When my oldest son was in the 10th grade, concern arose because it seemed that his growth was stunted. He was the smallest guy in his class of a couple hundred students. There is nothing wrong with being short if God has made you that way for His glory. Yet, my wife’s brothers are all as tall as I am. We were scratching our heads wondering if there might be something wrong. So, I took him to see a Doctor of Naturopathy.
After our consultation, the doctor prescribed two supplements for my son to take that Spring. The results? When school started the next Fall, he was one of the tallest guys in his class! Apparently his body was missing some vital ingredients to cause it to grow as God had designed.
In the same way, many Christians today are stunted in their spiritual growth. Hebrews 5:13 says,
“Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.”
The message here is that the missing ingredient to spiritual growth is a lack of Biblical teaching that God has made you as righteous as Jesus Christ. This is apparently no small issue. For example, the Apostle Paul spends all of Romans chapters 4 and 5 making it clear that God has turned every sinner into a righteous person through faith in Christ. This truth is a “super food” ingredient for our spiritual growth! Have you been taught that you are righteous through faith in Christ?
Even if you believe that you are righteous, though, you may still need to overcome some common deceptions. Consider the following six points taken from our Grace Life Conference material, which reveal some ways Christians may be deceived:
Misconception 1. God’s Righteousness is a Robe Covering Me.
Some believers think that God has covered them with a robe of righteousness implying He can’t look at us as a sinner. Answer – It is true God has given me a robe of righteousness, but under that robe is a righteous new creation.
Misconception 2. The Blood of Christ Covers Me.
Underneath His blood there is still something wrong with me. Answer – I thank God for the blood of Christ because it has so washed me that I have been regenerated according to Titus 3:5.
Misconception 3. God Only Sees Christ in Me.
This mistaken belief implies that God cannot look directly at me because I am a sinner. Answer – God certainly sees Christ in me, but He also sees me because I am a new creation. Also, Jesus is not me and I am not Jesus, but we are united with each other.
Misconception 4. Christ is My Filter.
God hides me behind Christ so He doesn’t see me because I am a sinner. Answer – The finished work of Christ has resurrected me as a new creation. Therefore, God can look directly at me.
Misconception 5. Our Righteousness is Only Positional.
God sees me as if I’m righteous, but I won’t really be righteous until I get to heaven. Answer – While we are certainly positioned in Christ, this deception communicates that God is faking Himself out. The new birth is very real. It is not an illusion.
Misconception 6. Forgiveness Equals Righteousness.
God’s forgiveness makes me righteous. Answer – Forgiveness only removes my unrighteous acts. Yet, forgiveness does not make me righteous. Christ in me makes me righteous.
Several years ago, after hearing these deceptions, a pastor who was at one of our Grace Life Conferences exclaimed, “I knew I was saved, but I didn’t know I was that saved!” How about you? Have you believed any of these deceptions that could stunt your spiritual growth? If so, are you willing to go to God now and tell Him you agree with Him that you are righteous – whether you feel it or not?
Father, I agree with Your Word, that Your righteousness has now become my righteousness. I choose to believe this regardless of what Satan, the world, my feelings, my performance, or others might say. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
If you’re wrestling with feeling righteous or struggling to believe God’s amazing love in your life, we want to help. Click on a button below to learn more about personal counseling or attend our life-transforming Grace Life Conference.
Apple image courtesy of Stuart Miles via FreeDigitalPhotos.net