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Sunday English Service - 09 APR 17 - The power of the blood of Jesus


Let's turn to 2nd Corinthians chapter 5 verse 21: For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. We have been teaching on the power of the blood of Jesus, and the power is for us to avail. And I have been talking about how the saints overcame the devil by the blood the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. There are three elements to that victory: the blood of Jesus, the word of God and the testimony of the believer. The blood of Jesus has been shed, the word of God teaches from the cover to cover on what the blood of Jesus has achieved and obtained for us. But to that we must add our testimony. Christianity is a great confession, the reformers said. Why? Because nothing works without our confession. This is how faith works. It is not enough that it is written here. It is not enough that work of redemption has been done. You need to take what is written here, about what has been done and proclaim it and confess it, and only then it means you really believe it and that you will possess it. That is how things work in the Christian faith.

So we have been talking about how important it is to know what the bible teaches that the blood of Jesus has done so that you may claim it. You may plead the blood in those occasions that you may stand on what the blood of Jesus has done and claim your inheritance. So I have been talking about some of the things that the bible teaches very clearly about what the blood of Jesus has done. One is forgiveness of sin; we have been through it in two weeks. Then I talked about last week on healing. How the blood of Jesus is connected to healing. When the blood of Jesus was shed, not only was sins forgiven, it opened a door for a whole array of blessings for our spirit, soul and body to flow to us because of the blood shed on the cross of Calvary. And one such blessing is the healing for our bodies.

Now I want to talk about the third thing today - and thatis righteousness today. And that is why I read this verse which says, For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. So we are going to talk about righteousness and how the blood of Jesus has brought the righteousness of God to us. Now why is this issue so important? We must understand what righteousness is all about. Righteousness is the ability to stand before God without any guilt, condemnation or inferiority; that is the way one person has defined it and I liked it very well. Righteousness is the ability to stand before God without any guilt, condemnation or inferiority; and it is a major issue because - the issue I believe is guilt. For many believers today, guilt is a big issue. That is what the devil uses as a weapon to cause failure in the life of a believer. To make a believer a failure, what the devil does is somehow brings a condemnation; a sense of guilt - a guilt consciousness in the believer. And once you receive that guilt consciousness, once you open your heart and mind to that guilt that the devil brings into you, then nothing works in spiritual life. Your prayer doesn't work, your devotional life doesn't work -you don't feel like reading the bible, you don't feel like praying because; the thing is guilt says, "Will God answer my prayer?", "Will God bless me?" "I am not worthy to receive God's blessing" "I am not up to the mark" - you know that is what guilt says. Guilt says, "What is the use of going to church?" What is the use of hearing the word?" "What is the use of praying?" "What is the use of doing all those things" After all you have sinned; you have guilty this and that.

And the devil bombards us - The bible says in Revelation 12 verse 10. he is the accuser of the brethren. He accuses the brethren in the presence of God day and night - can you believe that? He doesn't work on a shift. He works 24/7 - 365 days, Day and night, he is constantly; he is interested in the defeat of the believer. He wants the believer to be totally defeated. He wants you to be dispossessed of your inheritance; he wants you to be the loser. Since you have put your faith in Jesus and believed in him and come to Christ, now he is taking another route to defeat you, and that is to bring guilt consciousness into you and to put guilt into you, so that you utterly fail in your spiritual life. He couldn't stop you from getting saved now he wants to stop you from succeeding in spiritual life. And guilt is one of the major weapons that the devil uses.

Now today that is why I am talking about righteousness; because righteousness is the thing that solves the problem of guilt. It is a very important issue in spiritual life. Once you solve this issue, then there is boldness, there is a confidence - your prayers are successful. You go to God with a great deal of confidence. You know John talks about that confidence - he says this is the confidence that we have in him. If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us and we know that we have the petition that we desired of him. In prayer the most important thing is confidence. And the same John says in his epistles, he says, If your heart condemns you, then everything fail. If there is condemnation in your heart you don't feel right about yourself, there is condemnation, then prayer doesn't work- you don't even want to pray, you don't even feel like praying because you don't know how far your prayer will go. And sometimes you end up hearing some preaching or something that says, "You prayer won't even go as far as the roof". And so that becomes a confirmation. "You know well I am a sinner and my prayer won't go as far as the roof of this building". But you realize that guilt is a very serious issue and that is why the truth about righteousness is a very important truth in the bible. And this is the truth that the Christians many times have failed to grasp, so that they have been robbed of their inheritance because of their failure to grasp this truth; and that is how important this truth of righteousness is all about. Your battle with guilt will be over if you grasp this truth of righteousness; that is why we need to listen to this today.

Let us look at 2nd Corinthians 5:21, where it says, He made him to be sin he who knew no sin for us that we may become the righteousness of God in him - talking about how he was made to be sin. Let me just say a word about sin here because something's need to be very clear in our mind. We need to understand the difference between sin and sins: You know sin singular and sins plural; there is a big difference between "Sin" and "Sins". Sins are the things that we do that are wrong before God and when Jesus died on the cross, he bore the punishment for our sins. The penalty that belongs to us for our sins, he bore. Penalty is not an ordinary thing. I read to you last week or the week before last week, the story of Cain where after the murder that he commits God comes to him and announces the penalty - what the penalty will be; that the work of hands will not be blessed anymore; his field will not yield its full strength, and that he will be going around like a vagabond. And Cain cries out and says,it is too hard for me to bear this.A person's work of his hand is so important; what is the use of working and having a career, going to work and working very hard and it doesn't yield full strength. You can't really make good on your work. That is can be very frustrating. He says, "It is too hard for me to bear/ too heavy for me to bear/it's too heavy a burden for me to bear". Now our sins can bring that kind of punishment to us and that is why Jesus took our penalty; because it is too hard for us to bear. Just imagine Jesus took the penalty that must come to every human being in this world upon himself on the cross of Calvary. So the penalty problem is solved - so we are delivered from the penalty of sin. But then these are sins; we have committed sins and the penalty is borneby him.

But what is "sin" singular? Sin is this evil power or the evil nature that resides in us; ever since Adam sinned this nature became the nature of man; and since we are all Adams sons and daughters it has become our inheritance physically as we are born in this world - the Psalmist cries out, and says, In sin did my mother conceive me. I was born in iniquity/conceived in iniquity", he says. So sin and iniquity has become a part and parcel of our lives. As human beings we are born with that nature. And this I would say is an alien power; because this is not something that originally God gave to man when He created man. This is not something that God put within Adam when He made him. This is an alien power that has come to dominate him now ever since he allowed the Devil to come into his life.This alien power has been dominating him: sin. The sin iswhat makes people sin; the sins comes as result of sin. Sin is the evil power, the evil nature that resides in man that causes people to commit sins. Now if my penalty is taken care of on the cross of Calvary, that is good, but that is not enough. You can imagine - as long as the nature of sin is there, as long this evil power still dominates me, relieving me of the penalty of sins is very inadequate. Why? Because after I am relieved from the penalty of sin, I still go on sinning, because the nature of sin is there; the power of sin is there. It's making me sin more and more. All the time I will have a problem.

So it is not enough to forgive my sins or to take my penalty away from me and deliver me from that. It is important that I be delivered from the power of sin and the nature of sin; and that is what has happened at the cross Calvary. The cross of Calvary is a perfection solution; where not only are we delivered or saved from the penalty of our sins, but from the power of our sins. And this is a very important truth. That in itself sounds so glorious; the penalty is gone, very glad, and the power of sin/the nature of sin also is taken care of, so that sin does not dominate me anymore. You shall not serve sin the bible says in Roman chapter 6. You don't have to sin - I don't have to sin. Before I had to sin because I was dominated by sin. The thing that has happened now in Christ is that I don't have to sin.If I want I can sin, but I don't have to sin. I don't have to say, "I am not able to keep away from sin" - No. Now I am delivered from the power of sin, so I don't have to sin; it is a new wonderful position that God has brought me. And that in itself is such a huge blessing, if that is all that is involved in our redemption; but something more is there, and that is what we are studying today. Not only are we delivered from the penalty of our sins and the power called sin, we are also given something wonderful, called righteousness. We are made righteous; we are made a new people. The righteousness of God is given to us. Now, this is much more than what we could ever ask - if our sins are given, if the power of sin is gone, we will be forever thankful to God, but on top of that, He has given us a new status, a totally new nature; that is we have the righteousness of God in us. God's righteousness is given to us.

Now with that in mind, let us look at 2 Corinthians 5:21 and try to understand what says. Now when you read Paul -Paul's revelation is amazing. In bible colleges they offer a course: "Pauline Revelation". Paul's revelation is so wonderful - half the New Testament is written by him, so lots of studies are done on Paul's teachings and they call it "Pauline Revelation". Now some people have thought that "Pauline revelation" means that he has got revelation of things that were never before told in the bible and never before declared. Well, that is not altogether true. Every truth that Paul's brings out as "Pauline Revelation" - Paul's Revelation in the New Testament, has its basis in the Old Testament. Actually you can go point by point and prove it that everything that Paul says is in the New Testament has its basis in the Old Testament. So what is his revelation all about? His revelation is not altogether completely new; his interpretation and understanding of all the Old Testament says is amazing, something that no one else brought out; no one else recorded in the New Testament. That is why it is called Pauline revelation. God gave him the revelation of all those things that were already taught in the Old Testament concerning Christ. Paul never understood it for a long time; he was a Pharisee, he fought against Christ; the idea of the church and everything; he was the destroyer of the church; he was a persecutor of the church. But then he met Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit he begun to understand the Old Testament. He was a well-studied man; he is a well-trained person in the Old Testament, and studied under a great teacher, but never understood the Old Testament as he should understand.

Old Testament is about Jesus, but he never saw Jesus there. But now he sees Jesus everywhere; and he is able to reveal certain things, because the Holy Spirit is revealing all these things to him. And so this is part of the Pauline Revelation; the revelation concerning righteousness. So I say to you, this comes from the Old Testament and Paul makes a statement like this - where he says, He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that we might made the righteousness of God in Him - He is coming from the Old Testament, he has got something from the Old Testament in his mind. I will tell you what he has got in mind. Turn with to Isaiah 53. Isaiah 53 verse 10 - maybe you have never thought that 2 Corinthians 5:21 has anything to do with Isaiah 53:10; but if you understand this, you will understand 2 Corinthians 5:21. See, 2 Corinthians 5:21 can be a problematic scripture. Why? It says, He was made to be sin. What does it mean to be made sin? Now this is where a lot of people go wrong. I remember one fellow brought a song to us and I liked the song very much and I wanted to sing it. And I sang it a couple of time and I never noticed it. He actually said, "He became a sinner so that I can righteous". But that is wrong. Jesus never became a sinner. All of a sudden I realized, "What am I singing?" He never became a sinner. So I changed the words and I said, "He became sin" - that is what the bible says. But even that is not clear; when we say he became sin, in what way did he become sin? Now immediately we explained saying, "Well he became sin with our sin". Our sin was laid upon him - and this is very difficult for people to understand. Our sin was put upon him, it is our sin that made him sin. He became sin. And the idea of him becoming sin itself is a very disturbing idea. How can you associate Jesus with sin? How can he become sin? Did he sin? No, he never sinned. Then how did he become sin? The one who never sinned, how can you say that he became sin? So... but you are going to understand it now. If you look at it this way; if you look at where Paul is coming from, you will quickly just like this, understand what Paul is talking about.

What does it mean when Paul says, For God made him to be sin for us who knew no sin. What does he mean by that? It is coming from Isaiah 53 verse 10, look at verse 10 - Yet Itpleased the Lord to bruise Him - you know Isaiah 53 is about Jesus on the cross - the suffering of Jesus on the cross: so it says this, Yet is pleased the Lord to bruise Him. He has put Him to grief. When you make his soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, he shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand - Now let's take it little by little - Isaiah says, When you make his soul an offering for sin - Now what is that offering for sin? If you read Leviticus chapter 4 and 5 - I don't want to turn there right now - you can read it in yourfree time. But I will just say it to you quickly because I don't have the time. Leviticus chapter 4 and 5 talks about an offering called "Sin offering" The Old Testament is full of offerings; you know, animal sacrifices. Many people are disturbed by just reading that; especially reading the book of Leviticus. So many people are not able to pronounce it. They say, "Levi what?" So Leviticus is again a big question in the minds of people - why so many animals are killed? The blood is shed, my God; what kind of God is he? Why is He doing all ...? It's all just an enactment of what Jesus is all about. It's all about Jesus; every animal sacrifice there represented Christ. How Christ is going to shed is blood, he is going to give his life, and how he is going to provide redemption for us. To teach that, animal sacrifices were used.

You know God is not interested in animal sacrifices - elsewhere the bible says so. But God is interested in our salvation; and salvation can be achieved only by the shedding of blood. There is no remission of sin without the shedding of blood; that is God's law. So the bible teaches that. And there is an offering called "Sin offering". Now the sin offering - the whole procedure is explained in chapter 4 and 5. A man who has committed some kind of sin goes and brings a sacrificial animal. And for different people, it's different things. If a king committed a sin it's one thing; if a priest committed a sin it's another thing - like that. So they bring their own sacrificial animal. And when they bring the sacrificial animal, the sinner lays his hands upon it and confesses his wrong doing - his sin over that animal. What is that? That is what is called in the bible, "Identification". What is identification? Now the sinner says, "This animal is going to take my place. It is going to take my sin. It is going to be the sinner and die in my place. This animal is going to be my substitute; therefore I transfer all my sins upon this animal". So he confesses his sins, lays his hands on the animal, identifying with the animal - so that what is on him is now passed on to the animal symbolically. Now the animal becomes sin. It carries the sin. Now because the animal has become sin, the punishment has to be extracted from the animal. Therefore they kill the animal, shed its blood.

And the bible talks about in Leviticus 4 and 5, how the blood must be sprinkled before the Lord seven times and the blood must be poured before the altar and everything. After all that is done, the man who sinned and brought the sacrifice lets out a sigh of relief, and say, "My God I have made it right now. My sin is gone. I am not guilty before God. My guilt is gone. My condemnation is gone. I can now go home and be free from every guilt of my trespass". So this is what the sin offering is all about. And Isaiah is talking with that in his mind - with that background he is now prophesying. He says, When you make his soul an offering for sin - you can say, "When you make his soul a sin offering". When you make the life of Jesus a sin offering, he says. So, Paul is thinking about this - when he said, -For God made him to be sin who knew no sin. If you just replace the word "Sin" with "Sin offering", everything will be very clear. "For God made him to be sin offering" - that is the way it should be read because that is what he has got in his mind obviously. He says, "When God made him to bea sin offering, the sin offering is one who knew no sin" - imagine that animal that the fellow brought; the animal is not a sinner. It has not done anything. It is an innocent animal - it has not done any sin. He is the sinner, yet all sin is transferred upon the animal. That is exactly what Paul has in mind. A sin offering, when he says: "When God made him to be sin offering, who knew no sin" Just like that animal that is so innocent that has not done anything wrong comes and becomes a sin offering, Jesus who never knew any sin, was put on the cross and the sin of the whole world was placed upon him; and he became the sin offering for us. Now immediately that clears our mind.

And then look at this: when you make a soul offering for sin - look how loaded this verse it. When you make His soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed. That means, as a result of the sin offering something happens; a whole seed, a generation comes up. He shall prolong his days - he will live forever, that is. And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. That is the will of the Lord shall be done in that way, concerning our salvation. And then verse 11 says, And he shall see his labour of his soul and be satisfied. The cross is where he labored for our salvation. It's called the "Work of salvation". It is not what we do for our salvation, it is what he did. It called the "Work of salvation". The cross is where he did his work, the labour was there on the cross. He shall see his labour of his soul and be satisfied. The death on the cross and suffering on the cross will produce the great results and he shall be satisfied. What is the result? By his knowledge my righteous servant shall justify many. What does it mean? "By his knowledge" does not mean that by knowing something you are justified. No. Actually it means; by his knowledge means, by knowing Christ, by knowing what he has done, by hearing and believing in this message of salvation, by knowing him as the savior, many people will be justified - which absolutely is the truth. So here, we have the cross of Calvary, Jesus as the sin offering, his resurrection and the new creation that comes about as a result of resurrection, and how Jesus will live forever and see the fruit of his labour on the cross of Calvary, and how many many will be made righteous by knowing him as their savior, by seeing their sins on him, by believing him and by receiving his righteousness that many will become righteous and so on; all of these is loaded there in that one verse and Paul so thorough with the Old Testament - has studied the Old Testament, he understands that he means to say for God made him to be sin offering for us so that we might be made the righteousness of God.

In short, just like the sinner brought the sin offering and put all his sin upon it, and killed that animal, shed its blood and the blood was evidence that the punishment has been administered successfully and then the sinner goes free, without any guilt; in the same way God made him the innocent one, to be sin for us - he became sin offering for us, so that we can become the righteousness of God in him. Now this is truly an amazing amazing truth; if you really think about it. Amazing truth because it tells us that Jesus became our substitute; he stood in for sinful humanity and God dealt with him as he would deal or would have dealt with the sinners. He treated him like a sinner and punished him with our punishment on the cross of Calvary. Christ's love for sinners was so great that though he is not responsible for sin, he identifies with mankind and takes responsibility for sinners in such a way that human sin becomes his own - mankind's sin becomes his own. So Jesus became a sin offering. If you read in that way, instantly you begin to understand and get the picture of what is happening there.

Now we know what it means when it says in 2 Corinthians 5:21, For God made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin. We understand it exactly, that God made Jesus Christ his sin offering; he never knew no sin, but he was made a sin offering. Now, what does it mean to say, "So that we might be made the righteousness of God?" This is an amazing thing also. What is does it mean to say, "So that we might be made the righteousness of God?" - It means so we might have the right-standing before God; so that we may stand before God without any guilt, condemnation or inferiority. It literally means that through identification: See the man put his hand on the animal and confessed his sins - his sins became the animal's sin. Now the reverse also happens, Paul says. This is the revelation: he says in the case of Jesus, he is not just a little lamb; he is the son of God, divine Son of God and he is righteous. When we put our sin upon him - he became sin offering, but then his righteousness is put upon us - that is what he is saying; his righteousness is given to us - we are made righteous with his righteousness; now this is so amazing. That means in God's sight we are as righteous as the son of God. Now I know that this sounds unbelievable. If it's now unbelievable it's not the bible - that is the way I see it. The bible is unbelievable because it's God speaking; he is speaks amazing things. You know God is not crazy; this is something that the Holy Spirit has to open our eyes of understanding to understand this. God looks at us and sees us as righteous as the son of God; not because we are so good; but because we possess his righteousness; we have the gift of His righteousness so that He looks at us and He sees us, just like He sees Jesus; amazing.

And some people have taken the line that it means that God has declared us righteous. It is just in English what they call" Forensic righteousness" that is, legally, rhetorically, to speak their righteous; but really they are not righteous. That kind of thing; you know when you say, "We have been made righteous" - not that we are righteous, but we have been declared as righteous, we are called righteous but we are not actually righteous. A lot of people take that line and they teach that. But look at the verse; I always try to look at the verse - it is better to look at the verse. Sometimes people end up looking at the commentary more than the verse. Instead of looking at the commentary, look at the verse. The verse itself explains it very well: God made him to be sin for us who knew no sin that we might be called the righteousness of God. Is that what it says? , or "We might be retreated as the righteousness". No, no, no. God made him to be sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God-We are made the righteousness of God. Something definitely it is talking about the change that is happening in us; but it is very interesting how the change happens in us. First, there is a righteousness which is just given to us - when it is given to us, we are just sinners; but it is given to us. It is put upon us; we were just sinners we come to Christ, we have not even started doing any acts of righteousness, not done any deeds of righteousness; we have not done anything good at all. The thing is we are given the gift of righteousness. Romans 5 calls it "The gift of righteousness". They who have received the gift of righteousness will rule and reign in life through this one man named Jesus Christ, it says. So we are given the gift of righteousness. I am a sinner, I come to Christ - and the moment I believe in Christ; I have not even started doing any good work yet, you can say, "Just like he knew no sin, I knew no righteousness" And what happens? He gives me his righteousness. Now I start out as the righteous one. This is very important.

This morning I was telling the Tamil church, you know when you put your child in school - when you take him to school, from the first day if you tell the child, "You are very dumb, you don't know anything, you don't have a real good brain at all" - Nobody talks like that. That is very offensive. Nobody ever talks like that. You talk good things about the child. You encourage that child and even if he doesn't pay very much attention and study well, you try to encourage him and make sure that he gets all the help needed to learn his lessons and so on. That is how we bring him up. Now somehow in the church we change the whole equation; when it comes to church we think when people come in we call them sinners; you are all sinners, you are not good, unworthy. Will God bless you? Will your prayer even go as far as your roof? Examine your heart.

I remember when I was young I went to one church. They said, "Close your eyes. See the darkness of your heart. See how many sins are there - your heart is full of evil, full of sin" We were all believers - all young people's retreat. We were going in - they said you get into deeper Christian life. And I thought we were going to get deeper into it, and we got deeper into trouble when I went there. They said, "Look at your heart, all the sins are there. Look how ugly it is; how bad it is". You know, you do that with your child at home, you will have problem in your hands when the child grows up. If you call a child "dumb" all the time, you are going to have a dumb person in your hand when he grows up. You take a person that does not even learn, that is playful, that does not do his work and speak good things to him and show him the value of education and teach him; and slowly guide him into studying his stuff, and that is how you bring him up. I don't know why we don't do that in church. God starts with that; starts with calling us righteous. So the people that say that God has declared us righteous, they are in a way right. It begins with that. First He calls us righteous. Why? He is a God that calls those things that be not, as though they were. He called Abram, Abraham the father of many nations, before his wife ever conceived; before there was ever possibility of a conception happening. They were nearly 100 years old and God comes and changes his name and his wife's name. In one year they conceived. The next year they had the child after the name was changed. Something happened; he is calling those things that be not as though they were.

You know how God changes us? First He calls us righteous - he declares that you are righteous. That is where he begins. That's a good work. That is like looking at a child and saying, "You are marvelous. That is wonderful. You are going to make it. You are going to become someone special. You are going to do excellently". So say that one word and that will go a long way. That is how God starts. Many years agoas I was studying in college, I came across a person - a great teacher, that taught me this principle. I translated some of his messages and distributed to Tamil preachers and so on. And I came across the truth that he was teaching about righteousness; he taught a lot about righteousness. And he said this, "You know in the church, we have put the cart before the horse" he said. And we are beating the horse and saying, "Come on, Go! Why no speed? Come on, let's see you run" But it can't go because the cart is before the horse. The horse needs to be before the cart. See the declaration that we are righteous is very important. That is what will help you live a righteous life easily and successfully. You start the declaration that you are righteous. Start believing that you have the righteousness of God. It is like this: In our country we wear lungi. For those who are listening from abroad, and you do not know what lungi is -it's a marvelous Indian thing that men wear here. It is like a skirt; you wear it at home. Let me explain it for people who are watching from other places, where they don't understand it. You wear it around your waist - it's like a skirt. Men wear it at home;to lounge around. Now that is very cheap. It is probably costing about 5dollars. When you wear lungi you get a lungi mentality, because you are wearing something cheap. You feel like sitting next to the garbage can. It's no problem; you know because even if it is dirty you can wash it or just throw it away or get another one; because it is just 5/6 dollars, it's no big loss, you know. In lungi you don't care. And you know in India, you will see a lot of people just living in lungies all day; because they consider it a matter of convenience- you know, why bother to change into pants and shirts; let's just go round in lungi. You will see them in shopping place in the lungi; they will get in the car, go somewhere in the lungi; because you don't have to bother about keeping everything clean. You just go around in lungies. We call it lungi mentality; you can sit anywhere, do anything, don't mind about dirt and on that; but when you wear a suit,this whole story changes. The same man if you put a suit on him he is very watchful. When you bring a chair and you say, "Please sit down" - he is looking at the chair to see if there is any dirt there, somebody has spilt some coffee there or something. He wants to make sure it is very clean. Here anything can happen. You have to really wipe the chair and then sit down, in many places. Why? Because you are wearing something nice and don't want to dirty it. It's another mentality.

Now the bible says, Put on the new man who is created in righteousness and holiness.it is telling you to put on righteousness like you put on a suit; put on this new man which is created in righteousness; in Ephesians 4, Paul talks about it. This new man - the new person that you have become, is a righteousness person made in holiness. You are made like that. Made by God as a new creation like that. "Put that on". What does he mean? Put on means to get that mentality. Think of yourself as the one who possesses the righteousness of God. It will become like a suit mentality. Once you get the mentality that you are the righteousness of God, you are created in righteousness and holiness, then you will think a thousand times before you commit a sin. It won't come easily - because you will be thinking like you are righteous, you are holy made and created in righteousness and holiness; so sinning does not come very easily. If you think that you are just an old sinner - like some people say. One fellow said, "saved sinner". I used to think like that when I was young; saved sinner - because I could see that I am not perfect. And I know that I am saved also, so I called myself as a "saved sinner". But there is no such thing as a "saved sinner".You are either saved or you are a sinner. You can't be a saved sinner; you can't have one leg on the saved section and another leg as a sinner. You are saved. The bible says, Put on that mentality. Think like that; that is what Paul is talking about - think like that. It is important to put this first - you put the horse first, then you don't have to beat the horse to make it go. Now when you got the cart first, and horse in the back, no matter how much you beat, it is not going. That is the way I felt like when I was growing up. They were beating; every service we went we felt like somebody was slapping us around. It was like a flurry of slaps. Fiery preaching; we came out saying.... When they said, "Amen", we were glad. We got out. And then we got so used to it; if somebody preached like I am preaching right now, it was like somebody was just giving as a rub in the back. One fellow came and said, "Your preaching is not like Christian preaching at all". I said, "What is wrong with my preaching?" "You are not slapping us around". He is missing the slapping. You get used to all kinds of things. But the thing is this: It begins with the declaration, but then it does not stop there. It is not just a legal status that you are given as righteous. It becomes the reality as you think of yourself as the righteousness and walk with that mentality, you begin to become that righteous person. That is why it says, God made him to become sin for us who knew no sin so that we might become the righteousness of God.Why did God save you? Why did he become sin for you? Why? Not so you have legal status as righteous, but so that we may become righteous; so that the Holy Spirit can work in us through our lives; and day by day that we can be converted into righteous person. That conversion is what all of us need. And that is what happens when you come to Christ - it is a mentality, how you think about things.

In India, ladies wear sarees. Have you seen sometimes they would take a10 year old girland they will put the mother's saree on her? Have you seen the girls play? They will have a little play in the house, and they would put the mother's saree on. And you will see the 10 year old girl behave just like the mother. As soon as the saree comes on her, her whole attitude changes. She thinks like a motherand talks like her mother, and behaves like her mother because of thesaree. Once she got it on, she thinks differently. You will find that once you get the mentality on that you are made in righteousness, you are made like that; you are made holy, you are a new creation; you have the righteousness of God, that you have it now. He became sin so that the moment you believe that you can have the righteousness of God. The righteousness of God is in you, even before you commit even one act of righteousness; you have the righteousness of God - when you think like that, then it is very difficult to sin; very difficult to live a life of sin that you will walk in holiness, that you will walk in righteousness. And soon you find you are becoming the kind of righteous person that Jesus himself is; because that is why he died on the cross so that we might become the righteousness; if become is not there then I am ready to accept the fact that it's only a legal name change that we are righteous and nothing more than that. "Become" means that there is a definite change in our life.

There is one more verse in Isaiah 61, which gives us a better picture of what actually is happens here: Chapter 61 verse 10. It says, I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God, now listen to this, for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness. As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments and as a bride adorns herself with jewels- Now listen to this: He is talking about how is he is so rejoicing; the way he puts it is very interesting. "I greatly rejoice". In Hebrew language when they want to emphasize something, that word is repeated. It is actually it should be read like "I will rejoice, rejoicing" - he is actually repeating that word. Why does he have to say, "Rejoice, rejoicing"? Why can he just say, "I will rejoice"? That should be enough; but he wants to say, "Rejoice, rejoicing"because this is not a matter to simply rejoice- it is to rejoice and be rejoicing while you rejoice - it is a double blessing that is given to us. That is why so much rejoicing is there. Whenanybody understands this truth there would be a lot of rejoicing. And the truth is about righteousness. Listen to that, He has clothes me with the garment of salvation. That is what has happened and that is all has happened, I should be thankful to God and give him a million thanks because of what he has done. The garment of salvation where I am saved from my sin - the power of sin and the penalty of sin. That is so wonderful. You have clothed me with the garment of salvation, he says. That is wonderful; that in itself that is so wonderful. Nothing more is really needed. But look how wonderful it is; he has given something more, he says,He has covered me with a robe of righteousness. This is the second thing; what a great blessing.

See, salvation is something so great, He has given usmuch more exceedingly, abundantly above all we can ever ask or think. It is not just the salvation from the penalty of sin or the power of sin - but it is the bestowal of his righteousness upon us which makes it so precious. You have clothed me with garment of salvation and covered me with the robe of righteousness. Not only I am saved from the penalty and power of sin, but I am also given Christ's righteousness - covered me. "The covered me" is a very interesting thing, the modern translation says, He has wrapped me around with the robe of righteousness. Why?This is so important - See the Devil comes with his biggest weapon - guilt. He wants to prove that you are a sinner. He wants to find something wrong with you. But the bible says he has not only given me the garments of salvation, which says thatI am free from the power of this devil and power of sin; this nature, this evil nature; not only am I free from that. I am also in endowed with Christ's righteousness. And that is not an ordinary thing; I am wrapped around with it. That means the devil can look at me from this side, from that side, from behind, from the front, from the top, from bottom; he likes to look at you from all angles so that he can get a glimpse of some sin that is there; something wrong with you, some blemish, some wrinkle;something,somewhere so that he can pause and say, "Aha, there is it". He looks from every side. But the fact is that you are wrapped around with a robe of righteousness no matter from which angle he looks at, he cannot see anything, but the righteousness of Jesus himself; his righteousness. Only the righteousness of Jesus he can see. That is the way Isaiah presents it.

He comes at you with all angles. He wants to explore you. Finds this one little thing wrong that is enough for him to bring his accusation, day and night. But really he cannot find even one thing, because you are wrapped around with the robe of righteousness. See, this must bring such great joy - suppose you have a case in the Supreme Court pending for many years, and the only result can be that you must be penalized with the death penalty. You committed such a crime and you are waiting for the judgement to arrive and you know very well it's going to be death penalty and there's nothing else. And finally everything is over and then the judgement arrives; and the judgement is not guilty. Now how would you feel? You will not be coming out and say, "Hi. I am doing alright. Today, it's not bad." No, you won't be talking like that; you will be jumping up and down calling everybody,hugging your wife, and kids, and all your relatives. You will be shouting for joy; you just cannot hold your joy at all. That is why I believe church must be a joyful place.Wherever this truth is realized, this joy in there. See some people try to create artificial joy; they say, "Let's say three alleluias". I mean are you auctioning alleluias or what? Everybody clap your hands. Everybody jump up and down. - We don't do that. Why? - Because joy is not something artificial. See, you never gave anything for the person to rejoice and you want him to rejoice. And you say, "What kind of drums is he playing? That is why nobody is getting excited. The drums is the problem." I remember back in the old Pentecostal days, our drum was very important - this kind of drum. I don't want to go into that story. This kind of drum- it used to have a stick with a rag rolled around; the guy used to be beat it. And I was a little boy then, I used to be the one who...thing comes undone; because the guy beats it like anything; the drum will stay on air literally; between his right and left hand, it will stay on air, he would beat it so hard. And I used to roll the rags and give it to him/feed it to him. That was my big job at the church. And the one day that guy didn't show up; the Holy Spirit was absent; because the guy never showed up. We all felt so down; My God man, where is the Holy Spirit; no power today, because it is the beating of the drums that brings down the power of the Holy Spirit. "This guy today that played is useless, that is why the power is not there", we thought. We did all the tricks in the world to get people excited. We wanted people to be excited but we neverpreaching anything that excited the people; that brought the joy to people. But I found later on in life, that wherever this kind of thing is preached, there is joy; there is joy unspeakable, there is rejoicing, there is great joy in people, everybody sings.

I remember one fellow came here and said, "Oh boy, in your church everybody sings" He is surprised that everybody sings; because he said wherever I went they sang from the stage and we just stood there and watched. There is nothing to sing about; because the preaching does not cover these things. There must be something to rejoice about. I heard about an English preacher who went to church and the church was like a death house - it was like a funeral service. And hesays it like that. He says, "It was very silent. So nothing; very quiet" They all solemnly just walked out. And as they were going out of the church, one lady dropped her handkerchief it seems. So this guy went down and picked up the handkerchief and called on her and said, "Ma'am you left your handkerchief on the floor" - and gave it to her. And the lady got so excited and shouted and says, "Uuh! What a wonderful young man you are" - she started shouting. And she started wondering, "That happened to this church?" - They were saying so many prayers and saying this and that, she never got excited, no one got excited. It looked like no one was there; but for the handkerchief she is making such a big noise. It's amazing what we make noises for. Even for a handkerchief you will call the whole world. But we haveamazing wonderful gospel; and the gospel is this: that he has not only given us the garment of salvation but has wrapped us around with the robe of righteousness. We stand on unshakable ground; we are covered with righteousness. Any which way the devil looks at us, he cannot find...he is just a deliberate accuser. He has nothing, nothing; he can see nothing other than the righteousness of God in us.

One more verse Isaiah 54 the last, and you have heard this verse, but maybe not observed it in the way I am going to maybe share with you today; No weapon formed against you shall prosper" I am reading this with you because the devil will come at you with guilt. He wants that sense of righteousness to leave you. He wants the guilt consciousness; he wants you to be ridden with guilt; filled with guilt, down and depressed; no confidence in prayer, no power in life. That is the way he wants you to live. But look at this: he will come again and again. But the bible says, No weapon formed against you shall prosper. And every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn - Now, notice that. It doesn't say every tongue that raises against you, God will condemn. No, God will not condemn. See this is the mistake that we make. "Well I am waiting on God brother" No, how did they win against the devil? They overcome himby the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. You got to take what the blood of God says concerning what the blood of Jesus has done. You have got to proclaim it, speak it, stand on it; keep it as your foundation and plead the blood of Jesus and what it has done in your situation; by the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony.What the blood of Jesus has done must become your testimony. What the bible says must come in your heart and in your mouth you must speak it. That is how they won the victory. The accuser of the brethren was pulled down, destroyed, defeated and today there is no other way my friend. That is the way to do that. You will condemn. Everybody say: "You will condemn". It is our job to condemn; our job to condemn the condemnation. You condemn the condemnation. What right does he have to condemn you, when you have the righteousness of Jesus himself? When you have the your righteousness and stand on it on how good you are and how right you have been; certainly you have some areas where you can doubt; whether he has found anything wrong with you. But you stand not on your righteousness but on the righteousness that has been given by God; the righteousness of God Himself is given to you. Therefore you can boldly speak back to him; you can boldly condemn the condemnation that he brings on you. You can boldly say, "Satan you have no right/no authority to condemn me. All you see is the righteousness of God in me. You cannot see any fault because I am wrapped with the robe of righteousness; you have no authority to condemn me in the name of Jesus and by the blood of Jesus, I stand" That is why Romans 8:1 says, There is now therefore no condemnation to those that are in Christ, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

There is now no condemnation; everybodysay, "Now" - That means today. You know how many people feel condemned in this world? They have done something, somewhere; you know conviction and condemnation are two different things: Conviction of the Holy Spirit is a good thing - the Holy Spirit shows you what you have done wrong so that you can correct it; just like we do to our children. We don't want them to go wrong, so we tell them that they are wrong. Show them why they are wrong and tell them to repent from it and turn around; that's exactly what the Holy Spirit does. It is something positive - the result is positive, where you confess, you repent and turnaroundfrom that and make it right. That is conviction of the Holy Spirit. Condemnation is something else; you know what condemnation is - you have done something wrong and you try to rectify, you try to make up for it, you try to make restitution for it; you know maybe if you have stolen 10 rupees you want to give up 100 rupees even, but still you are not satisfied. Nothing satisfies, still you keep condemning yourself; still your heart condemns you; still the condemnation is heavy; you cannot forgive yourself; you keep on condemning yourself; you keep on looking at yourself as a sinner. That is terrible - that is negative condemnation. That destroys you and causes you to completely go away from God one day. And that is condemnation; that is not conviction. Conviction of the Holy Spirit is something positive; condemnation is terribly negative. The simplest way to walk in victory over guilt is this: is to open your mouth and begin to the speak what the bible says; that you have been clothed with the garments of salvation and wrappedaround with the robe of righteousness.

And Isaiah 54,the last part is something that I do not want to miss: 54:17, No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgement you shall condemn. - Now listen to this; this is - what is? The right to condemn the condemnation; the right to condemn the accuser of the brethren; the right to condemn this fellow thatbrings accusations against you, making you feel guilty. This is the heritage; let me use the simpler word - this is your inheritance, this is your heritage - this is the heritage of the servants of the Lord. No, don't look at me and say, "Well, that is the verse for you brother? No! "Servants of the Lord" doesn't mean me - servants of the Lord means "everybody". The bible is using it in the general sense. It is not about pastors and preachers; it is about everybody who serves the Lord, by living for God. He says, This is their inheritance.Inheritance: Can you believe that? What is the inheritance? The right and the power to condemn the condemnations; this is your inheritance - the inheritance of God's people. And their righteousness is from me.

The reason why this is your inheritance is because the righteousness you have is not your righteousness. The devil can condemn your righteousness; God says this is your inheritance because I have given my righteousness to you. My righteousness has become your inheritance; therefore the power to condemn the condemnation is your right, your privilege. You can plead the blood over that situation in the name of Jesusbecause this is the inheritance that you have. The righteousness of God you have is your inheritance and the right to condemn every condemnation that comes against you; every tongue that rises up against you is yours. You better do; don't wait on God. You condemn the accuser - you condemn the devil as he brings his guilt on you. You stand on the word of God and plead the blood of Jesus and I will tell you- you will see victory like this every single day of your life.

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