Tag Archives: Righteousness

A Sceptre of Righteousness

Hebrews 1:5-9

For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.

And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.

But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

Here the writer distinguishes the difference between the angels and Jesus, the Son.  Jesus is not an angel and never has been.  In preparing for this lesson, I came across a writing that stated that the ministering angels in the Old Testament were actually Jesus before he came in the flesh.  There is a problem with this thinking.  Angels are created beings but Jesus was not created.  He has always been and will always be.  He has no beginning and no end.  Angels are not equal with God, but Jesus said “I and the Father are one.”  Jesus is no angel and never was one.  He is higher than the angels, as we discussed in our last lesson.  If anyone tries to tell you he was an angel, walk away!  Or know your scripture well enough to defend the Son of God!

When Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River, we read a fascinating tale of the Holy Spirit descending like a dove.  As this interesting event took place, the heaven’s opened and a voice spoke out from heaven and said “Thou art my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”  I wish I had been there to see the crowd’s reaction to those words!  How often do you hear a voice speak from heaven?  I know I never have!  I wonder how many in the crowd remembered the words of Psalm 2:7, which says “I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee?”   This is considered by many as one more fulfillment of prophecy by Jesus – he is declared the Son of the most high God!  I would guess that most Jews had no concept of God having a Son outside of this particular scripture.  I don’t believe there is any where else in the Old Testament.  Hosea 11:1 comes the closest by saying “Out of Egypt I have called my son.”  The Jews knew there would be a messiah – they had no idea this Messiah would be God’s Son!  And they certainly did not think that Son was Jesus.

The next verse talks about the first-begotten.  We know Him better as the only-begotten!  God has only one Son!  The Mormon church believes that Lucifer was a son of God as well, but ther3e is no scriptural basis for this belief.  Jesus was God’s only Son.  He was the only one born of a virgin, the only one conceived by the Holy Ghost, the only one to fulfill all the prophecies of the Old Testament.  No one else comes close.  And all the angels of heaven are assigned to worship Him and Him alone.  We can see this scene in heaven as they all come around the throne to worship the Lamb.  The angels will never worship Lucifer.  Oh, he has fallen angels that followed him when he left heaven.  They made the decision to follow him when he fell.  They are subservient to him and him alone, acting like little trolls to do his bidding.  The angels of heaven, on the other hand, do the bidding of Jesus with pleasure.  In Frank Peretti’s book “This Present Darkness” he talks about the way the angels do God’s bidding based on the prayers of the saints.  They go where the prayers are active.  They go where they hear the name of Jesus.  His name is there driving force.  This is the truth of scripture.  The angels worship Him, and Him alone!  The angels are simply ministering spirits, flames of fire that touch the hearts and lives of men.

But Jesus is on a throne.  A throne that sits in all of heaven.  And he holds the sceptre on that throne.  A sceptre is a sign of power and authority.  It is a symbol that the one who holds it has everything in His control.  A sceptre has a way of helping everyone else to see who is in control   Jesus holds the sceptre and it is a sceptre of righteousness!  He does what is right – always.  He does what is good, what is pure, what is just, lovely and true.  He does only that which is motivated by love.  I would not want Jesus to hold any other sceptre than this one.  It gives me the assurance that no matter what is going on in my life, Jesus is doing what is right, and good and just. This is because he loves these things and he always wants what’s best for me (as long as I put Him first).

Let’s never be confused.  Jesus is not an angel.  He never was.  The angels worship Him.  We should as well.  He holds all power and authority and we would do good to remember that – especially in the hardest of times.  After all, He is on our side!

Philippians 1:28

without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved–and that by God.

The transition to Christianity would not be easy for the Philippians.  Their neighbors, family and friends would ridicule them, threaten them and mock them if they were not taking the journey with them.  These new converts would have to be strong and faithful, and hopefully Paul left behind good men and women to work with them in the church.  Paul tells them here not to be afraid of them.  This was a message to them that they would be destroyed in the end, but you will be saved by God.  They might not believe that, but it’s the truth anyway!

My Christian witness is identified by the way I live, and by the words I speak.  So I must conduct myself with the utmost regard for how it reflects on my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  At my workplace, do II give my all, as if I’m working for the Lord? Colossians 3:23 tells me “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,”  Do I accept the assignments given to me, and carry them out?  Colossians 3:22 tells me ”Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God”:

Several years ago, I had a great position with a company I had been with for 20 years.  They implicitly trusted me with keys to all their locations, and I floated between these locations, plus worked on the road with my sales staff.  I thought I was above the law.  But I abused my position and did things that I knew could get anyone else fired on the spot if it was found out.  One day, I was called into the office by my supervisor, and was told about a situation in one of the stores.  Not wanting to put any of the employees in jeopardy I confessed my transgression, and was immediately terminated.  This brought great dishonor to God, and caused me to take a deep look inside.  It ended up with me taking an 8-month sabbatical to a place in the hills of Kentucky to reevaluate where I was with God.  It was a life changing that I look back on and thank God for.

My Christian witness must be lived out everywhere, every day, in my actions and in my words.  I must not dishonor Him in anything.  This is my calling and my duty.  I have failed several times, and God has had mercy on me.  He is a wonderful God.  How is your conversation today?

 

Lord, you know how many times I have failed you, yet you continue to love me and have mercy on me.  I am so humbled by your awesome mercy.  Help me to move forward and walk as Christ would have walked.  Help me have His compassion, His boldness, His humility, and His desire to serve.  Help me to do the things in all areas that honor you, because that is the desire of my heart.

Philippians 1:11b

“which are by Christ Jesus, unto the glory and praise of God”

It is only through Christ that we can have any form of righteousness at all.  Isaiah said that our righteousness is as filthy rags, and he was right.  We can do all the right things we want, but they only lead to pride, and pride is an abomination to God.  Our righteousness actually becomes a curse to us.

But Christ’s righteousness through us shines brightly.  We realize where it came from, and therefor take no credit for it.  Our pride stays in check, and we walk in humility, knowing that we have no good within ourselves.  The fruits of righteousness are by Christ Jesus – He is the owner and deliverer or that righteousness into our lives.  Never forget that.

And those right things we do are not meant to bring any glory to us.  We have no need of glory – it just brings pride.  All our righteous deeds, which come from Christ, are meant to bring glory and praise to God.  If we are taking the glory for them, then we are acting on our own behave, not as the ambassadors we are supposed to be.  If we take away His glory and keep it for ourselves, we are putting ourselves before God – that’s idolatry.

Make sure that you know where any goodness in you comes from, and make sure that credit for your good deeds goes where it is supposed to go.  You will live much happier and freer if you do!

 

Lord, thank you for being my righteousness and teaching me how to do good for others.  May you receive all the glory, honor and praise for anything good that comes out of my life.

Philippians 1:11a

person undeservedly. We want to see the best out of others, and be the best to others. Our actions say a lot about what we are full of.

Third – a former pastor of mine always said “What you do speaks so loudly that what you say I cannot hear”. Do your words reflect your actions? Are you consistent, or are you a Pharisee? Who were the only people Jesus spoke harsh words to while He was here on this earth? The scribes and Pharisees! Why? Because they did not display the fruits of righteousness. They spoke of a just God, but their lives were shallow and all words. Be authentic!

The fruits of righteousness are only possible because He lives in us. That is next.

Lord, help me to live a righteous life. I realize I cannot do this in myself – I have to rely on you to have any form of righteousness. So help me lose myself so I may gain more of you. Help me to only live out what you put in me. Help me to walk in your paths and ways, not my own. I can’t possibly do this without you!