Tag Archives: Righteousness

Why We are Lonely

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“I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.” (Psalm 142:4)

This is one of the saddest verses in the Bible. To be all alone, not knowing where to find refuge from problems that bear heavily at times—this is the lot of many lonely people.

Sometimes, of course, one’s feelings of loneliness may be because of unconfessed sin, as when David lamented after his crime of adultery and murder:

“When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me”.

Psalm 32:3-4

Outwardly silent, but inwardly roaring—that’s the way it is when a believer tries to rationalize and hide his sin from God and man. The remedy in such a case is obvious:

“I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah”.

Psalm 32:5

When the problem is not one of unconfessed sin, the Lord is always there to comfort and guide, if we ask Him. Following the sad complaint of our text, David made a statement of hope and faith. “The righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me” (Psalm 142:7).

There was a time, in fact, when the Lord Himself was all alone. When He was arrested, “then all the disciples forsook him, and fled” (Matthew 26:56). But that was not the worst of it. “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46).

Jesus died all alone on the cross—the loneliest and most forsaken person in all human history—as even His heavenly Father had to abandon Him when He took our sins and died for us. Thus, He understands our own need and is always there. “For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted [or ‘tested’], he is able to succor them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:18). HMM

Practicing Righteousness

“Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.” (1 John 3:7)

Every genuine Christian knows that part of the salvation gift is the promise of being made “unblameable in holiness” (1 Thessalonians 3:13). We sometimes have trouble, however, with the concept of present-tense holiness in our everyday lifestyles.

John speaks of the abiding Christian who “sinneth not” (1 John 3:6). Indeed, such a Christian “doth not commit sin” (1 John 3:9) because, John notes, the “seed” of God “remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” Furthermore, “whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not” (1 John 5:18).

It’s accurate to translate those passages with the “continuing” implication of the Greek structure (i.e. “does not continue in [the practice of] sin,” etc.). However, the emphasis is on an obvious, continuous, clearly embraced lifestyle of righteous living!

The visible transformation from a worldly conformity (Romans 12:2) begins with a desire for “the sincere milk of [God’s] word” (1 Peter 2:2), fashioning ourselves after God’s holiness “in all manner of conversation” (1 Peter 1:14-15).

Neither are we to let sin reign in our bodies, but we are to yield ourselves as “instruments of righteousness” (Romans 6:12-13). Since we are “risen with Christ,” we are to “mortify” the fleshly appetites, “put off” emotional outbursts that reflect an ungodly nature, and “put on” godly attributes so that whatsoever we do is done in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (Colossians 3:1-17). HMM III

The Power of the Comforter

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“It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” (John 16:7)

Declaring the gospel becomes a delightful use of the “power of God” (Romans 1:16), speaking God’s words to a heart that has been prepared by the trifold ministry of the Holy Spirit, who will “reprove [convict] the world” (John 16:8).

Conviction of Sin

“Of sin, because they believe not on me” (John 16:9). All sin has been forgiven (1 John 2:2). The only sin that condemns is unbelief (John 3:19), or conscious rebellion against the Holy Spirt’s conviction of the need for salvation through Christ. Rejecting that is blasphemy and unforgiveable (Matthew 12:31).

Conviction of Righteousness

“Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more” (John 16:10). When the Lord Jesus went up into heaven, there was “none righteous” (Romans 3:10) on Earth. The Holy Spirit must convince people that righteousness exists. Otherwise, they wouldn’t understand why they need to be saved.

Conviction of Judgment

“Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged” (John 16:11). Some suggest the ruler is Satan, but there’s no need to convince us that Lucifer needs to be condemned. But that the sinless Son of God was condemned on calvary for your sin and mine—that needs supernatural convincing!

Our powers of persuasion could never bring about a spiritual conviction of these matters in the heart of an ungodly and sinful person. However, the “One who comes alongside us” could indeed bring about such conviction. Our job is to speak the truth. The Holy Spirit’s job is to be the supernatural Convictor and Persuader of that truth. HMM III

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