God uninterruptedly demonstrates He is sovereign and almighty. He does it for the righteous abundantly and for the unrighteous righteously. He is not in a position to shy from it. When believers measure themselves by the standard of righteousness He set for them, they know that this is true. One thing is a constant, i.e. He Himself is never unrighteous and therefore, He expects the same from them. We cannot beget or synthesize His righteousness. It is His given to us freely by faith in Him. It is so unlike anything found among men, since it is of His holiness. No one can ever seek or reach Him with a righteousness of theirs, for that would only be unrighteousness. Unrighteousness is of the flesh and anything fleshly is impure. When someone wishes to demonstrate a righteousness of their own they are intending to demonstrate their mind, skill or knowledge by way of works. Such never attains God’s righteousness. It further demonstrates unrighteousness and provokes God to act against them.
A person who has known God through His righteousness knows His truthfulness. And when God acts against a person demonstrating unrighteousness there is no injustice in it. Many frequently question God on this aspect and although they are people that are outside faith others include church goers who haven’t put His word to the test. Being a disciple of Jesus can you honestly say it is impossible for God to be just at all times? Subsequently, will you dare say that since He is full of grace He does not punish His children guilty of unrighteousness? It would be not be superficial at this juncture to say that God’s grace calls for punishing the unrighteous so that they receive grace. For His word aptly says, “But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is He? (I am speaking in human terms” (Rom. 3:5).
There are scores of believers of Christ, but all not are His disciples. Yet, both are judged justly by God for unrighteousness. His disciples know this for a fact and are sustained by His grace. When believers are acting in faith, it is impossible for them to commit unrighteousness. This is not saying we never become weak in faith or are prone to sin, but this is saying that when our unrighteousness displays God’s righteousness we have been living in sin or repeating unrighteousness rather than having tripped at an instant. It might seem to those afflicted as if God has been unjust or insensitive when they compare themselves with others or when they sympathize with themselves. However, the Word clearly notes that God is sure He is acting in righteousness when inflicting wrath on unrighteousness. Hence, for those who have been saved “by grace through faith” it becomes quintessential not to provoke God’s wrath. It is their fear of God, godliness. And if they are afflicted, it is only in human terms, that is to say, it is not in angelic or spiritual terms. The farthest God destines His wrath on believers guilty of unrighteousness, if and when necessary, is death in the physical body.
Accordingly, it is necessary that we live in the fear of God and not in the unrighteousness of sin. We may be set apart, but that should not be made ridicule. Instead, we are called to justify this: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). Justifying this will not bring us under God’s wrath, even in human terms. It would then only mean that God is full of grace. So, first things first: if you believe you are set apart through Jesus, you can have the knowledge of the works you must do and how. And here is a clue to it – those works are not yours, i.e. you don’t plan, create or borrow them. A simple logic that many override is that when believers are set apart, they are not theirs, but are God’s composition, i.e. created to cater His desire. So, anything you do for God you are not doing it of your own, but are coming from God. When you walk in them, you cannot fail regardless of what men may think or say; and God will prove this to them in due course of time. The works God designed and relates to you are exclusively for you so that you know you are not inferior. In them He glorifies you. Then, where is unrighteousness? It has been buried by God’s workmanship of you. Still, there might remain the question, why do I still suffer? You suffer for the sake of righteousness in the surety of receiving greater grace.
Remember, God is the Savior of believers and nothing less. He wants to save us throughout the time of our salvation. Hence, embracing the fear of Him, godliness, the contrary of unrighteousness, is ideal for us. “For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers” (1 Tim. 4:10). When we are striving for godliness, we justify His workmanship of us. We do the works He appointed and related to us and are not like some who juggle their works thinking to please God. Know this for sure that your workmanship of God has been carved on the works He appointed for you to do for Christ. In other words, the works you are supposed to do for Christ have been appointed for you prior to His workmanship of you. On the basis of them He created you anew in Christ. This is so that no unrighteousness prevails in you. Subsequently, He is the Savior of all men. Hence, for no small reason Peter says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Pet. 1:3). In saying this he has cancelled any opportunity for unrighteousness to succeed in us. For a hope that is living does not call into being the unrighteousness that causes death. So, if our unrighteousness displays the righteousness of God, God is not at fault.
As the resurrection of Christ is a work of God for glorifying Christ, even so is His workmanship of us for Christ to glorify us. Everything we face in it is for our triumph. Whatever God has made to die in us to a living hope God has deliberately chosen not to allow it to overcome us. For this reason, He inflicts wrath and that too in human terms. If God has displayed Himself as the first in us by His workmanship of us, then He shall undoubtedly be the last too. “When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last” (Rev. 1:17).