Support us on Paypal
Contact Us
Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Joyce Meyer » Joyce Meyer - Righteousness - Part 1

Joyce Meyer - Righteousness - Part 1

Joyce Meyer - Righteousness - Part 1
TOPICS: Righteousness
Joyce Meyer - Righteousness - Part 1

Thank you for joining me today on "Enjoying Everyday Life". And you know, that's exactly what God wants you to do. But the subject I'm gonna be talking about actually today, and for the next couple of days, if you don't really have this as a foundation in your life, it gets very, very difficult to enjoy your life. I wanna talk to you about the free gift of righteousness that comes to us through our faith in Jesus Christ.

Now, righteousness just simply means that you've been made right with God. It's not, in the biblical way of looking at righteousness, it's not about doing everything right. It's about knowing who you are in Christ, who did everything right for us. And if we put our faith in him, then God, because he wants to, views us and sees us as right with him. So, until you know that you're right with God, you suffer a lot of guilt, condemnation, and usually live a lot under the law, trying to do everything right, and that can really wear you out. I went through a lot of years of that, which I'm sure a lot of you did too. So, the Bible actually says in Isaiah 61, that we have a robe of righteousness, which is a covering. It says, "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord: my soul shall exult in my God".

You see the joy there, and he's gonna tell you why. "For God has clothed me with the garments of salvation: he has covered me with the robe of righteousness". I like that. Let's think about that again. I will greatly rejoice, and my soul shall exult in my God, because he has saved me, and he's put me in right standing with him. The word salvation means to be delivered from your sin, but it also means preserved from harm, from ruin, or from loss. And you know, the more we believe what God says, the more we trust him, the easier life gets. Of course, I've been doing this for a long time, and I started, you know, like most people, trying to trust God, but not really trusting God most of the time. Or I would trust God a little but have a backup plan, you know, in case God didn't come through.

And certain things like money was really hard for me because I never really had anybody to take care of me when I was growing up. And you know, because I was abused sexually in my childhood, I already felt really bad about myself, before I ever even got started in a relationship with God. So, I had a real tough time with really getting a Revelation that I was the righteousness of God in Christ. But this robe is a covering. And I want you to listen to this. It is impossible to defeat the devil unless you know, who you are in Christ. And you'll hear me say "In Christ" a lot because it's not about your do, it's about your who. And when we believe in Jesus, as amazing as it sounds, God considers us to be in Christ, and Christ is in us. And so, he says when he died, you died. When he was raised, you was raised.

So, everything that Jesus went through and did, it's put to our credit, just because of our faith in him. I mean, what a change the New Testament was from the Old Testament, because they had to try to follow all the laws that just kept mushrooming and getting to be more and more and more. I think I heard the 10 commandments turned into 2200 laws, or something by the time they got done with them. And the Bible says that the whole reason why God gave the law was to show people that they couldn't keep it. So, they would know that they needed help, that they needed a Savior. And then of course, Jesus came. But a lot of the people still didn't want to believe in him. And Paul, the apostle Paul, prayed and it's recorded in I think Philippians 3:9. He says, "I pray that I might be found as in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes through works of the law, but the righteousness that only he can give that comes through faith in Jesus Christ".

Now, how many would rather have it as a gift than to try to earn it all your life? I certainly would. And then, Ephesians 6:10-18, would be what you would want to read, if you wanted to get the whole concept here. But it talks about the armor that God has given us. And it is a gift from God, protects us from the enemy, but we have to put it on. And it's all something in the spiritual realm. It's not like you pick up a natural piece of armor, and put it on your body, but it's what you believe.

And so, Ephesians 6:11 says, "Put on the whole armor of God, that you might be able to stand against the schemes of the devil". So you see, he is a schemer, and a manipulator, and a trickster, and a liar. And he can even come as an angel of light. He knows how to quote scripture. And our defense against him is to know the Word of God, and to apply it when we need it, and to know who we are "In Christ". It is impossible to defeat the devil without, and this particular piece of armor is the breastplate of righteousness, which the breastplate covers your heart.

So, in your heart, you need to know God loves you. God will never love you any more than he does at this moment right now, no matter how much your behavior improves in the future, which it will. But you can't buy God's love with good behavior. And I like to say it like this. We love him because he first loved us, and we want to, and make an effort to do what's right, because of what he's done for us, not to get him to do something for us. So, we need to always come at, I'm daily making an effort, because God loves me, and I'm so thankful for what he's done for me. But then when we make mistakes, the really good news is, is if we admit those mistakes, his forgiveness is already there. He already paid for all of our sins.

And so you might say that forgiveness is already in the bank, all we have to do is receive that forgiveness from God. And when you get the forgiveness, then the guilt goes with it. He bore our sin and our guilt. And we'll be talking about all of that more. "For we wrestle not with flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places". So, this would be so big if all people knew this. Our war is not with people. It's with the devil. It's not even with the government. It's with the devil. And now, the devil works through people, he works through governments, he works through nations.

So, we have to be on our guard, and make sure that we have discernment. I pray, very seldom does a day go by that I don't pray, that God will give me great discernment and discerning of spirits. That discerning of spirits is so you, when you're around somebody, you can tell if they're evil or if they're good. And sometimes you can't always even figure that out. It's like you just kinda know something's wrong, you don't know what it is. And, you know, we don't wanna be judgy, we don't wanna judge people, and so sometimes we stay around people longer than we should. But I would say at least this, we do wanna believe the best of people, but when you get that caution, "Uhh, something's just not right here," at least you better open your eyes a little bit wider, and do a little more praying, and really watch and pray, so you don't get taken in by somebody that's evil.

And I don't have it all written down here, but in Ephesians 6, it talks about tightening the belt of truth when you're in trials. I like that. It's like, okay, you know the word, but when you get in a difficult time, when you get in a trial or a tribulation, you need to tighten that up. You need to believe it even more, because the temptation is to think, "Well, that's never gonna happen". And you know, sometimes God is not as fast as we would like him to be. If you've noticed, he takes his time about doing things. In Mark chapter 11, it says that when we pray, that we will get what we asked for, but it doesn't say when.

Now of course, we're not gonna get anything we asked for, if it's not the will of God, or if sometimes something we ask for is the will of God, but we just totally got the wrong timing. It's like you have something in your heart that you really feel you're supposed to do, or that God has said he's gonna do for you. You know, look at Abraham, I mean, it was 20 years after the promise. Part of that was his own fault, because he got involved and tried to take matters into his own hands. But David, king David, was anointed to be king 20 years before he wore the crown.

Joseph was 13 years after his dream, before he ever saw it come to pass. And so, it's during that in-between time, you know, we get excited when we first feel like God has shown us something he's gonna do. And, of course, when you see it come to pass, that's exciting, but we gotta make it through the middle. And that's the part where most people lose it, is in the middle when it seems like nothing's happening, and you're getting very tired of waiting. And then when you get in a weakened position, that's when the devil loves to attack. Over this past weekend, I just taught a message called, "Is the devil real"? Because a lot of people today, have decided he's not real. And I thought, well, I don't know who you think it is that's aggravating you all the time, but trust me, the devil is real.

And that we went through Luke 4, where Jesus was taken by the Holy Spirit out into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. That seems like a strange thing. Why in the world would the Holy Spirit, you know, lead... Now, the Holy Spirit had just descended on Jesus, right after that, he led him out into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He didn't eat anything for 40 days, and the Bible says that when the 40 days was over and he was hungry, then the devil began to lie to him and attack him. And so, one of the things that we need to keep in mind is that you do yourself a favor, if you don't let yourself get too tired, because if you just push and push and push until you're exhausted, that's a very good time for the enemy to attack you.

You have to be very careful when you have a lot of other things coming against you to be especially careful to watch for the enemy. If somebody has really hurt your feelings and you're wounded, you have to be very careful during those times. That's time for a little extra prayer. And so, it talks about tightening that belt of truth, and then putting on the breastplate of righteousness, and wearing your shoes of peace, which means that even in the most difficult trial, you stay in peace. The more we can stay in the rest of God, the happier we are. And I think sometimes it just takes a few years of trying to do things yourself, until you finally just run out of yourself, and realize that, "Yeah, you do what you can do, but there's a lot of it we can't do". And that's the part that we need to just say, "Well God, if you don't do this, it's never gonna get done".

I tried so hard to change myself, and make myself what the Bible seems to say that we should be. And I finally just told God, "This is it, if you want me any different than what I am, you're gonna have to do something about it, because I'm tired of trying to change myself". And so, you stay in peace. Put on the helmet of salvation. That means to learn to think with the mind of Christ, with the mind of the spirit, not that human mind that we all have, the mind of the flesh. We need to learn how to think like God thinks. And then it talks about wielding the two-edged sword. We have the Word of God: it is that two-edged sword. But the time to pull it out and use it, is when the devil's after you. That's, you know, sitting in church and hearing it and underlining it in your Bible is great, but you gotta use it when the enemy comes after you.

In Luke 4, when Jesus was being tempted out in the wilderness, what was his weapon that he used every single time? "It is written". And he quoted a scripture, and that was the end of it. And so, then it says to cover everything over with prayer. Now, what is righteousness and who is righteous? Well, righteousness is defined as: to be right, which is the opposite of being wrong. And I don't know about you, but I don't like feeling wrong about myself. I don't like feeling like I've done something wrong. I don't like to feel like somebody else thinks I've done something wrong. We all want to feel right and good and to feel that we're pleasing God. And I love that scripture that says, "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased". And he said that two different times in the New Testament.

And I think we're to take that personally and believe that God also speaks that over us. And it's next to impossible without the grace of the Holy Spirit, to believe that God is pleased with us, when we know full well that we don't do everything right. So, that's where faith kicks in and says, "Well, I believe it because you tell me to believe it, and because it's a promise in your word". It is figuratively used of power and authority with God. So, knowing who you are in Christ gives you power and authority over the enemy. Without that, you don't have it. If you feel bad about yourself, the devil's gonna walk all over you. He'll just walk all over you. And believe me, he will try to make you feel bad about yourself.

Two of the temptations that Satan brought against Jesus, in that time in the wilderness were attacks on his identity. "Well, if you are the Son of God, turn this stone into a loaf of bread". So, there were actually two different temptations there. One was to try to prove who he was, and the other was to get him to move independently of God. Don't wait on God, if you're hungry, just do it yourself. And then the other one was, he said, "If you will just bow down and worship me once", just once, the "Just once" lie. I hate that one. I hate, "Well, it's only a little thing". I don't like that one. And I don't like, "Everybody else does it". Gotta be careful for those three things.

You know, the whole world can do it, but that doesn't mean that it's right for you to do it. But the devil told him, "I will give you", he took him up on a high place so he could see all the things in the world, and he said, "If you will bow down to me just once, I will give you all of this because it has been turned over to me and I can give it to whoever I will". Well, who turned it over to him? Not God, Adam did. When Adam disobeyed, Adam and Eve, when they disobeyed, they gave the authority and the power that God had given them, to him. Jesus has redeemed us, which means he's bought us back from the enemy, and he has restored that authority and power to us.

In Luke 10:19, the Bible says that, "God has given us power and authority over all the power the enemy possesses". And I love that. It doesn't say the devil has authority. He does have power, and we need to respect that. Don't ever make jokes about the devil, because he's not funny, believe me. And if you look at him in a lighthearted manner, that's a good way to open a door. So, you respect his power, but you know that he has no authority to use it. And so, you take authority, and you can do that in the name of Jesus. So, it denotes freedom, and it signifies being just. And I love that because when we're justified, which we are in Christ, it means that we have been made just as if we never sinned.

I tell you, you gotta think about that a long time for that to sink in. You know, we get a lot of information. Information is everywhere. You can get 12 sermons in one day, if you know how to dial in the right stuff. But information has to become Revelation, before it really does you any good. That's why sometimes we need to stick with one thing for a long time. I felt so bad about myself that really getting a Revelation on the fact that God loved me, was very challenging. I mean, I had to meditate on and think about that God loved me for over a year, before it finally just sunk in. And once you get it as a Revelation, nobody can ever take it away from you. There's no trouble that comes your way. Anything that can happen to you that will get you to say, "Well, God, don't you love me"?

You know, if you ever hear yourself saying that when you've got trouble, then you know that you still need more Revelation in the area of how much God loves you. Just imagine, if you had one child, which one of us would be willing to let that child suffer the way Jesus suffered for a bunch of people who didn't even know him and didn't care? You know, it would be like, this is a terrible example, but it would be like me giving up my child's life, to save all the ants in the world. You know, it's like, I mean what he did for us is absolutely amazing. And so, the word just or justified means: to be right, to be acquitted, declared not guilty.

So, I just want to speak that over to you today, and everybody watching the program. If you have received Christ as your Savior, and you have your faith in him, then I pronounce you not guilty. In the name of Jesus, amen? And I can just kind of see the shackles falling off of some people watching by tv, because maybe all you've ever heard all your life is what's wrong with you. But I'm telling you today, that God sees what's right with you. He has made you right with him through your faith in Christ. And then the resulting fruit of that is, no condemnation, not guilty, and you can have confidence and boldness. When you know who you are in Christ, you can step out and try new things, because you don't even have to be afraid of failure. It's like, big deal.

You know, if you try something that doesn't work, that doesn't mean you're a failure. It just means what you tried failed, and so now, you know not to do that again, and you can go and do something else. You have to have confidence in God, not yourself, but confidence in him, if you're ever going to do anything beyond just exist here on the earth. Justification and righteousness, and this is an important transition, will be seen in right living.

So, I'm not in any way saying that we don't make an effort in the Holy Spirit, I wanna clarify that, because it's not a fleshly, humanistic, works of the flesh effort, but we ask the Holy Spirit, help me do what's right today. Help me represent Jesus well. We're ambassadors for Christ. Help me get along with people. Help me love people. Help me walk in the Fruit of the Spirit. So, we lean on him, but we don't do any of that because we have to, to get God to love us. You see, God gives us righteousness so we can produce right behavior. I always say, and I got an understanding of this a long time ago. "God never expects us to do anything, if he doesn't give us the equipment, that we need to do it with".

Wouldn't it be foolish if one of you was a TV editor, if we just put you in a room with no equipment and said, "Edit joyce's program". I mean, that would be like, how frustrating and foolish would that be? Every one of you who has a job, you're given the equipment that you need to do that job. Well, God gives us righteousness so we can behave right. Otherwise, there would never be any hope of us ever behaving good. And in the New Testament it says to, "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling".

So, I like to say, "He works it in, and he helps us work it out". And to work it out doesn't mean work for it. It means to work with the Holy Spirit, to let what God has put in you, change your soul, the renewal of the mind. You learn to think different. You learn not to live by your feelings. You learn to use your will to choose the will of God. And I know I'm saying a lot in a short period of time, but thank God for books and listening again and again.

You know, if you're recording this program, you can listen to it 20 times till you get it. So that's good. And he gives us everything that we need to do what he's asking us to do. So, I can get up every day and yes, I try to do what's right, but I'm not trying to do what's right to get God to love me. I'm doing it because he loves me, and I love him so much for what he's done for me. We love you, but more importantly, God loves you, and he will never stop loving you. So, learn how to receive that, and start to enjoy the life that Jesus died to give you.
Are you Human?:*