The Path of Righteousness
Please understand that God loves us, really loves each of us. God created
man in their spiritual image for the purpose of loving and rewarding us
with their Presence one day. God created us with the knowledge of Him so
that we would each love, worship and feel privileged to be in their Presence.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let
them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air,
and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing
that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
That we worship the triune God is clear from His word:
Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the
beginning; from the time that it was, there
am I: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me. Thus
saith the LORD, thy Redeemer,
the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee
to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.
Jesus of Nazareth had many things to say during His public ministry, some
hard to understand and some unpopular to us sin-loving children of Adam.
However, the path of righteousness was pretty clearly laid out in the four
gospels: thereafter the apostles Paul, Peter, John and others took it further.
Perhaps the starting point is to understand that certain people endeavour
to be righteous from a young age and others are naturally wicked. However,
when the word of God is revealed and a spiritual occurrence is perceived,
the soul of that person sometimes reacts, resulting in brokenness and repentance.
The Lord then lays His gentle hand of posession on that person and a disciple
The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity
of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the
righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of
the wicked shall be upon him. But if the wicked will turn from all his
sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which
is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions
that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness
that he hath done he shall live. Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked
should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from
his ways, and live?
And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings,
wherein ye have been defiled; and ye shall lothe yourselves in your own
sight for all your evils that ye have committed.
- (Ezekiel 20:43)
And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word
of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, And saw two ships standing
by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing
their nets. And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's,
and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he
sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. Now when he had left speaking,
he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and
let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto
him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless
at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had this done, they
inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. And they beckoned
unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should
come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they
began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees,
saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was astonished,
and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had
taken: And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which
were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear
not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And when they had brought
their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.
And the apostles and brethren that were in Judaea heard that the Gentiles
had also received the word of God. And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem,
they that were of the circumcision contended with him, Saying, Thou wentest
in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them. But Peter rehearsed the
matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them,
saying, I was in the city of Joppa praying: and in a trance I saw a vision,
A certain vessel descend, as it had been a great sheet, let down from heaven
by four corners; and it came even to me: Upon the which when I had fastened
mine eyes, I considered, and saw fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild
beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And I heard a voice
saying unto me, Arise, Peter; slay and eat.
But I said, Not so, Lord: for nothing common or unclean hath at any time
entered into my mouth. But the voice answered me again from heaven, What
God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. And this was
done three times: and all were drawn up again into heaven. And, behold,
immediately there were three men already come unto the house where I was,
sent from Caesarea unto me. And the Spirit bade me go with them, nothing
doubting. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered into
the man's house: And he shewed us how he had seen an angel in his house,
which stood and said unto him, Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose
surname is Peter; Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house
shall be saved. And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as
on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that
he said, John indeed
baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.
Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us,
who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand
Jesus had this to say to the eleven unconverted followers after righteousness:
If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray
the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide
with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot
receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him;
for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless:
I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more;
but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall
know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that
hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he
that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will
manifest myself to him. Judas saith
unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself
unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If
a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and
we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not
keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the
Father's which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet
present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom
the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring
all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace
I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give
I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
It is clear that at conversion any disciple of Jesus Christ shall receive
the Holy Spirit:
The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that
thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that
thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily,
verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the
kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born
when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and
be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto
thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot
enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh;
and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said
unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and
thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and
whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
This conversion allowed the willing soul to be empowered by the Spirit
of the Living God, and Spiritual signs and wonders would follow on this
earth with the certain hope of life everlasting thereafter with the triune
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient
for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come
unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come,
he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go
to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of
this world is judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot
bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide
you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he
shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to
come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew
it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore
said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
(John 16:7-15 AV)
The following is perhaps the key passage of Scripture in the entire Bible
and describes what it is all about:
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptised into Jesus Christ were
baptised into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into
death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of
the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have
been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in
the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old
man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed,
that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from
sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live
with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more;
death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto
sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye
also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through
Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body,
that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members
as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves
unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as
instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion
over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall
we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants
ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto
righteousness? But God be
thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the
heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free
from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after
the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have
yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity;
even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for
the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin,
and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end
everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of
God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Jesus equated it to the narrow way:
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is
the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and
many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and
narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that
Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many,
I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once
the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye
begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open
unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye
are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence,
and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know
you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.
Let it be understood that the strait gate of entrance is the spiritual
experience of becoming reborn of the Spirit - the giving of oneself to
God, in trust, without reserve or regret, taking the good with the bad
that the world has to offer.
The narrow way one has to walk is by using one leg at a time, left, right,
One day at a time.
And our heart, our conscience, which is empowered by the Holy Spirit is
there to guide us.
These two legs are:
Do you go to church, to a denomination where there is much tradition, wearing
of distinctive clothing, bowing down to images, women leaders, where you
know that there is a drawing away from the Truth.?
Do you love to hear the word of the Lord on a daily basis by reading His
word, attempting to obey it, listening for and hearing His voice, talking
Is your religion church based; or Spirit based where church is a by-product
of your faith?
Do you allow others to teach you the word of God, or do you go to the Teacher
This is the really difficult part. Keeping your thoughts, actions and words
pleasing in God's sight, not because you fear reprisals from the Power
on high but because of the knowledge, the experience of the supernatural
love that rises above worldly things. The love that causes ecstasy in the
For example, keeping to the road speed limit as commanded by God, not because
of the fear of a fine, but because of the realisation that those laws are
there to protect us.
By your fruits, carnal and spiritual, will you be known to man and God.
As an illustration, take the vine. It is of minimal usefulness when compared,
say, to an ironwood tree:
And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, What is the
vine tree more than any tree, or than a branch which is among the
trees of the forest? Shall wood be taken thereof to do any work? or will
men take a pin of it to hang any vessel thereon? Behold, it is cast
into the fire for fuel; the fire devoureth both the ends of it, and the
midst of it is burned. Is it meet for any work? Behold, when it
was whole, it was meet for no work: how much less shall it be meet yet
for any work, when the fire hath devoured it, and it is burned?
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; As the vine tree among the trees of
the forest, which I have given to the fire for fuel, so will I give the
inhabitants of Jerusalem. And I will set my face against them; they shall
go out from one fire, and another fire shall devour them;
and ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I set my face against
them. And I will make the land desolate, because they have committed a
trespass, saith the Lord GOD.
However, when we come to the usefulness of its fruit:
And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take
this, and divide it among yourselves: For I say unto you, I will
not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.
I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch
that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in
me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it
abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine,
ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same
bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide
not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather
them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide
in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall
be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit;
so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved
you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide
in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in
his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain
in you, and that your joy might be full.
Let us encourage one another to righteous works for our Master.