Righteousness is not a rule in my list. It is sort of a combination of Rule #2: God is good. And Rule #5: Improvise, adapt, overcome. I don't think I covered this aspect of Rule #5 but it generally goes: Don't be a victim. A victim has life happen to them. An overcomer overcomes whatever life throws at them. I discussed in Rule #7: Never stop learning. about the importance of gaining perspective from older and wiser and different council. But this is a matter of choosing perspective. The wisest councilor you will ever have is God himself. Usually through the Scriptures. And the scriptures tell you that the most important perspective to have is "You are righteous". I think tell you how many churches I have been a part of or friends that I have had that for some reason insist that I have to be good to gain Gods favor or get something from him. It's just not true. You have God's favor because you accepted Christ and became the "Righteousness of God in Christ" [2 Cor 5:2].

No I have gotten this far from my soap box dozens of times and hear "Amen" and "preach it". But then I pull out the big guns. You do not have to sin. No I'm a heretic to these same people They have no problem believing that they are the righteousness of God as long as I phrase it identical to the bible, but the moment I tell them what that means, I'm booed off the stage. It's saying the same thing. Jesus even told us this. In the story about the sick man that was lowered through the roof, "what is easier to say, your sins be forgiven or rise up and walk" [Mark 2:9]. Sins being forgiven means we are made righteous. Rise up and walk means we are free from the law of sin and death. Since the law of sin and death is the only thing that forces you to sin [Rom 5] you do not have to sin. It's true.

This is the part where people begin to ignore my point completely. "Never mind that you have made an irrefutable case from the Bible we all believe is the foundation of our faith. You clearly are saying this because you think you're perfect and have no sin. You are full of pride and we shouldn't be listening to you." First that is a fallacy called ad hominem where the person is attacked instead of their argument. Considering my own integrity or pride does not change my evidence or refute my argument. Second, no. I have sinned since coming to Christ. Probably more than I know. I'm ok with that. But I also recognize that I don't have to. I have grace. I am righteous. And so are you if you have accepted Jesus sacrifice. I may sin (make a mistake) but I am not a sinner (bound by the law of sin and death).

The best way to understand this concept is slave who is set free. A slave has no control over his life, a free total control. We were slaves to sin, now we are free to do as we desire. We were orphans without a father, or a home, now we are sons living in the house and provision of God our father. We were victims of circumstances (law of sin and death) now we are overcomers of obstacles and partners with The Overcomer who has given us everything he has won.

I built a handy table to illustrate this idea:





Victim of circumstances.

Overcomer of obstacles.

Complainer - Not my fault.

Problem Solver - Who cares just fix it.

Who you are is the result of your circumstances.

Who you are is a result of your choices.



Someone else decides your fate.

You decide your fate.

You deserve nothing.

You have an inheritance.

Do what's best for me.

Do what's best for everyone.



Who I was before Jesus.

Who I am now.

Prov 26:11 "Return to your own vomit"

Romans 8:15 "Cry Abba Father"

Remind myself of depravity.

Be thankful for redemption.

Sinner, saved by grace.

Redeemed, filled with grace.



I concur!
Do I believe that Jesus is God? - yes
Do I believe that Jesus meant what He said? - yes
Do I believe what Jesus said? - yes
Do I believe that Jesus spoke with the belief that people can change and do what He said? - yes
Do I believe that what Jesus spoke applies to me? - yes
Did Jesus on several accounts tell someone to "go and sin no more"? - yes
Will it happen in my life before death? - .....
Should I work out my salvation daily with the constant recognition of who I am because of Jesus, and live like THAT possibility is right around the corner? - YES. Yes, I should.
This might seem like idealism and unrealistic optimism. But the hope of this attitude (however you want to define optimism) is NOT in myself. It's in the realism of who Jesus is, what He has done, and who the Holy Spirit (who is guiding and strengthning me) is inside of me (not to mention the fruit of the spirit, the armor of God, and man's God-given ability to grow). I'd argue that the reality of God and His nature is more "real" than our reality of this world and it's sin and death. So, walking with Jesus and choosing righteousness over sin isn't only a possibility, but because of Christ, a realistic expectation that we should strive for.