Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Children of Light (Proverbs 10:29; 11:5, 6; 12:28)

"The righteousness of the blameless will direct his way aright" (Prov. 11:5).

For the past couple of weeks we have been focusing on the destiny of the wicked. Solomon’s teaching has, hopefully, stirred your conscience and impressed upon your soul the truth concerning the terrible consequences of sin and the frightening realities of God’s wrath. The teaching of Scripture on the fate of the wicked is grim and sobering, and if we left the message at this point, would we not lose all hope? But Solomon does not leave us here; he turns our eyes to behold the wonderful glory of the righteous, the hope of those whom God has set apart to inherit the kingdom of eternal life.

The contrast between the wicked and the righteous is striking—often described in terms of darkness and light, of death and life. We have already examined the darker side of this picture, but what of the other? Who are these people of light and life? The righteous are those covered by the righteousness of Christ, redeemed from a life of darkness by the power of the Holy Spirit, those forgiven of their sins, who await the expectation of eternal life in the glory, peace, and joy of the heavenly realms. The righteous are heirs of glory, the children of the living God, and the bride of Christ. They do not receive these gifts because of their works or because of any inherent worthiness, but because of the grace and mercy of God. “The upright are those, whom God makes upright,” Bridges wrote. “They are His own workmanship.… They themselves are His delight. He singles them out from the ungodly world.… Such is the condescension of His sovereign love.”

The righteous in Scripture have not received this designation because they are actually blameless, pure, and wholly righteous. Their righteousness is not of themselves, but given from above, and has been received through faith. Abraham was not declared righteous on account of his works, but by His faith. The only righteousness that leads to life is not a self-righteousness, but the imputed righteousness of Christ, who alone is blameless, perfect, and pure.

God chose the foolish, the sinful, the lost of this world, to be heirs to His kingdom. He pitched His dwelling place in their hearts that they might be preserved until the Day of the Lord, and transformed into His likeness day by day.

According to Romans 3:21–31; 5:1–11; and 6:15–23, who are the righteous? Because your reconciliation with God rests on Christ’s righteousness, how should you live? What should your attitude toward sin be? In what ways do you still act a like a slave to unrighteousness? Make specific changes to put those sins out of your life.