Jesus or Me? Who is in the Mirror of Righteousness
What Does a Righteous Person Look Like?
Today we will look into the mirror of righteousness to discover, whether or not we see Jesus or our old self looking back at us.
The whole point of wearing the breastplate of righteousness is to guard our hearts and keep us following Christ’s lead in our lives.
In order to know what to look for in this mirror of righteousness we will take a look at 16+ qualities.
We are talking about “being the righteousness of Christ.” We are to have a righteousness that exceeds that of the Pharisees – who loved to be seen for what they were doing, and setting the standards that should be followed. When Jesus came, they did not feel they needed Him because they saw themselves as righteous based on what they were doing. (Matthew 5:20).
The righteousness that we are considering today, actually represents the character of Jesus Christ. Character, which we cannot accomplish on our own, we will need the Holy Spirit’s help to reflect them in our lives.
The Beatitudes tells us that we are to HUNGER and THIRST for righteousness — we are not to be content with just a taste, we want all of Christ’s righteousness (Matthew 5:6). We want to be totally changed from the inside out. We need to seek God’s righteousness with our entire being.
PART I — What is Our Part?
.1. Salvation through Jesus.
In order to have the righteousness of Christ working in our lives we must have accepted Him as our Savior.
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).”
“But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:4-7).
We are become new – we want to live our lives differently – 2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
We now have the mind of Christ (2 Corinthians 2:16) and will start to see with the Holy Spirit’s help more of Jesus reflected back when we look into the mirror of righteousness.
.2. Being committed to studying, learning and applying God’s Word.
Jesus is the Word of God (John 1:1,14) and we should be excited to learn more about Him (John 5:39).
. Psalm 1 talks about the way of the righteous as contrasted with the way of the wicked. Two important pieces of information we learn from this chapter is — 1) the righteous delight in having the ability to read and understand God’s Word and 2) they meditate on God’s word, day and night — so they can hide His word in their hearts to help when those opportunities to sin come up. Like Jesus, they will be able to say no to everything ungodly because the Word of God takes precedence (see how Jesus defeated Satan with God’s Word in Matthew 4.)
.3. Being committed to praying and developing our personal relationship with Christ.
. Ephesians 6:18 – And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
. Philippians 4:6 – NLT – Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
. Psalm 5 “A Prayer for Guidance: v11, 12 – ESV — “But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. For you bless the righteous, O Lord; you cover him with favor as with a shield.”
.4.Trust and Obey
. Knowing Our Master’s Voice — While learning all about Jesus, we will come to know His voice and will be willing to follow Him wholeheartedly (John 10:3-4).
. Trust – Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
. Obedience – God has given us commandments to live by – Luke 10:27 – The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
.i. Jesus obeyed first – Romans 5:19 – Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.
.ii. Now we obey with God’s help – John 14:15-17 – 15 “If you love me, obey my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.
.iii. Love is the demonstration of our obedience – 2 John 1:4-6 – 4 How happy I was to meet some of your children and find them living according to the truth, just as the Father commanded. 5 I am writing to remind you, dear friends, that we should love one another. This is not a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning. 6 Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning.
Our part is to spend our time developing our personal relationship with God – seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness – and then He will add to us all the things that are pertinent for us to have the life He desires for us.
PART II – What Character Traits Will the Mirror of Righteousness Reflect?
.1. Psalms 15:1-5 gives us an excellent list of things to consider – being blameless, walking with integrity, speaking the truth from their hearts (cf – Luke 6:45), they don’t gossip, they refuse to say bad things about their neighbors or their friends, they do not lend money with exorbitant interest rates, they refuse to take bribes and they protect the innocent at all times.
.2. Matthew 13:41-43 – Only the righteous will be in God’s kingdom – everyone who causes sin and does evil will be weeded out.
.3. Matthew 25:37-40 – The righteous will be helping our where help is needed.
.4. Romans 1:17 – It is through faith that the righteous have life.
.5. 1 Peter 3:12 – “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
.6. 2 Peter 2:7-8 The righteous, like Lot, are affected by the sins in the world and hate that they are being done.
.7. Psalm 37:21 – The righteous give generously.
.8. Proverbs 10:11,21,31 – v11a – “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,” V21a – “The lips of the righteous nourish many” and v 31a – “From the mouth of the righteous comes the fruit of wisdom” – WOW! The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, full of wisdom which nourishes many.
.9. Proverbs 12:5 – the plans of the righteous are just
.10. Proverbs 12:10 – the righteous take care of their pets
.11. Proverbs 12:26 – a righteous person chooses their friends wisely
.12. Proverbs 12:28 – “In the way of righteousness there is life; along that path is immortality.”
.13. Proverbs 13:5 – the righteous hate what is false
.14. 1 Corinthians 1:30 – Jesus is our righteousness
.15. Proverbs 28:1 – “The wicked flee when no man pursues: but the righteous are bold as a lion.” Has courage.
.16. The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12) show us how Jesus describes a righteous person.The qualities are: poor in spirit; mourning; meekness; famished for righteousness; being merciful, devoted to developing and having a pure heart; a peacemaker; willing to suffer mistreatment for Jesus’ sake.
True righteousness will only occur if we are doing these things for, in and by Jesus Christ.
After looking at this list, I saw several areas where I need more help from the Holy Spirit to be more like Jesus.
How about you, did you see any areas you could improve in?
Philippians 3:7-9 – ESV – 7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith
May we look into the mirror of righteousness and see more of Jesus being reflected back each time.