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True Faith displays righteous behavior

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  • True Faith displays righteous behavior

    True Faith displays righteous behavior. Christ in us displays Christ in us. If we claim to have received Christ, what we do should display the righteousness of Christ in our lives.

    This is not just "living by the 10 Commandments," or "being nice to people." Rather, it is living in the power of the Holy Spirit to show Christ is working together with us to display the righteousness of Christ in our lives. It is "walking in the Spirit" and obeying the commandments of Christ to live as he did, and to love one another, ie among Christians. As well, it is to keep our love alive among pagans, not just to be consistent, but also so as to reach out to them.

    There's a lot of people today who are corrupting the Protestant doctrine of "Salvation by Faith Alone," turning it into a kind of "Salvation by Knowledge Alone." To be saved by knowledge is Gnosticism. To be saved by receiving Christ is to display the righteousness of Christ in our lives.

    Romans 1.17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

    In other words, true faith is righteous! Faith is not Salvation by Knowledge, or Gnosticism. Rather, it is the "evidence" of things hoped for, the "substance" of things unseen. It is the reality of Christ's righteousness in our lives. Otherwise, we simply have knowledge about something that we don't show.

    Is showing righteousness "earning our own way to heaven?" No, if we are given a new suit, it makes no sense if we don't wear it. If we are baptized, it makes no sense if we remain unclean. If we are given righteousness, how can we say we received it if there is no evidence of it in our lives?

    But since it wasn't our righteousness originally, it had to be given to us. Therefore, we didn't earn it. It wasn't ours to obtain. We had to be given righteousness by Christ. He had to give us righteousness that his own works produced.

    So it was Christ's works and Christ's righteousness that is now given to us by his own grace. It is received, and not earned by our own works, producing righteousness independent of Christ. But in receiving it we must demonstrate it or we didn't really receive it at all.

    This then is not working for our Salvation, but rather, a matter of proving we've really received Christ by demonstrating his righteousness in our lives. As such, it is a partnership between Christ and ourselves, as we make use of his righteousness to do good works in him. Having received Christ we became aware of his presence in us, through the Holy Spirit, revealing to us the right spirit in which to act in our lives. We choose to live according to the dictates of Christian character, and are led by the Spirit that he gave us to know what he's like.

    1 John 1.6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

    1 John 2.3 We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.

    1 John 3.3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.