Immorality is commonly understood by this world as something that is seemingly wrong, but in Christianity is considered a blatant sin, because of its God who is without sin. Immorality includes many acts, such as wickedness, depravity, corruption, lying, deceit, dissipation, debauchery and sexual immorality. All these acts are loathed by God and stand against a place in eternity. Many perceive these acts as not heinous, since they commonly prevail in this world. Hence, they do not understand nor seek to understand the reason behind their heinous nature. Even many Christians perceive immorality like the world that does not have God. They see immorality as a common weakness present in man, because of his fleshly nature. But, the fact to be perceived is God, who is holy, created man in His image and considered His creation good. That which has been created good produces good only. A farmer who reaps well from his crop does not praise the harvest, but the seed he planted. Similarly, when God created man in His own image, He did not credit man, but glorified the image He placed in him. Therefore, man is supposed to reap good for God.
Nevertheless, man sinned against God in the Garden of Eden, when he allowed himself to be deceived by Satan. Yes, he allowed himself to be deceived, since he beforehand received the command from God regarding the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and thereby, had the knowledge of righteousness. When he was deceived, he sinned and was thrown away from the beautiful garden. This one transgression against God stemmed into many transgressions making sin the richest entity of mankind. Even Adam could not have assumed in his days that his single transgression in eating the fruit would produce such overwhelming sin in this world. Interestingly, the fruit that Adam ate gave the knowledge of both good and evil. But, here is the trickery of Satan wherein he needs goodness to produce much evil. Hence, there is also present goodness in those who do evil and this goodness is being used as a cover for the evil they do. In order to bring forth this result Satan first needed to take control of man. He did this by deceiving man to transgress against God and when God left man, Satan took his seat in him. Therefore, the good performed by men in the flesh did not and does not account for the righteousness of God. For this reason, God who is wiser than the wise and who knew the deception of Satan, created man in His own image and instructed him not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
When man sinned he lost the righteousness of God. Where there is no righteousness sin powerfully prevailed. Therefore, all men born in the flesh sinned and will continue to sin. How can God reclaim man? God, who is righteous, cannot receive man without His righteousness. How can man attain to God’s presence? Man, who lost righteousness cannot see God and while Satan himself is still seated in him bringing forth evil. For this reason, God sent forth His only Son that we might have His righteousness; and to send forth His Son at the appropriate time, He first chose the forefathers by faith for righteousness and then at the right time instructed the Law to protect that faith. When the Law failed in its duty, it became worthless and God’s Son, Jesus, alone became the answer for protecting His righteousness. Now, God can reclaim man by removing Satan with the blood of His Son and man can attain to God’s presence by freely performing His righteousness. Therefore, all those who perform righteousness through this avenue become God’s children or the church of the living God and Christ.
Now, what if man sinned again after having the avenue to perform the righteousness of God? In other words, what would be the result if Christians allow Satan to deceive them and seat him in their hearts after having known the Christ of righteousness? Satan will be punished forever, but these Christians will receive punishment in this life, since they have again rejected the righteousness of God. “And another angel, a second one, followed, saying, ‘Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who has makes all the nations drink of the wine of the passion of her immorality’” (Rev. 14:8). When sin, who made the nations drink of her wine also deceived you to do the same, you will lose the presence and the precious things of God. The judgment has long been pronounced on Satan and sin. And, are you willing, O Christian, to be a part of it by choosing immorality? Do not assume that the goodness in you will cover for your losing of God’s righteousness, i.e. Christ! When you as a Christian are living in immorality, the good things you did or are still doing will not count for God’s righteousness. If you claim yourself to be a Christian, but could not hurl Satan from your heart, you never received the avenue to possess righteousness. The gospel for this reason is being proclaimed that you should grasp the wisdom of Christ, and turn to God. Use Christ as your avenue to examine yourself and cleanse your sin with His blood. “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” (Luke 6:41).
It is always convenient to tell others the manner in which they ought to live for God. However, the most difficult is to constantly tell ourselves to live for Christ. The often we speak to ourselves in Christ to live for righteousness, the often we are telling others to live for God. This is because righteousness has the light of Christ and where there is light there can be no darkness. Many of us often make the mistake of constantly exhorting others, and the greatest danger in doing so is that we forget the need to teach ourselves. Forgetting to teach ourselves is also a transgression! Preachers, leaders and teachers often fall into this transgression. This too is caused by the trickery of Satan wherein he uses your goodness for your detriment. He is able to use this goodness, since it is not of the righteousness of God. God’s righteousness has wisdom that is from above; it helps us to teach ourselves, is peaceable and carries the truth of Christ.
The major problem for many present day churches is their lack of God’s righteousness. Are the churches proclaiming Christ? Are they worshipping Him? Are they performing good works? Are they growing? One must say ‘yes’ to all. But, the question that still remains is, “with what righteousness?” Many are preaching Christ and believing in Christ apart from God’s righteousness. For this reason, immorality in all forms still exists in Christians. Dear brethren, this cannot be so. When your righteousness does not contain the things that come from God’s righteousness, it not only brings harm to you, but to the church at large. Satan with his trickery is using your goodness to produce much evil and you yourself are covering your evil with the good you do. You being unable to teach yourself are now teaching others to live for Christ. When you are not teaching yourself in Christ, you teach yourself with your wisdom and produce the doctrines that are not of Christ. Is this not the reason behind the blind leading the blind? This was present in the days of the early church and has only become prevalent. “Since we have heard that some of our number to whom we gave no instruction have disturbed you with their words, unsettling your souls” (Acts 15:24). You have transgressed! Satan has won over you. But, if you are filled with God’s righteousness, you will be like a rudder that steers a ship. You will not fall for Satan’s trickery or the trickery of men. You will hurl back the false doctrines that come to you with the righteousness of God that is in you. You will be among those who make peace and bring peace through Christ Jesus.
When you are no longer of Satan, and are filled with God’s righteousness, you are full of liberty and under the law of Christ. This righteousness teaches you and guides you to the intricacies concerning the liberty present in Christ. There will no longer be room for empty chatter and philosophy; no unruly arguments that make a brother judge his brother. What one man does for God because of his abundant faith in Him will not be envied by another, who does the same in another manner with the same faith. While one praises God for the things he had done, another praises God for the things he had not done. Yet, both being members of the body, will be at peace with different effects. Members in Christ, whether rich or otherwise, will speak well of one another, because of the righteousness that teaches them. “He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God” (Rom. 14:6). Such Christianity is beautiful, more beautiful than words can express. When will the present churches that claim Christ and God understand this? When they do not allow Satan to deceive them, hear the gospel preached and use Christ as their avenue to attain to God’s righteousness.
Only now will they be filled with the spiritual blessings of heaven. If there are churches blessed with all the spiritual blessings, it is a credit to God for His creation and work. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3). Nevertheless, this comes only by great sacrifice. If the greatest sacrifice is of Christ’s, then the great sacrifice should come from us. How many churches that claim to be of Christ have begun in this manner? On what kind of sacrifices are they built? Is it on reading the Word even as the Jews did? Is it on worshipping God as Israel offered sacrifices? Is it on partaking of the Lord’s Supper on every first day of the week as traditions of the elders? Is it on giving as the Pharisees did? Or, is it on sacrificing the good to give up the much evil and attain to God’s righteousness through Christ? Our creation as a church should bring glory to God. When members of the church are without God’s righteousness, that church is without spiritual blessings. It is as good as a tree that is green in appearance, but has no fruit.
Such trees are like hidden reefs in love feasts. They neither have the spiritual blessings nor do they desire others to have them. But, when you are with God’s righteousness, the light of Christ will bring them out of their hiding wherein you will always be aware of their presence. This awareness will keep you from falling to their intoxicated speech, gestures and expressions. This is a spiritual blessing among the many. This light will teach them that you have known their immoral works, and that they are fruitless. How magnificent is the righteousness of God! It helps us to recognize those who are truly begotten by God’s love. It helps us to exactly recognize those who are with spiritual blessings from heavenly places. It liberates us to boldly practice our love to whomever it is aptly due. This brings more unity among the brethren who attained righteousness through Christ. Only with this righteousness can Christians practice love toward each other; to constantly put on love is a work of righteousness and it is a spiritual blessing. “Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity” (Col. 3:14). Righteous works will keep Christians away from immorality.
For many years, since the time of Christ, God has been working diligently to further add as many as possible to the perfect bond of unity by cleansing men with the blood of His Son. Many are still in need of putting on the righteousness of God; sadly, they are in the church itself. When God sacrificed and raised His Son, He not only intended to defeat Satan and his demons permanently, but gave opportunity to man to attain to His righteousness, and a warning to the immoral who name themselves after His Son. “And he cried out with a loud voice, as when a lion roars; and when he had cried out, the seven peals of thunder uttered their voices” (Rev. 10:3). Understand the wisdom in the voice of God’s messengers. When the work given to them is completed, the time for man’s existence on the earth will be concluded. But, it is he or she who has attained to God’s righteousness that will be kept from the great Babylon about to fall.