicals” put so much emphasis on shaming people? It shuts people down. Because of this fear of shame or wrongdoing, most people don’t speak out. They don’t want to look bad, for they fear rejection.
But when you have the gift of righteousness, these fears disappear:
“Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.” (Isaiah 54:4)
Notice that for the one exhortation “fear not” there are five mentions rejecting and rebutting any shame. The more you understand that you have been made the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21), the more that fears will melt away in your life.
You can stand up to city councils. You can stand up to Antifa. You can stand up to anyone. We can rest assured that these threats will fall away in our lives, too.
Why? Because of God’s promises to protect and care for us, all based on the gift of righteousness.
Here’s what God promises to us because of His Son:
“10For this is the covenant that I will make with them, 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:
“11And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
“12For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. (Hebrews 8: 10-12)
That last part is fulfilled because Jesus has made us righteousness. We are as righteous before God as His own Son!
And all of this comes together in another one of my favorite verses:
“Herein is lover perfected among us, that we have boldness in the day of judgement, because as He is, so are we in this world.” (1 John 4:17)
We take on a new life, a new identity, a new standing. We are no longer dead in Adam, but alive in Christ.
That is love perfected!
And what does this perfect love do for us? It casts out all fear!
And we have the boldness to stand up to people’s hatred, lies, shame, and evil.
Remember, God’s righteousness is a gift. We do not earn. And we do not lose it even we sin, even when we fail. When you understand how deep and massive the grace of God is, then you reign in life, and you can stand up to anyone and to anything.
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