We often hear about walking in righteousness. Righteousness not only pleases Almighty God, but righteousness benefits us also. Righteousness gives God room to be justified to act on our behalf. Righteousness brings blessings, favor, and anointing. Righteousness separates us from the rest of mankind, and many times spares us from demonic influences. Righteousness shows the devil, and satan, who we have chosen as God.
We see in 1 Thessalonians 4:1-6, where Paul, the Apostle, was writing to the Thessalonians, encouraging them to walk in righteousness. Paul tells the Thessalonians that by living our lives to please God, and by making choices in our lives that please God, that we will “abound more and more”, which means that we will be blessed, more and more. Paul stresses the importance of abstinence, and the importance of controlling our bodies in sanctification and honor.
1 Thessalonians 4:1-5
1. Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. 2. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. 3. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: 4. That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; 5. Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:
So many times we believe that the times have changed to the point that the Holy Bible does not pertain to our situation, even though it does. But if we look at what Paul is saying to the Thessalonians in 1 Thessalonians 4;6-12, Paul is telling them to work, and to stop stealing from each other, that the Lord is the avenger for such activity. People that love each other do not steal from each other. If we love each other, as Christ Jesus commanded us to do, we will not be hateful to each other, or deceitful to each others. Paul states that if we hate each other, that we truly hate God, because hatred is not of God. Paul continues by saying that we are to love one another, instead of hating others.
If we love each other, as Christ Jesus commanded us to do, we will be fair and honest to each other. Fairness in business and other relationships leads to greater favor in business and other relationships. True righteousness brings us not only favor, but blessings from God. Blessings and favor overcome and counteract lack.
1 Thessalonians 4: 6-12
6. That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. 7. For God hath not called us to unto holiness. 8. He therefore that despised, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit. 9. But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. 10. And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more; 11. And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; 12. That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.
In order to give hope and comfort, and perhaps even to give reason for righteousness, Paul tells them of the second coming of Christ Jesus himself will descend from the heavens, with the voice of an archangel, and the victory of God, and the dead who have salvation will be caught up with them, and we will be with the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18
13. But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
As I read the above scripture, I see that according to Paul, that in order to have salvation, we have to believe that Christ Jesus died on the cross and rose again. I believe this also, but I ask you to remember the words of Christ Jesus written in 1 John 3:8-10:
8. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 9. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
Christ Jesus is saying here that if you truly believe on Christ Jesus that you will not sin and that you will not hate. God is of love, not of hatred. This constitutes change for many people. Believing on Christ Jesus is the first step, and is the reason for the rest of the steps in walking in righteousness.
Walking in righteousness means that our beliefs, the way that we treat each other, the choices that we make, and even our activities, are chosen with careful thought of whether or not Christ Jesus would approve or disapprove. Praying for guidance helps us walk in righteousness. Praying for protection from temptation helps us walk in righteous also. Praying for salvation is the first step.
In the name of Christ Jesus, I pray for forgiveness for my sin. In the name of Christ Jesus, I believe that Christ Jesus died on the cross for my sin, and that Jesus rose from the grave, and will return for me. I choose to believe on you Christ Jesus, and I repent of my sin, and pray that you keep me from sin and temptation. I pray that you wash away my sin with the blood of Christ Jesus, and make me whole. I pray that you lead me and guide me, and help me to make righteous choices. I love you Christ Jesus, and I thank you for your great sacrifice for me. Amen.