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December 24th 2014

Matthew 1.19 cont.

19 Now Joseph, her husband, was a righteous man and he did not want to expose her publicly, so he determined to divorce her privately.

One of the joys of Christmas should be that of celebrating righteousness, because this is why Jesus came into the world. He came to confer on us a righteousness that we do not deserve. He came to grant us a righteousness we can never earn by our own efforts.

It is often said by people who do not follow Jesus that those of us who do follow Him think that we are more righteous, or holy than everybody else.

Perhaps it is necessary for us to show that this is a lie.

Every genuine follower of Jesus knows that before we receive Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, we are totally unrighteous. We know that there is nothing in our way of life that can win the affection of God.

God loves the whole world, irrespective of who or what we are. He loves us even though there is no righteousness in us to commend us to Him.

Believers know this, and if we should ever think that we are better, or more righteous than anyone else, then we have moved into unrighteousness.

However, it is true that everyone who is born again by the Holy Spirit is clothed with the righteousness of Jesus.

Let us remember that righteousness is to live our life in conformity to the will of God. This Jesus did completely. The moment that we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour we are filled with His life, which includes being clothed with His righteousness.

Therefore, we are righteous, but it is not our righteousness. We do endeavour to live our life in conformity to the will of God, which we are able to do by the power of the Holy Spirit living within us.

Therefore, as we celebrate Christmas, let us enjoy once again that fact that Jesus came to put us in right standing before our Heavenly Father. Let us celebrate that: I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me – Galatians 2.20 (NLT).

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