The Anointing Message (Jubilee)

Chapter 6 - The Gift of Righteousness

Jesus preached only certain Jubilee blessings were available in His ministry -fulfilling Isaiah 61:1,2a (Luke 4:21). He spoke of his going to the Father when greater blessings would be given (John 7:37-39,14:12). These could only be fulfilled after His death and resurrection. 

They are: (1) The NEW BIRTH of our spirit (2 Corinthians 5:17), becoming the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD (2 Corinthians 5:21) and SONS of GOD. This is far more than forgiveness. It means right-standing with God, full position, citizenship and access to the blessings in God’s kingdom. It is the result of being united to Christ’s death and resurrection life. 

(2) Receiving a Christ-like spirit also means we can have the HOLY SPIRIT DWELLING WITHIN US and FILLING US FROM WITHIN with His love, peace, joy, power... 

So Isaiah 61:3 was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost: ‘To GIVE them BEAUTY for ashes, the OIL of JOY for mourning, the GARMENT of PRAISE for the spirit of heaviness that they might be called TREES of RIGHTEOUSNESS, the planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified”. 

Here are more Jubilee exchanges given to man, Jesus paid the price foe the exchange and the Spirit is here to make the transaction real. These blessings are from resurrection life (‘beauty for ashes’). The primary blessing is being made the ‘RIGHTEOUSNESS of the Lord’. Based on this is ‘the OIL (anointing) OF JOY.’  This refers to the fullness of the Holy-Spirit. (See also v10). So this is a prophecy that righteousness will be given after Christ’s resurrection, resulting in peace and joy by the fullness of the Holy-Spirit within. Righteousness as only available when Jesus fully dealt with sin on the cross.

What stops people receiving all God’s freely-given blessings?  It is not our past sins for Jesus has forgiven them (2 Corinthians 5:19). He has removed every barrier on His side. But there is one barrier we must remove in order to enter into them. 

What response to the Gospel does God need from us to get its benefits to us? This issue doesn’t just affect our entry INTO but is also the BASIS for our life WITHIN the Kingdom. The Gospel is not just for those outside but even more for those within. People may hear the Gospel but find it hard to receive while they trust in themselves.

RIGHTEOUSNESS is the door to all other blessings. Right-standing with God comes before any other blessing. ‘The kingdom of God is not meat and drink (externals); but (1st) RIGHTEOUSNESS, (then) peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (within) (Romans 14:17).

It is the door into all the other blessings of life. The key blessing is RIGHTEOUSNESS - because the key problem is SIN. Even with sins forgiven, man was in a state of SIN, with a dead spirit. To enter heaven and all its blessings a New Birth was needed (2 Corinthians 5:17).

How is this possible? ‘For He has made him (Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God in him”. (v21). 

Once Born-Again (made the righteousness of God) we can receive the fullness of the Spirit and all blessings of Kingdom in the Holy-Spirit. The main issue for man is how he can find righteousness (right-standing with God, significance, acceptance). Only then can he have security (peace) and joy. That is - how can we be JUSTIFIED? 

This search strikes at the core of our being. 
THERE ARE 2 exclusive WAYS to attain it - by WORKS or by GRACE. 

“There is A WAY which seems right unto man (WORKS), but the end of it is death” (Proverbs 14:12). 
This WAY OF MAN is to seek to JUSTIFY HIMSELF by his own works and goodness - to earn or deserve the blessing BUT this results in death. 

All works with this motive are DEAD WORKS. All attempts to justify or position ourselves, all religion (in so far as it is man’s attempts to reach God) is dead works (Isaiah 64:6). Trying to serve our life up to God is like serving up an omelette with rotten eggs mixed with good ones. Our sin makes it unacceptable. Man is a sinner - he cannot save himself by reaching God’s standard (perfection - 100%).

BUT this WAY is deeply ingrained in us from Adam and keeps is from the WAY of God (receiving righteousness and life as a free-gift). Man’s original sin was to try to “be like God” -to establish his own independent righteousness, to have the knowledge of good and evil, to trust in himself rather than God. This was UNBELIEF + PRIDE. Rather than trusting God’s grace, life and provision to establish us, we went our own way to establish our own position. This SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS cut Adam off from the grace of God plunging him into darkness. 

Man developed religion to mend the break between him and God. This was manifested by Adam making FIG-LEAVES, to cover his nakedness, guilt and shame before God, to be able to stand before God. But this only made things worse, for this too was the same sin of pride - to try and cover himself by his own works. The fig-leaves they made failed when God turned up in His glory and righteousness. Religion deceives man that it covers him before God. How foolish man is when he thinks his good works (fig-leaves) will cover him in the presence of God! God helped them to repent, to take off the fig-leaves and receive the covering provided by God’s grace (the skin of an animal and its innocent blood). God had to show them how pathetic their fig-leaves were - that they could not STAND in his Presence. 

Our attempts to win standing, approval, love from God by our performance (works) are just as pathetic. Not only do they not please Him but they create a barrier between us and God. Adam and Eve REPENTED (took off their fig-leaves - their work) and BELIEVED (they received God’s covering of righteousness). They allowed God to do the work and cover them - by GRACE, by the death of an innocent life. They are in heaven now (Genesis 3:5-9,21).

“However fallen man continued in the WAY of sin (Isaiah 53:6) (at root this is pride, trusting in self), although God’s grace was always there, for anyone that would take off their fig-leaves! The WAYS of GRACE and WORKS are incompatible.If you are in one, you can’t be in the other. If you try to vindicate yourself - God can’t and won’t. If you are in WORKS you can’t receive GRACE.

The WAY OF MAN was so deeply ingrained, we were so determined to do it our way, to prove ourselves right that God knew He had to bring us to the END of it - so we would see its certain curse and failure, abandon it and put all our trust in His grace to make us righteous. God, showed us the end result of trusting in ourselves by GIVING US THE LAW - a revelation of His standards saying: “If you insist on establishing your own position let me tell you what you have to do and by the way you must get 100% all the time, to attain the necessary standard to earn LIFE and PLACE IN THE KINGDOM”. For we must come to point where we say “I cannot save myself”.

“For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, ‘Cursed is every one that continues not in ALL things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, ‘The just (righteous) shall live - by faith and (righteousness by) the law is not of faith (but of works) but, ‘The man that does them (the commands of the law) shall live in them” (Galatians 10:12). 

Here the 2 ways to be righteous are contrasted. To get life (blessing) by the works of the law you must obey it completely. No man can do this. Any failure results in curse. If a man perfectly keeps the law he gets the blessing - otherwise the curse! Someone honestly trying to get God’s blessing by keeping the law, would soon realise - “I can’t do it - there must be another way’ 

As we realise this, we see God pointing us to another way - by His grace THROUGH FAITH. To be righteous and receive life is only possible through faith - for: ‘The JUST shall LIVE - by FAITH’ The one who would justify himself by the law must live by it’s consequences (curse). The law brings man to the END of himself so he would cast himself on God’s Grace. It reveals man’s sin, that even man’s best efforts lead to CURSE and DEATH, that He MUST trust in GOD’S WAY to attain righteousness and life. 

When we try to justify ourselves by works and obeying laws we carry a heavy burden. Jesus said:‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are laden (by trying to earn acceptance, trusting yourself and your performance to make it) and I will give you rest (from the worry, fear and condemnation that brings). Take my yoke (GRACE) upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For mu yoke is easy and my burden is light”(Matthew 11:28-30). Lay down your way and take up His way. Don’t trust in yourself and carry your own burden. Lay down your dead works and take His grace upon you. This is the only way to find peace. DEAD works are so called because they cut off from LIFE. They weigh us down and sap our life. The difference between a dead-work and a good work is the MOTIVE. Is it to exalt self or is it a loving response to God’s grace?

God’s WAY was revealed in full glory in CHRIST and His GOSPEL of grace. He opened the WAY for us to be JUSTIFIED BY GRACE. It’s a revelation of salvation and righteousness by grace through faith, apart from works. (Romans 1:16,17). IF YOU DEPEND IN YOUR WORKS YOU CUT YOURSELF OFF FROM GOD’S GRACE. If you trust in yourself, you can’t trust in Christ. 
Your FAITH hands are tied (faith is simply the hands receiving God’s free gift). 

This is why most fail to receive the Gospel blessings. We trust 1st remove the barrier of our dead works and TRUST CHRIST ALONE and receive salvation as a GIFT. It’s easy to receive when our hands are not filled with our dead works. The extent we abandon our self-righteousness is the extent we can receive GRACE. 

The reason why people find it hard to believe and receive, is that they are looking at and trusting in their works rather than Christ and his work. Their faith is paralysed. “For they (legalists) ignorant of God’s righteousness and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God” (Romans 10:3). 
God refuses to give His blessings other than on a free-gift basis, so there’s no room for our boasting. God won’t operate to us on basis of our works, but only on the basis of grace, so while we are trying to earn it - He steps back. If we trust in our works we: “frustrate the grace of God” (Galatians 2:21) for “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace” (Galatians 5:4). The more we try to justify yourself and please God by works - the further we go from God in pride, piling up dead works. We must repent and accept God’s way of grace.

This solves a puzzle. 
What is the necessary RESPONSE to the gospel? 
In John’s gospel it is always ‘BELIEVE’. 
In Paul’s letters salvation is through FAITH only. 
But JESUS and a few times in Acts, the condition is ‘REPENT’ (Matthew 3:2) or ‘REPENT & BELIEVE’ (Mark 1:15). 

What is this repentance? Why is it often left out? Is it a work we have to do? If so, salvation would not be by grace. (Faith is not a work - it is just trusting and receiving a gift). Is ‘repent’ an extra condition? If the Bible is consistent, this repentance cannot be something other than faith, but must be part and parcel with it. 

It is repentance from not trusting in Christ, from SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS and DEAD WORKS, from going our own way, trusting in ourselves for salvation. It is a necessary part of saving-faith, for without it we cannot trust Christ alone for salvation. To repent is to transfer our trust from our works to Christ and his work. That is why the first foundations of the Christian life are: ‘repentance from dead work and of faith toward God” (Hebrews 6:1). That’s how we are saved and that’s the basis for life in the Kingdom. In order to receive God’s promise we must stop trying to earn it. 

REPENTANCE means a CHANGE OF MIND. Repentance from DEAD WORKS means to change our mind about hem, to devalue and stop trusting in them. What we value, we spend attention and energy upon. Where our treasure is, our heart and trust will be also. It helps to see our dead-works as God sees them - as DUNG! 

In Philippians 3, Paul warn of LEGALISTS (v2) who trust in their own efforts and flesh. True believers ‘have no confidence in the flesh’ (v3). Paul had more reason to trust in his flesh than anyone in his birth, background, education, religious zeal and law - keeping (v4-6). 

“But what things were gain to me those I counted loss for Christ...I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but DUNG, to win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, but....the righteousness of God by faith” (v7-9).

Dead works are not just worthless, but disgusting and harmful (DUNG), so stop presenting them to God and man. if we see then as dung, it’s easy to throw them away! We won’t treasure them. LET GO of them (devalue them) and LAY HOLD of grace (treasure and value it). Anything we hold onto to make us feel and look superior, righteous and important is dung. People don’t go about displaying their dung!

Once we see God’s grace it’s easy to let our dead-works go. He already loves us - we don’t have to earn God’s love, it is unconditional. You’re a loved, accepted, child of God, the righteousness of God, significant and valued. You don’t have to justify yourself. Lay down this heavy burden. Much of our destructive behaviour are attempts to fill a vacuum inside but once we get a revelation of God’s Grace, we find we DON’T HAVE TO DO IT. Relax and accept you can’t make God love you any more or become righteous. You can’t deserve His love and approval, just accept it. Believe in God’s full provision and respond to His love.

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