149. Righteousness leads to holiness.
By now we have clearly understood from Scriptures that the Lord has credited us with the righteousness of Jesus, after having believed the Gospel and became obedient to the faith. This righteousness imputed to us by the Spirit, begins to take control of us and we begin to see the benefits of it. 'When you were slaves of sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of ? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin ... the benefit you reap leads to holiness and the result is eternal life.' (Romans 6:20-22) We don't need to strive to be holy because it is the result of doing what is RIGHT AND JUST always in the eyes of God and Man. There are believers who have attained this righteousness by faith but wouldn't care to do what is RIGHT AND JUST in the eyes of God and Man, yet presume they are living a holy life. The day that is coming will expose their hypocrisy! And there are unbelievers who think that they are living a holy life without having attained this righteousness by faith and they too are being presumptuous because 'those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, IF the Spirit of God lives in you. And IF anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.' (Romans 8:8-9) Therefore, it is important that we discern whether we are controlled by the sinful nature or by the Holy Spirit 'for if we live according to the sinful nature, we will die; but if by the Spirit we put to death the misdeeds of the body, we will live, because those who are led by the Spirit are the children of God.' (vs13) 'Now if we are children, then we are heirs - heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.' ( Vs 17) Since we have become part of God's family, it would be unbecoming of us, if we are found to be unholy. All who have been adopted into his family are therefore commanded to be holy. 'As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."' (1 Peter 1:14-16) Amen.