Leon Fontaine - Righteous Living
I want to talk about righteousness. It's a big word, righteousness. What does righteousness, righteousness according to the Word is being in right-standing with God. And when you are in right-standing with God, all of His promises are automatically yours. To be righteous, is to be healed. To be righteous, is to prosper. To be righteous, is to be protected. To be righteous, is to have God's power that flows and keeps you in the midst of storms, and all sorts of things. When in the Old Testament when you were righteous, it was instantaneous, the blessing, the favour, the power, the strength, the protection of God was yours.
Now, in the Old Testament, you were righteous by your own behaviour. Behaviour is important. But in the New Testament, righteousness is what you are born into when you are born again. And I need to explain this. It says, for therein in Romans 1:17, is the righteousness of God revealed, from faith to faith. The just shall live by faith. You will live in miracles by what you believe. If you believe you have to qualify yourself for miracles, that's Old Testament. If you believe you've got to pound down the devil, because he's attacking you, that's Old Testament. But if you believe that, Jesus says a number of times, according to your faith, so be it done to you.
Did you know that, modern psychology, and Christian psychologists, have shown us that what you believe absolutely controls your life? I know just by virtue of statistics. There'll be somebody here who believes they're just not as smart as every body else, their life's not as together as everybody else's. And, when you believe that you're not smart. How's that going to affect your life? Your schooling, who you're going to marry, what you're going to reach for, what you're going to attempt in life? Your beliefs are so potent, so powerful, God has made the human person as a person that is controlled by their beliefs.
Let me explain it to you. When you study medicine, there's a number of books that are available on what's called the placebo effect. The placebo effect is this stunning thing they discovered a few decades ago, that if you had a, you know, I'll give you a few examples. If they have a trial on a new drug that is supposed to take tumors out, they will put half the people on the drug, the other half on a placebo. The placebo will be saline injected, or it will be a pill that is a sugar pill. It has no power to heal. Okay? Then they have the drug that is doing. In almost across the board in most of these trials, a minimum of 30% of people taking the placebo will be healed.
And they kind of just stunned by this. And then they kind of thought, well, so, this disease even real? Like, really? You can just think it and you're going to have it? But more and more, they have begun to study the placebo effect and what they have found is that your body is a bag of chemicals and can make anything that you need. Whether it is for example, pain control. One of the studies that I read about was, a new pain killer that would deal with pain. And so, half are on the placebo which wasn't beautiful if you were in pain. And the other half are on a drug that controls pain. What they found was, again, I think I was more than 30 percent of these people had no pain when taking the placebo. But when checking them, they found out that their own body had made things to block the pain receptors, etc, etc.
And to the doctors in here and scientists because I know you're here. I apologize for not being able to explain it in a proper way. But the placebo effect is known, that a human being is a belief person, and that what you believe controls everything in your life. What you try, your peace, your joy, and, your physical body. There's a story that is documented of a man who took the placebo, and the tumors were melted out of his body in days. Then, he was told that he was taking the placebo, and they all came back. Then he was told that no, they were wrong, this was the medication, and they all melted away. Literal tumors in the body. They have, so, when you study the placebo effect, they are now no longer saying so sickness is all in people's heads. As though, it's making not a chance. What they're saying, is that your mind and the beliefs of your heart are so connected, that when you begin to believe, that believing literally begins to release the systems of your body in such a way that it brings health, or it brings sickness. They have proven that over and over, this placebo effect.
So I went through a ton of research on it because I thought this was interesting. And the conclusion that I came to was that when God made a human being, He made Him a being that is completely governed by His beliefs. And therefore we need to bring the proper beliefs into a human being. So, the church and the world have grappled with this believing thing. We know, through the study of meds and the placebo effect, there are times for example, that the placebo effect healed more people than the drug they were testing. Okay, so Leon then we don't need Jesus. Leon, then, what's the, no, no. What you understand is, you. Are created. As a unique, individual. Autonomous person. And what you believe about you is so powerful, it governs what you reach for, what you believe, what happens in your world. And we know that it begins to impact your body.
So, not only do we want the right beliefs in, we want to make sure you even have beliefs about something, so by default it just doesn't go bad. So, when you get into God's Word and you begin to believe what Jesus has done, that the life of a believer comes, so, it comes about your beliefs. Now let's read this again. Romans 1:16-17. For I'm not ashamed, of the Gospel, the Good News of Christ. For it, this Good News, is the power of God unto salvation. Stop right there. In the Old Testament, this was not the power. In the Old Testament, you had to be good enough to be righteous and for God to do something for you. In the New Testament, the gospel of Christ is the power. And it says for I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. It is the power of God to salvation.
The word salvation does not mean just saved from hell. It means saved from sickness, disease, the entire curse of the law. It says, to everyone that believes. To the Jew first, to the Greek, for therein is the righteousness of God revealed, from faith to faith. As it is written, the just shall live by faith. When it says the just shall live, it doesn't mean po-dunk, barely get by live. When it says live, it doesn't mean, you know, so we're hoping; this live, means to live phenomenally with the life of God, the presence of God, the prosperity, the blessing, the healing, the protection of God. It means to live, really live, by faith.
So, I'm going to talk about righteousness. Are you righteous? Well, people struggle with this because in our language, if you are righteous, we think it means perfect. Not true. To be righteous means to be in God's, to be in right-standing with God. Let's talk about the word, born again, that we all, people can misuse and then kind of almost become a joke to some people. Born again, is the most beautiful, gorgeous word you'll ever hear in this teaching. Why? Because when you are born, it already decides your nature. Cats have kitties. Dogs have puppies. Cows have calves. Moose have, whatever, meese. So, when you have a child, it is in the same likeness and image of the parents. So, a pig, you can clean it up, put a bow in its hair, take it out of the mud, and where, it's nature loves the mud. Loves to get in there, it's still going to go back to its nature. So, what you are born determines your nature, and determines how you act, etc.
Now, take it to the human experience. I have five children. And if you ask them, how did you ever get to be a Fontaine? They would say, you know, I was born a Fontaine. Did they get to choose? No. It was a free gift, or maybe not. But they were born into the Fontaine family. So if you ask, have they always earned the name? No. There's times I had to talk with my kids, because you know, that's not what Fontaine's do. You know, we, but I didn't take away the blessing from them. Yeah, tonight, you won't be able to sleep in the house, or eat our food, get out. You're not a Fontaine today. Okay, their behaviour did not determine their Fontaine-ness. It was a gift that was given at birth. And they're my children. Sally's children. And so the blessings that go to the Fontaine, Sal and I did not eat steak at one table, and they had bologna at another. Okay?
So the same is true for being a Christian. When you give your life to Christ, you become a part of God's family. You are born, again. Now that you're born into God's family, you have all the rights and privileges of the family of God, not the family of Fontaine. So, this word righteousness becomes very important. Because, anywhere in the Old Testament where people were righteous, miracles, miracles, miracles, protection and blessing and healing. All that was needed was just flowing their way. And when they came out of righteousness, and began to sin, or do wrong things, then the blessing stopped. In the New Testament, you don't qualify yourself to be righteous. Jesus does. That's why it says here in this verse, that, that I'm not ashamed of this Good News, of Christ. It's the power of God unto salvation. To everyone that believes, to the Jew first and the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith.
So, this is a faith-righteousness. You know, one of my believer, one of my brothers went through a phase where he didn't believe he was born a Fontaine. And he struggled with it for a while. Well, I believe I was adopted. I wasn't born here. And, when you, the enemy would like have you think the same thing. Well, I don't know if I'm in God's family, but am I really righteous? Because I had a bad thought yesterday and I got mad, and I'm still dealing with some addictions, and I'm struggling with this sin and that sin. I get you. You know, the power of God will help you with that. But as far as whether or not you are righteous, that's a birthing experience. That's a born experience. That's a born again experience. So to be born again into God's family, is to be in right-standing with God. When you are in right-standing with God, you do not have to try to earn His favour, His blessing, etc.
Let me give you another verse. In Acts 20:32 reading from the Expanded Bible, it says now I am putting you in the care, and the trust of God. And the message about His grace. It, is able to give you strength, edify you, and build you up. And it will give you the blessings God has for all His holy people. The inheritance, those who are sanctified, those who are set apart for Himself. These terms, sanctified, holy, these are all terms that are synonyms of righteousness. My, so, in the Fontaine family, my children are set apart to me, your children are set apart to you. They access your fridge, walk in your doors, drive in your car, sleep in your beds. Because they're your kids. They don't do it with me. Okay? Their your kids. So, this blessing, it says, that this message about grace, strengthens you, builds you up, and then what's interesting it says, and it gives you the blessings God has for you.
Okay what do you mean? I thought I had to be good enough for the blessing, no, no. Grace gives you the blessings. All you have to do is to believe in what Jesus has done. Other than that, you go to this pathetic type of praying, bugging, pleading with God. God please heal my child, God please restore my marriage, God would you please help me with my, we're losing money, we're going to lose everything. God, my mind's going crazy, I need Your peace, Jesus. As if God is deciding yes or no, or having a vote with the angels. Hey Gabriel, Michael, should we give Leon his prayer? Oh, two votes no, sorry Leon. No. God's not deciding. God's already given you all things that pertain to life and blessing.
Now for the born again believer, you have already inherited them, and when you give your life to Jesus they are in your spirit. You, are not trying to beg, bug, plead, or wheel-and-deal with God. I'll stop smoking if you heal this, and I'll stop even, you know, looking at bad movies and horror movies. What are you doing wheeling and dealing with God? It's already done. And so once you understand that to be righteous, is to instantly access anything that you need, but you have to believe that. So what did Satan attack with you, when you're going through a storm and a hard time? He attacks, have you been good enough for God to touch you? And the only way to get out of that argument that goes on in your head, is to go, I don't qualify myself. Jesus qualified me by dying on the cross, in my place. He took my life to Him, and He gave me His life to live. As Christ, as Christ is, as He is in this world, so am I.
And so, to understand this thing about being righteous is crucial. Because in the New Testament now, it is a better agreement than the Old Testament had. Are you righteous? If you've given your life to Jesus Christ, you are in right-standing with God. Does my smoking cancel out my righteousness? No. Does my drinking cancel out my righteousness? No. But it doesn't cancel out lung cancer, you know, alcoholic going to jail, arrested for drunk driving. It, that's wisdom issues you better deal with. Okay? But as far as right-standing with God, you didn't qualify yourself, Jesus did. This is how big this is. Listen to this as I take you through some of this. Because righteousness is now a gift, in Romans 5:17, it says here, for if by one man's offense, Adam, death reigned by one person on this planet. How much more they which receive the abundance of grace, and look at these next words, the gift of righteousness.
You being righteous isn't earned, it is a gift. Like it was a gift to be a Fontaine to my kids, and your kids have your last name, they've got your DNA, they've been raised by you, they think like you. That's either going to be a blessing or a curse, depends. But, the same is true for being born again into God's family. The rights, the privileges, the inheritance that is ours. But, are you righteous? If you've given your life to Jesus, and you're following Him, wherever you are on that journey, you are now righteous. And His power will help you to beat addiction. Help you to beat anger. Help you to beat whatever is messing with you. Because that's a part of His grace. Now let me blow your mind a little bit. Because when you are righteous, what are the promises to the righteous? Well, we haven't got them on the big screen because I'm going to talk really fast, and I'm going to take you through really fast. Here we go. In, it says Psalm 34:17, the righteous cry and the Lord hears and delivers them. Who? The righteous.
In Psalms 35:27, that I favour but my righteous. Let them say continually the Lord be magnified which hath pleasure in the prosperity of His servant. God wants His servants to prosper if they're righteous. Psalms 37:17, the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous. In the midst of whatever's going on, He's upholding the righteous. Psalms 37:25, it says I've not seen the righteous forsaken, or their seed, the kids, begging for bread. The blessing of God is on the righteous, and it moves down to their kids. In fact, Timothy it says, that not he had a faith that was so strong, they saw it in his grandmother Lois. Grandma's, grandpa's, I've got news for you.
Your stand for God in your prayer affects every generation of your family. Oh, they might turn away from God once in a while, but you hang in there and you declare, they're serving Jesus Christ and the presence of God is upon them. And that people are coming across their path, and the pleasures of sin are going to be, are stopped. And we've taught how to pray. It says here, that if never seen the righteous forsaken. God's never backing away from you. In Psalms 37:29, the righteous shall inherit the land. This blessing of God on you. In Psalms 37:39, but the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord. He is their strength in time of trouble. You going through some trouble? It says, and the Lord shall help them, deliver them, deliver them from wickedness, from wicked people, because they trust in Him. Who? Righteous people.
As you go through the Word, it's just stunning. Psalms 55:22, he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved, or to slip, or to fall. Psalms 92:12, the righteous shall flourish like a palm tree in Lebanon. Everything in your world grows and is blessed. Psalms 97:11, light is sown for the righteous. What is light? It's a light to your dark pathway. When you don't know what to look for, when you don't know where to go in your marriage, your relationships, your business. Or just you're struggling yourself. And it feels like you don't have a clue what decisions to make. It's like darkness is in my head and in my world. It says, to the righteous, He brings light. He will light up the way for you to go. He will light up the way for the directions that you need. He'll light up wisdom for you to know the things you need to do.
In Psalms 112:4, unto the upright, the righteous, there arises light in the darkness. In Psalms 140:13, the upright, the righteous, shall dwell in His presence. This is beautiful. Have you ever felt lonely, and like life sucks, and I don't know where I'm going. And do I have any purpose for my life? And, I've got so many regrets, and you live in this angst. The Bible says that to the righteous, His presence will be with you. And you can enjoy His peace. His love, that you're special, you're significant. Because God loves you. That's to the righteous that this is promised. In Proverbs 2:6-7, it says that He lays up sound wisdom for the righteous. In other words, when you need wisdom on dealing with that teenaged daughter, when you need wisdom in dealing with a marriage for this season of your life. When you need wisdom to deal with the finances. In your own thinking, your own emotional makeup, you need wisdom? The righteous get God's wisdom. He'll show you, He'll reveal it to you. Wisdom will rise up in your life.
It says in Proverbs 10:24, the desire of the righteous shall be granted. He wants you to be blessed in the desires of your heart. In Proverbs 10:25, it says the whirlwind passes, so is the wicked no more. Okay? But the righteous? Has an everlasting foundation. That trailer might be moved off, you know, people in Kansas and Oklahoma need to claim this verse. When the tornados come through, it says, the wicked might disappear, but it says for the righteous, you can't be shaken. No foundations. You say well Leon, why isn't this happening in my life? I don't know. But I've got news for you.
If you've given your life to Christ, then you are righteous before God. Someone has lied to you or told you that you've got to be perfect to get a miracle. You just need to believe that you are righteous because of the decision that you made. You were born again into God's family, and this is your inheritance. Today, I want you to begin to understand one thing. If you've given your life to Jesus Christ, you're righteous. And if something is not working in your life, then it's time to stop believing the lie, and start to believe and get into God's Word and realize because I'm born again, does not mean my behaviour is perfect yet, but on this journey I have access to all of the blessings of God.