Today's Foundations Devotional: Sin, righteousness and judgement

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Memory verse:

... the things which now have been reported to you through those who

have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven.

(1 Peter 1:12b)

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What results follow when the pre-eminence of the Holy Spirit is thus acknowledged in the ministry of the preacher?

And when He [the Holy Spirit] has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement (John 16:8).

An alternative translation for “convict” is “convince.” He “will convince the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement.”

We might paraphrase this: “The Holy Spirit will press home upon the attention of the unbelieving world the issues of sin, righteousness and judgement in such a way that it will no longer be possible for the world to ignore or deny these issues.”

These three things – sin, righteousness and judgement – are the abiding eternal realities upon which all true religion is based.

Paul reminded the proud, intellectual, self-sufficient Athenian people of this basic issue of God’s judgement.

[God] has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness (Acts 17:31).

Judgement is a divine appointment. No one is excused; no one is exempted; no one can escape. God’s appointment is with the world, the entire human race. In this judgement God is concerned with only one issue: righteousness. God will not judge men in respect of their wealth or their cleverness or their religious profession. He is concerned only about righteousness.

The nature of this issue is simply defined: “All unrighteousness is sin” (1 John 5:17). In respect of moral conduct, there is only one alternative to righteousness, and that is sin. Sin must be defined in terms of righteousness. The negative must be defined in terms of the positive.

If we were asked to explain the word crooked, the simplest way to begin would be by demonstrating the meaning of straight. We could draw a straight line and say, “This is straight.” Then we could go on to say, “Any other line extending between the same two points that does not follow the course of this line is crooked.”

The exact extent to which the crooked line deviates from the straight is a matter of secondary importance. It may deviate by one degree, or it may deviate by many degrees. This makes no difference. Whether it deviates by little or by much, it is still crooked.

So it is with sin and righteousness. All unrighteousness is sin. Every form of moral conduct that is not righteous is sinful. God has established His divine standard of righteousness. Anything which departs from that in any degree, small or great, is sinful.

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Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for giving revelation about absolute,

total righteousness through Your Word. Whether I would deviate

just a millimetre or a mile from it, I could never attain that

righteousness ... But in Christ, I do! Thank you for that immense

grace! Amen.

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