Righteousness: no mask when looking in the mirror
Brief History of Dualism
We can't get the perception of ourselves correct until we can get the perception of God correctbecause they are the same. Does the Gospel make a person Righteous or does it reveal a condition that already exists?
1 Cor 1:30-31 NKJV 30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God and righteousness and sanctification and redemption-- 31 that, as it is written, "He who glories, let him glory in the LORD."
This verse very powerfully identifies four impartations and there source. It also unmistakably reveals they are a true benefit to the receiver as they are something to really boast in. The verse says But of Him you are in Christ... Who is the 'Him in this verse? God did it. It was God who made the arrangement which provided us with four amazing benefits. We are given the Wisdom FROM God which gives us understanding of God's intent and He teaches us how to use knowledge. In Righteousness we see the restoration of God's nature although not necessarily lost but perhaps diminished from view. Perhaps blurred by an incorrect perception. In Sanctification we are reminded of our mark of ownership by God reminding us of our common origin (Heb 2:11). Lastly in Redemption we see our liberation and freedom.
Where did the Righteousness Go?
Was Righteousness lost or was it simply shielded from view? Was it unable to be seen because of Good and Evil? Of Love and Fear? Was it removed from the forefront of who we are because duality came forward and we spent our time judging and being in judgment?
Think about when something is lost: was it not once in the possession or part of the one who lost it? But we have taken the concept of Righteousness and seemed to have obliterated it from man entirely. Was Righteousness obliterated or simply misplaced? Did it really depart from manor did it simply fade into the background due to the awareness of sin bring forward the consciousness of contrasts?
Restoration is a process whereby something is brought back to its former state. It is a removal of a less than perfect or less than purposed condition. When furniture (a chair) is being restored it is being returned to its previous condition for which it was made. It is then able to fulfill its purpose again. The marring is only on the surface and the original condition is still there but it is veiled and must simply be uncovered and brought to the forefront again.
Restoration always points to a previous condition but due to an interpretation of what is perceived by the senses the restored value is diminished. Sin Consciousness or the perception of not being in the original condition causes one not to be able to see the underlying truththat the chair exists in its original condition under the false, under the marring. Also important to note is the marring did not define the chair or decrease its value to the Builder.
Righteousness has been defined by E W Kenyon as the ability to stand in God's presence without the sense of guilt, condemnation, or inferiority. He also indicates that it is Righteousness that restores to man all that was lost in the Fall plus a new relationship as a son with all its privileges. The two kinds of righteousness according to Kenyon were a servant's righteousness and a son's.
It is also interesting to consider that the Hebrew structures tended to emphasize the relational aspects of God and humanity in the context of covenant and not necessarily right and wrong. Righteousness was understood more in terms of being in a proper relationship to the covenant members rather than being right in ethical conduct. Whereas Greek tradition also tends to leave the judicial sense and define Righteousness as an expression or demonstration of love and mercy rather than a divine justice that must be satisfied.
When we discuss man or we consider a decisive event in the history of mankind we tend to go to the fall but there is a greater description of us that the story of the fall did not alter. God said Let us make man in our image and after our likeness... This is the starting point for all men and the event of our creation in His image is not lessened by the fall or any other action of man. As we focus on the fall this causes the image to be temporarily out of focus IN OUR EYES not Gods producing a flawed portrait of God, of His plan, of His love, and of us.
The act of justification restored our Righteousness. It was not accounted to us or imparted but a realization of what God have given us from the beginning. It was never obliterated, or made nonexistent, but it was pushed to the side causing us to lose focus of who we are. In this Realized Righteousness we get the vision of this Righteousness, this nature of God, is and always has been ours from our Builder and we are simply restored and returned to intended condition again.
Righteousness and Duality
The predominate views of religion define Righteousness based on conduct to certain prescribed rules or standards. Kenyon hints at a deeper definition in stating that it is the ability to stand before God without sense of sin. Still others of late indicate Righteousness has to do with returning to life as God designed or for living in the condition, state, and purpose of God's intent.
Righteousness seems to be a nature or character trait rather than a judicial declaration. Duality has been a charged topic for me of late and in considering the scope of dualism and the separation concepts between God and man, the understanding of Righteousness seems to have been affected by the ideas of good and evil or duality.
Dualism has forced a before and after perception of Righteousness and many other aspects of God. Dualism causes us to look in contrast, in before and after. We tend to see the way we were before the fall. Then what we supposedly became due to the fall and then to what we will be restored again. It has presented us with two kinds of Righteousness giving us a servant versus a son imaging a nature as a servant that can never be ours but only borrowed as long as we obey the Master all the while masking the Righteousness of a son. A nature that is the son's because of the linage of his Father. It causes one to see Law versus Grace and in our striving to perform the rituals we miss the Grace of God's heart turned towards us. All of these comparisons point to what is perceived as lacking, weakened, or hidden.
In light of dualism there is only one Righteousness. There is only one way we ought to be and only one nature of God. We may see different angles or reflections of our concept of that Righteousness because we tend to reference everything by the fall of man. We are simply seeing differing degrees of a single Righteousness that is God's alone which has been given to us. Our corrected perception of God is clearing away the veil allowing a clearer perception of ourselves and of the Nature of God that is our mark of ownership that was never removed by any action of man.
One of the outward indications of this re-alignment is a revealing of the nature of God in uswhich is our Righteousness and our awareness of His importation. This unveiling is not only an outward evidence but an inward one as well. As we reflect the nature of God by refocusing our perception and seeing union rather than separation then our Righteousness being His nature given to us comes to the forefront of our being. Then we understand 2 Cor 3:18 which says: But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Although the term Righteousness may have many awesome definitions but as we mirror Christ who mirrors God, we look into Christ and we see ourselves. We see the Christ who is a prototype of who we are. As we look closer still into the mirrorinto the eyes of the Christ we see an image that amazes uswe see our Father. The nature of man becomes one in the righteousness of God.
My definition of Righteousness is no mask when looking into the mirror making the contrast of our Righteousness versus God's nonexistent. Without contrast there is no judgment: there is no before and after. There is no way we were before versus the way we are now. There no longer is a remembrance of what is missing for the realization is assurednothing is or was missing. Duality only exists in our perception due to sin consciousness until we see all mankind mirror in the Christ.
The Fluidity of Romans 4:25
Romans 4:25 NKJV states: who was delivered up BECAUSE of our offenses and was raised BECAUSE of our justification. The Youngs Literal Translation says Jesus was raised ...because of our being declared righteous.
What is Justification? What does it mean to be justified? Justification is the judges verdict while righteousness is the status that is manifested or revealed BECAUSE of the verdict declared. Justification is not how it occurs but is the means of bring a resident TRUTH to light. Justification causes a revelation of a condition to be placed in prominence. It reveals a state that is assured because of the resurrection of Christ. Our justification is evidenced by the resurrection.
What does it mean to be justified? It means to be vindicated and to be cleared of all charges with documented proof of the offense never occurring. It also means to be protected against assault by having one's enemies overthrown. To be supported and defended as one without fault. And finally, it means to be absolved, to be set free and released from debt, sentence, and judgment.
A partial picture of justification can be seen in the Old Testament in Zephaniah 3:15 which says: The Lord has taken away your judgments, He has cast out your enemy. The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; You shall see disaster no more. Justification clears the eyes to see a condition that existed, has always existed, and never left. It clears the fog from the mirror allowing us to see we have our origin with God and always have. It reiterates that the Fall of man did not separate or destroy the origin we have in God (Hebrews 2:11 MSG).
Can we act right, or go to church often enough, or memorize enough scriptures to increase in Righteousness? No. If you are the Righteousness of God how can you be more the Righteousness of God? You can have an increased knowledge and awareness of your Righteousness and its purpose for you.
Righteousness carries the assurance of no condemnation. Romans 8:2 states: There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus at which point the verse ends with the condition. If there is a condition then there is a possibility for condemnation. Weymouth translated this verse as ...for the Spirit's Lawtelling of Life in Christ Jesushas set me free from the Law that deals only with sin and death.
What does it mean to have no condemnation? There is no declaration of guilt. There is also no revealing of faults and failures, and there is no sentence pending due to punishment, suffering or doom. God did not exalt Jesus to the Christ to show us our sins, our misses or our failures to bring condemnation and destructive judgment. He sent Him to reveal to us who we really are, to allow us to see a portrait of the sons of God that we areHis full intention. We are constantly looking at the wrong image of ourselves and each other. The true image, after our declaration of Righteousness IS CHRIST, the Son of God.
Did Christ's death make us sons? No, it revealed a mystery hidden in Himin the LOGOS, showing us who we really are and we were and are always His. The declaring of our justification stating we are in God is for our benefit because we did not know and sometimes still do not. But when that which is perfect is comeshowing us our true reflection THEN we can see clearly. In light of Youngs phraseology stating Jesus was raised because of our being declared righteous did the declaration cause it to be so? Or did it simply reveal and bring to light a condition that was true but just could not be seen due to the mask of sin consciousness and of defining our own righteousness apart from God's.
The Two Becauses
Paul in response to our dualistic tendency even in his time provides a vivid portrait of a powerful cause and effect in Romans 4:25. He says Jesus was delivered BECAUSE of something we did and He was raised BECAUSE of something we became. Did you see that, both actions on the Christ were because of us?
Jesus as the Christ entered death because that is where we were but Jesus was raised BECAUSE of a declaration that justification brought to light. He brought to the forefront a new creation so the image cannot be tainted again. How? Jesus did not die in our place but He stepped out of the Law of the Spirit of Life and into the Law of sin and death which had us bound. He did not die in our place, nor for us, but He died as us. We were so strongly identified with Him at His death that His death was ours.
There was no life in us and there was nothing in us to revive. He gave us His life by dying our death. He did not give us our life back because there was no life in uswe did not have lifewe were dead. But His Life was given to us. His resurrection is our guarantee to us that we are not guilty. God did what He said He would do. So we now have His life and life more abundantly. The chair has been restored and it is still a chair.
That is why Paul said in 1 Cor 15:13 if the resurrection did not happen then our faith our confidence of God as a Father is worthless and we are still dead. 1 Cor 15:52 says As in Adam all die, even so in Christ all are made alive. This is a great universalist verse but it also details a union, an intermingling of destinies. God so intertwined the destiny of the Christ with ours that His own hung in the balance. It was our death he died and He gave His life not to God, not to a devilbut to us because we lost ours. Life was gone from us and the image of who we are was marred.
He became so deeply connected with us on the cross and us with Him that His success in making us Righteous (making us like Him who knew no sin) became equally necessary for His resurrection promising our own. Our penalty of sin being our death resulted in His death and our declaration of Righteousness resulted in His resurrection. Our liberation from death was the impetus that caused His resurrectionensuring our own.
The Mirror Christ
God gives us an image of what we are. He lets us see the picture of our justification and that image looks just like Christ.
1 Cor 13:12 NKJV For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now, I know in part, but then I shall know even as I am known.
This dim view in the mirror is nothing wrong with Christ but in our perception. Mainly because we do not believe what we see. We find it hard to believe we are Christ and we become Him. This looking into Christ proves or depicts the revelation of the mystery of God's intentChrist in you.
Remember where you are? As we rediscover the truth of our Inclusion in the Christ we will no longer make the focal point of the history of mankind so much about the fall of Adam. The event will lose its dominant place in mankind's path as we recall 'Let us make man in our image and likeness' and our origin takes its proper place in our reality. We have assumed all was lost in the fall but the seed of God is and always will be there forever in man.
1 Corinthians 13:12 also images a dual idea with the phrases not now...but then. NOW we see in the mirror dimly and we know in part. BUT THEN we will see face to face and will know who I am just as God has always known me. What happens in between to release the clarity? Verse 10 of the same chapter says when that which is perfect is come... Jonathan Mitchell in The Mitchell Translation says I can only see a part but when Christ is manifested in me then I can see by experience. It is intimacy which yields a full disclosure. The clarity comes after intimacy as we realize we were in the heart of God all along. God created us because love requires expression. So when the perfect reflection has come or when the Love of God comes and casts His perfect reflection in the Christ showing us our true image THEN we can see clearly.
What do we see? 1 Cor 13:12 says that I see in the mirror Christ dimly. I cannot see clearly because perceptions of belief, my fears, my awareness of sin gets in the way. But when Love casts the perfect image and I see clearly then I will know as I am also known. What? We see the inclusion of all mankind in Christ put there by God's design. We see our origin in God and having been there all along we realize we are and have always been His offspring and the desire of His heart. Looking into God's heartwe see His love. Looking into His eyeswe see ourselves.
The God in our Head is not the God in our Heart
Who is this God we have made. We build God in most cases around our beliefs, putting our doctrines first. We most often use the Bible to support a doctrine rather than looking into the Bible to see Christ who is the express image of God. We fashion this God to explain the things we do not understand, that we cannot control, or that we fear. We have dictated that this God we have made is in meticulous control of every minute detail of creation because we for sure cannot control all and we need to know God can.
Andre Van der Merwe says: Jesus tore the veil, [to allow us to see God] but religion sewed it back up. We strive to see God through a veil or maskthrough filters that we have set in place that causes God to be fashioned inside our limitations or perceptions, our mental picture of who we believe He is.
Then, we realize the God in our head who is in line with the doctrines we have decreed as truth does not match the God in our heart. As we seek God and we experience Him we often find that the God in our head, in our reasoning does not coincide with the God in our heart. The God we have formed in our mind does not seem to fit with the God our heart calls Abba. We experience the God who loves, the God we come to know because of relationship. What do we do when the God we have fashioned in our head through the filter of our beliefs and doctrines is not the same as the God we feel, as the God we experience because of intimacy? It is at this point dualism has made a full disclosure.
Dean Dosher says: If we do not discover ourselves as we see the face of Godthen we do not have the correct perception or image of God. When looking into Christ who mirrors God we should see ourselves reflected back. As Christ is the truthful intent of mankind and as this plows through the barriers of our doctrines and belief systems the picture of the singleness of God becomes prominent in our heart uniting our mind. He is our image of God and ourselves and dualism is destroyed. He is the example of God's heart for us and He is the example of God's intent for us.
We wear a mask to hide what we perceive was lost. We lost the way we ought to be RighteousnessGod's nature in our mind because we refused to listen to our heart that said God loves us still. Like Adam and Eve who hid we also hide from God until we see ourselves reflected back from His eyes realizing we do not see condemnation. In the face of Christ we look into the eyes of Godand we are amazed we see ourselves there.
What am I trying to say? Our image is reconciled in our mind for it was never tainted in God's. Freedom comes in not only seeing the image God sees but being the image God sees. Then you are in agreement with God. The unveiling of Christ in us completes our every expectation and leaves nothing to strive foronly awaken too (Francois du Toit). In looking into Christin the seeing, we become what we behold. Righteousnessno mask when looking into the mirror.