Leon Fontaine - You Are Righteous
There's a verse in the Bible that very clearly says in 1 Corinthians 15:57, "But thanks be to God, which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ". So much of the body of Christ seems to have abandoned the gospel and it created some kind of wimpy hybrid that does not work when it comes to God's power in our cities, our nations, or they even get the global harvest off. The Bible says in Romans 1:16, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes".
You see, when you start to believe as a Christian that, "Well, we're just sheep to be slaughtered". Like we talked about last time. Then that belief begins to determine what you reach for. And Christians don't believe that we can lead countries from Presidents to Prime Ministers, to health care, to finance. We're just, you know, just Jesus come rescue us. The end times teachings so much of it. It's all about someone's got to come. Jesus come rescue us from this. We know the big bad devil of the big world is taking over and all the craziest teachings I've heard from the book of Revelation. Jesus is coming back. I know that. Let's go and occupy. Let's get out there and share the news with people.
When you don't preach the gospel the way Jesus won it, then you strip it of it's power. It just becomes another religion. People love the teachings of Jesus. They love the man. The, you know, the historical man Jesus. But to really walk in the power of God is to believe He rose from the dead. And that, what did that do for you and I, His death, His burial, His resurrection. And listen to me, we're not going to be able to see our cities free from the things that are going on. We're not going to see any changes in the news as cities fall, provinces, states, countries, as evil just begins to rise up. And Christians, they'll just stand around and say things like, "Well, we sure got to pray more".
Where in the world do we just pray? Yes! We pray for leaders and all of those in place positions of power. But what the early church did was share the gospel. Share the gospel. That there's power in the name of Jesus to heal your body, to restore your home. There's power. That when the church of Jesus Christ begins to believe who they are, that all of a sudden things change. One of the things that I have noticed is, that there is lack of understanding in so much of the church world today in the understanding of you are righteous. Because we use that differently in our society. To righteous to us means that, you know, that you're perfect. That you don't make any mistakes.
But that's not what it is saying here about you and I being righteous in the new covenant. It is saying here that Jesus has qualified us. With His death the Bible teaches us that we are righteous as a gift. You don't have to earn it. That's works righteousness. That's self-righteousness. But when you believe that you are righteous as a gift and that you are the righteousness of God in Christ. The reason that it's such a crucial doctrine and it's such a crucial truth, it's because you can't make the promises work till you get this basic truth. Who are you? I oftentimes I am speaking to places. I'll say, "How many here are righteous"? And you'll see one or two halting hands go up because they don't want to be bragging. They're not trying to lie and say that they're, you know, they don't do anything sin or anything wrong.
But see, that's not what the Bible is talking about. It is talking about your position with Christ. That you are righteous as a gift. That your spirit man is pure, undefiled. Jesus is in there. Yes, you're renewing your mind. Yes, you're making your body a living sacrifice. But the Bible's very clear in Romans 5:1 and 2, it says, "Therefore, having been justified, which means made righteous. By faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ". You see, when some storm goes on. We're going through a difficult time or we look ahead at the world and we go, "Oh, man. I don't know". There's a peace that is yours because you and God are in right standing. And what God does for the righteous? Is what the new church, the new covenant church seems to not understand.
In Romans 5:17, it says here that we have been given a gift of righteousness and that we are supposed to reign like a king in life through Jesus Christ. When you begin to believe that you are righteous, then you can begin to believe for His grace. What is His grace? His grace is His ability, His favor coming to you and I freely. But if we do not understand righteousness. Well, we have no hope of regularly walking in His grace. His incredible ability and favor that comes to us. Every time you say, "I'm righteous and the favor of God comes upon me and He's upon me". All of these things will be flowing in your life.
In Proverbs 12:28, it says, "In the path of the righteous is life, and in the way of that path is no death". See, life is a continuum. Life just keeps growing and flowing. Life in body, mind, health, kids, you know, grandparents, jobs. You know, and as everything life, this life of God. It's a continuum and death is not a part of that continuum. Yes, I know that right now we're all going to go to heaven to be with Jesus. But while you are alive, you are to believe that life is a continuum. Moses was a 120 and his eye hadn't dim or his natural forces abated. So to our grandpas and grandmas, even sickness and disease and all these things.
We think with that, "Well, we're getting older. Is it part of the"... No, it's not. When it's time to go in the Old Testament, the Bible says your breath or your spirit just leaves your body and you go to be with Him. You don't have to go out sick and dying and afflicted and tumor-filled and cancer-filled where all of our families are dealing with these things. But we need to get back to a basic belief of the Word of God that says that there is no death in our path as righteous people. In Psalm 5:12, it says there that God's favor is over our lives and that this favor is protected from being going like a shield. Wow!
In Psalm 31:18, it says here that let lying lips that come against the righteous be put to silence. When people rise up and lie about you and attack you and say grievous things about you, contemptuously taking you on. Which goes on everywhere especially if you raise your head up to speak truth. Today, it's hard to find somebody who will speak truth because the second you say something truthful, you're going to be attacked. People are going to say things about you. They're going to blog about you. They're going to separate you and come against you. And so I'm talking with people who say, "I love to speak up but if I do".
And I've got news for you. Before you do starts speaking up when you can't, should. I mean, that God will guide you in what to say and how to say it, but you need to believe. That when people begin to lie about you, when they begin to speak grievous things about you, contemptuously come against you. That I am the righteous of God. And the Bible says He's going to silence those lips. Let Him decide how He does that, but because you're righteous the Word promises that. In Psalm 32:11, it says the righteous have such joy. That they're happy and shouting and rejoicing. They're upright in heart. We need to practice that. We can't just always be so serious that everything, our kids got to see us loving the beach, laughing when we get together, barbecuing, boardgames, waterskiing. Whatever we do, we know how to enjoy this life.
There's a joy that's unspeakable and full of glory. The righteous are the ones that have this joy, this happiness, this rejoicing. In Psalm 34:15, it teaches us there that the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry. Because of the righteous, the second something bothers him, "God"! He's there. He's not, everyone's about God answers three prayer. You know, prayer three ways. Yes. No. Wait. No! That's not even Biblical. The Bible says today is the day of salvation. We need to get back to believing that we are the righteous because of Jesus and then all of these favors are always working in our lives.
In Psalm 34:19 it says here that many are the afflictions of the righteous. Stuff is going to come against you. Things are going to go wrong left, right, and center at times. But it says God will deliver you out of them all. People will try to hurt your business. People will try to shut you down on Facebook. People will try to, and you know what? Don't even worry about it because it says here that He will literally deliver you from every attack. As you begin to understand that you are the righteous, you begin to lose your fear of standing up for what is right. Here, in the Old Testament I'm saying, in the Bible times they stood up for what is right, and it caused them their lives. We don't have to worry about that most of the time in today's world.
The Bible says in Psalm 34:21, "Evil shall slay the wicked". When people begin to do wicked evil things, that very evil takes them out. And they that hate the righteous shall be desolate. That means that when anyone comes against you, when you believe that you are righteous and they're trying to shut you down. You feel sorry for them. I'll never forget the day that dad and I were talking one day about me saying okay, I'll go into ministry because I knew that I was called. But I did not want to go into the ministry. I just, I wanted... But as we started talking about it, he made this point. "Leon, never worry about the people that lie about you, come against you. That they try to trip you up. They try to attack your motives. They attack your character". He says, "Don't even worry about them. You just trust God and keep declaring that every mouth that rises against you. You put it down and God will deal with it".
I'm so glad he shared that with me. And by the way, that is not for pastors. That's for every believer. This is the righteous that we're talking about, which is you. Man, it says in Psalm 37:17, "For the arms of the wicked shall be broken". What does that mean? Well, when someone's arms are both broken, how are they going to hurt you, come against you, attack you? It's literally saying. And then it says, "For the Lord, He upholds the righteous". When people come against you. When things come against you. I've never seen a world like we deal with today, where you don't dare stand up for righteousness. You don't dare share what you think. You know, can't really get up. And by the way, we should say it in a Spirit Contemporary way. But it's stunning how nobody wants to stand out. We all just want to be just blend and blend.
The church of Jesus Christ isn't called to blend. It's called to lead, and it's called to speak truth. And when evil, who cares what group it is rises up. We stand strong shoulder to shoulder and declare, "No! Someone must speak up the truth". And I'm not talking about your arrogance, your anger, and some of the stupid things that Christians' do when they speak up. No, I'm talking about using wisdom. In Psalm 37:25, "I have been young, and now am old, but I have not seen the righteous forsaken, or his seed begging bread". It is saying that as you know who you are and believe God that you are righteous. And then you can believe for Him for His ability and all these promises. You look in the future with this belief that we're not only just going to be okay. We're not just going to make it. We're going to lead. We're going to be the head and not the tail.
In Psalm 37:32 it says the wicked tried to trip up the righteous here or the wicked watches the righteous and seeks to slay him. The Lord will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged. It is saying here that the wicked will even study what we're doing, and they'll try to put in lasso. They'll try to trip us up. They might come against you and try to figure a way to take you out. Listen, all the schemes of the devil and evil wicked people in your business, in your schools. The things we deal with. Trust God. Rise up with wisdom. He's going to see us through.
In Psalm 37:39, "But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord. He is their strength in the time of trouble". Are you going through trouble? In what area? Trouble in finances, trouble in your home, trouble with your teenager. It doesn't matter where trouble is. The Bible says that God gives you strength to walk that thing out into victory. In Psalm 55:22, "Cast your cares on the Lord". It says here. It says, "Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He will sustain you for the righteous will never be moved". Moved up of the blessing. Moved up of the call of God. Moved up of the way God has put us together, to win and to not lose. If we could understand. I've hardly touched. I mean, I'm just about read of 18 promises and there's probably another 50 that continually say, "This is what is for the righteous. This is what is for the righteous".
So what does Satan do? He attacks the fact that we're righteous. And so many Christians they don't understand. If you ask them, "Are you righteous"? They would say, "I am the righteousness of God in Christ, given to me as a gift because of what Jesus did on the cross and it qualifies me for every promise I can find in the Bible. He's grace is flowing in my life". You just begin to talk because you've spent time in the Word of God. In Psalm 72, it says, "In His days shall the righteous flourish". Church people tend to believe that the world flourishes and we struggle. No, the righteous flourish.
You got to start believing that. And the abundance of peace. There will be an abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth. Oh, I thought in the end times we wouldn't have much peace. You know, with the mark of the beast and everything else. The promise is if the moon is hanging in the sky, the righteous have the favor of God on their lives and every promise in the Bible still works and it doesn't say except, except, except. In Psalm 75, it says, "All the horns of the wicked I will cut off says God. But the horns of the righteous shall be exalted". That word "horns" means the power. That whatever power that people are wielding against the gospel, against the righteous. He'll cut it off. But the powers and the giftedness and the authority of the righteous is going to be exalted and raised up.
How many of us even release that's in there? It says the righteous in Psalm 92, that you're going to flourish like a palm tree until you die. There is no season of your life where things aren't going to be flourishing into old age. And then there's verse that says in Psalm 92:12-14, be planted in the house of the Lord, so you can be continually reminded who you are in Christ and be around people of like precious faith. In Psalm 94:20-23, again it talks about don't worry about crooked people coming against you. Don't worry about the attacks of the enemy. It says that God is going to protect you and that they are simply going to die out. You cannot be an enemy of God's people and live any kind of a successful life.
But now here's the thing. If the church of Jesus Christ doesn't believe this, then we're growing up in a nation where we all think we're the sheep. That we're just being slaughtered like we expect. And hey, Jesus saved us because we're the wimpy church just dying out hoping to be rescued. We can't keep teaching our children this kind of garbage. They need to know who Jesus is and who we are as victorious in Christ. In Psalm 97:11, it says, "Light is sown for the righteous". It literally means that when you can't find your way, God will shine that flashlight on the dark path and show you what to do. If your job is to lead a company. He will give you illumination. He will illuminate your darkness and show you where to lead that company.
If you're going to be a Premier of a province and you are a part of the righteous of God. He will give you as a Premier. He'll shine His light and illuminate your darkness as to what decision to make. If you're the Prime Minister, if you're a President and you trust God. It says here it is the righteous that light, illuminate that darkness. In Psalm 125:3, it says, "For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous". What does that mean? The word "rod" is talking about people in leadership.
If you are the righteous and you believe that, the Bible says there should never be a leader above you that can ever hurt you because the favor of God on your life says that the leaders in your company, the leaders that you're working for, the leaders in your province, the leaders in your city, that we should just expect that they are going to be righteous men and women of God. And if they're not, they get moved out. And what God wants gets moved in. But does the church even believe this? Do we even declare and rejoice that we are the righteous? And because of that we have favor in the city, favor in the field. God's favor on our family. God's favor on our politics. God's favor on our television. God's favor on creativeness. God's favor on the arts. Will we just to expect this going to go to hell in a handbasket?
Today, I just want to suggest one thought to you. The righteous, Jesus died on the cross and He says that He has given to you and I as a gift. Because I was nailed to that cross with Him. I died with Him, rose again with Him. I am righteous because of Jesus. That exchanged of Him living perfectly is why I am qualified for every promise in the Bible. But we've got to start to believe it. We've got to hear this preach from our pulpits. We've got to hear it preach from TV. You know, the time I get the most complaints and the most people coming after me will be when I began to declare a victorious church.
In whatever area, you get people that just write letters and, "Oh, wow. What about this"? I would say to them, "Go believe what you want but I'm going to believe the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ". And my challenge to you, change the way you think. Begin to declare the promises of God. And the one thing that you need to do. This week start this habit every morning you get up. You get up saying, "I am the righteousness of God in Christ. And because I am righteous, God will always be here for me. He'll go before me. He'll be my rear guard. He's in my body bringing health. He's in my mind bringing peace. He has taken out my enemies and not letting any strategy formed against me prosper. I'm the head and not the tail. I'm raising it. I'm conqueror for Jesus Christ with my kids and my grandkids, and all those around".
And you begin to declare because you are righteous. Everyone of the promises in God's Word, you've been qualified for. And it was stunning because in Matthew 6:33 is a concept that is for into most Christians. It says if you seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, which comes to you as a gift, that everything you need on this planet will just be added to you.
You know, it just begin to come naturally to you if you begin to believe that I'm here and I'm in the kingdom of God. I'm here and I am righteous because of Jesus. Oh, I'm not, I'm not naãve enough to think I'm perfect or that everything I do is right. But I know that every promise I ever find in any book of the Bible, I'm qualified for because of Jesus. Now, I can get up. You can get up. And we can begin to declare who we are in Christ. Begin to declare who we are as a church. Now our kids have something to get excited about. Amen? Amen!