Consider the difference between righteousness and self-righteousness. There are several kinds of righteousness:
- Political and civil righteousness (taught by civic leaders and lawyers)
- Social righteousness (taught by parents and schools)
- Moral righteousness (obedience perhaps to the ten Commandments)
- Righteous relationships with other people (making ourselves attractive to others)
- The righteousness that can come from a sense of achievement (being successful)
And then there is Christian righteousness or the righteousness of faith that works in a completely different way – something we cannot do in our own strength! It is this righteousness that we can take hold of – that is offered free of charge despite our pride, self-centredness, selfishness and lack of self-control – that leads to peace of mind that is beyond description – and a recognition that we can do nothing to merit God’s favour!
Christian righteousness = regeneration through faith!
Eph 2.10 – we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do those good deeds which God planned for us to do (is Paul writing specifically to Christians?).
Could it be that ‘created in Christ’ refers to God’s spiritual creation – and that every believer is essentially a work of art – God’s art?
Consider how artists seek to bring the raw materials into line with the artistic vision. Sometimes they do very little – just a stroke here and there. At other times they make massive changes. Could it be that God labours over every believer, throughout their life, intervening, guiding and shaping us to bring us into line with a vision He has for us? This would be a good reason to look back over our lives to see what God has been creating. What has God equipped us to do in his service, for our loved ones, for our neighbours? Are we still struggling to find God’s vision for our life?