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Focus Scripture: 2 Corinthians 3: 7 – 11 part 1

This is a part 1 of 2 type of discussion. There is so much going on in these verses. Actually, we will do the same thing with the next set of verses (2 Corinthians 3: 12 – 18), too. In other words, pay close attention; we will be taking four weeks to discuss a total of 12 verses.

This part of Paul’s letter is necessarily deep, because what Paul is trying to convey is difficult - even for many folks in our culture today. The ‘Word of the Week’ is Righteousness – let’s take a quick look at two different definitions.

1.      Merriam-Webster.com says that “Righteous” is to “Act in accord with divine or moral law” or to be “morally right or justifiable”

2.      Easton’s Illustrated Dictionary, if you look up Righteousness it tells you to see Justification: A forensic term, opposed to condemnation. As regards its nature, it is the judicial act of God, by which he pardons all the sins of those who believe in Christ, and accounts, accepts, and treats them as righteous in the eye of the law, i.e., as conformed to all its demands.”  Illustrated Bible Dictionary: And Treasury of Biblical History, Biography, Geography, Doctrine, and Literature.

There is a very important difference between these two definitions, but we will get to that a little later. I want to take a moment and point out that I am not seeking to exclude anyone out there who is left-handed. Somebody decided centuries ago that to be right-handed was right and good; to be left-handed was awkward. For example: the French word for left is gauche. So – just to be clear, you are not righteous just because you’re right-handed. Okay, now that we have that out of the way ….

On Sunday, I will be utilizing two related pieces of “literature” to further illustrate what is going on here. One is a portion of C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity; the other a song that only rose as high as number 34 on the pop charts of the early 1970’s. Mere Christianity is not an easy book to read, I will honestly tell you that it took me three tries to completely read this book. That being said, it is worth the failures to press on toward success. According to PrayerFoundation.org, Mere Christianity is the number 1 book on the Top Ten Christian Books of All Time (not including the Holy Bible). I agree.

So – have you figured out what the difference is in the definitions? The key is: “it is the judicial act of God, by which he pardons all the sins of those who believe in Christ ….” Righteousness is NOT from man or anything done by man. Righteousness is not just acting in accord with a divine or moral law; it is being changed by God and enabling us to live the law – see Matthew 5:17.

I can testify that God is on the move and He moves through His Holy Spirit. I pray that you will spend time praying this scripture – “Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life?” 2 Corinthians 3: 8  As I read through what “I” have written, I know that it seems disjointed and even enigmatic (a mystery). But, I am a Mr. E … so, I will trust that God is laying a foundation for our discussion. Let us spend time listening for God as we prepare.

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