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Archive for December, 2010

Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with them: for they shall eat the fruit of their actions. Woe to the wicked! It will go badly with him, For what he deserves will be done to him.
Isaiah 3:11

I have run across a lot of people who do not have a very good grip on what it means to be “righteous.” Even if they do not mean to, they start defining it the way a Pharisee might define righteous—which is to say that they tend to define it by what it is not—the righteous don’t do this and they wouldn’t do that.

Here is what the righteous do: They fear God. That is pretty much it. There is some cause and effect that enters into it, of course. People with a healthy respect for God will depart from evil and walk in the ways of God.

Rules that are legislated by men do not define righteousness. That is evident simply by looking at the way men reward men. How often have you been paid what you are worth? Look at people who get paid enormous salaries; do they do proportionally more work than you do? Is there really that much greater value in being able hit a ball toward a target than there is in the mother who teaches her child right from wrong? She gets little respect and no pay while professional sports stars get both, and extra privileges to boot.

A righteous person fears God. A wicked person does not. A wicked person thinks he can ignore what God says. A wicked person will lie because they have no respect for what God values.

The Message says it this way:
Reassure the righteous that their good living will pay off. But doom to the wicked! Disaster! Everything they did will be done to them.

The old timers said it like this:

What he has deserved he shall get. He shall be paid that for which he has laboured, and his reward shall be in proportion to his work. O, what a lot is that of the wicked! Cursed in time, and accursed through eternity!

Clarke, Adam. “Commentary on Isaiah 3”. “The Adam Clarke Commentary”. . 1832.

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Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.
John 5:14

[[[ Continuing the series on Judgment in the New Testament ]]]

2 Peter 2:20 recaps the implication that the end can be worse than the beginning: For if, after escaping the world’s corruptions through a full knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus, the Messiah, they are again entangled and conquered by those corruptions, then their last condition is worse than their former one.

Jesus had healed a man who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. Now he comes back to help him refocus. This speaks to personal accountability in judgment. Jesus was going to hold the man responsible for managing the benefits of mercy.Once you learn the truth, you are answerable for your actions concerning it.

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19 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.
20 For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
21 But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.

John 3:19-21

[[[ Continuing the series on Judgment in the New Testament ]]]

Jesus had been saying this to Nicodemus. It must have stuck because later he defends Jesus in front of the Sanhedrin, saying, “Our Law does not judge a man unless it first hears from him and knows what he is doing, does it?” (John7:51) And he was still faithful at the end, “Nicodemus, who had first come to Him by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight. (John 19:39)

It seems, then, that though the gospel had many enemies it had some friends. It is a common observation that truth seeks no corners.
(Henry, Matthew. “Complete Commentary on John 3”.)

The King James Bible says, “He that doeth truth cometh to the light.” Other translations begin verse 21 with, “But the one doing the truth…” Truth is done. It is acted and lived.

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