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Righteous, holy and sanctified...that's what you're called to be. Regardless of your self-perception, when you are born again, you are the righteousness of God in the Anointed One, Jesus. That means God sees you as righteous and as His own. You are set apart for His divine plan.

But what if you're struggling with sin and think you're not worthy of God's mercy and grace? Perhaps you believe that you'll never receive His blessings because of past failures.

The Word says, "Do not earnestly remember the former things; neither consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing..." (Isaiah 43:18-19 AMP). Child of God, realize that there is nothing you can do to change the past. Yes, you may sin, but your actions didn't make you a sinner. Before you were saved, you were classified a sinner because of Adam's disobedience (see Romans 5:17-19).

That means your natural ability can't make up for past sins. Neither can your good deeds. Have you ever heard someone say, "I'm not going to church or getting saved until I get my act together?" You can't get your act together without God.

The world wants you to think you can make things right on your own, but that's not God's plan. Salvation is His plan and Jesus has already paid the price. All you have to do is accept it as a free gift. Then your efforts to change, according to His Word, will make the difference in how you live.

Right vs. Righteous
There's a difference between living right and living righteously. Living righteously is to live in right-standing, or in covenant with God. Oftentimes Christians will try to establish their own right-standing with the Lord. But in comparison to the goodness of God, "...all our righteousness (our best deeds of rightness and justice) is like filthy rags or a polluted garment...and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away [far from God's favor, hurrying us toward destruction]" (Isaiah 64:6 AMP).

Establishing your own righteousness is like washing stained rags. No matter how much you try, they never get clean.

Jeremiah 23:6 refers to God as "The Lord our righteousness." The Hebrew translation is "Jehovah Tsidkenu." But knowing that your righteousness comes from Him is only half the task. You must also receive Him as Jehovah your righteousness. And you do this by receiving His Word as truth and applying it to your life.

Second Corinthians 5:21 says Jesus, being sinless, became sin in order that we might become righteous. In other words, He was clothed in sin so we, who were unrighteous, might be clothed in righteousness.

Look at it this way, when we are born again, Jesus exchanges coats with us. Originally, we were clothed in filthy rags (sin, disobedience and rebellion). When we accept Him as Lord of our life, He takes the old coat away, replacing it with a brand new one (His righteousness). It's because of what He has done that we were given the gift of righteousness (Romans 5:17).

You see, you are highly favored in the sight of Jehovah Tsidkenu, and your responsibility now is to accept who you are in Him. It is your acceptance of His righteousness that puts you in a position to live above your shortcomings. Jehovah Tsidkenu has already forgiven you of the worst sin you will ever commit.

Romans 8:1 says, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Notice there is now no condemnation for your sins because you've accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior. There was a time when you wore filthy rags of unrighteousness and would have been condemned. But because of the blood of Jesus, you can now wear the garment of righteousness.

Raised Up and Set Apart
Not only is Jehovah your righteousness, He also is Jehovah M'Kaddesh - the One Who sanctifies. Leviticus 20:7-8 says, "Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the Lord your God. And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the Lord which sanctify you." Now sanctification doesn't mean you can't wear makeup or that you have to wear clothes made out of burlap. That's not sanctification. That's what I call "ugly-fication!"

Sanctification means "separation from one thing to another." In other words, you break a relationship with something that's ungodly and join yourself to the things of God. The result is purification and holiness - having the mind of God and agreeing with whatever the Word says. You see, Jehovah raised you up out of bondage and set you apart in heavenly places with Jesus (see Ephesians 2:4-6).

Why? So "He might clearly demonstrate...the immeasurable (limitless, surpassing) riches of His free [gift] grace...and goodness of heart toward us in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:7 AMP).

If you're rich in something, that means you're sufficient in that thing. Or, in other words, you're not "without." Being rich extends further than money. For example: If you're sick, you're without the richness of health. But God's free gift of righteousness and sanctification makes the riches of health, peace of mind and total life prosperity available to you - spirit, soul and body!

Copyright © World Changers Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Creflo A. Dollar
Web site: World Changers Ministries
 
Creflo Dollar is the founder and senior pastor of World Changers Church International (WCCI) in College Park, Georgia; World Changers Church-New York; and a host of fellowship churches throughout the United States and internationally. WCCI also has offices in Australia (serving the Asia-Pacific region), South Africa, Canada, the United Kingdom, India, and the Ukraine.
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