Jesus instructs the saints in Sardis to wake up and to stop slumbering. What is the difference between the person that is consciously awake and the person who is consciously asleep?
We find a key to this mystery in 1 Corinthians 15:33-34.
Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.”
Part of this “waking up” has to do with remembering the things you heard at first, or the first things you were taught about the Lord Jesus, which would have been His great love for you, that He has forgiven all your sin, and your righteousness is in Him. Somewhere along the line they had once again become conscious of their sin and got involved in doing things to try and please the Lord.
Whenever your thoughts are filled with guilt and condemnation because of sin, or your unworthiness before God, etc., you begin falling asleep in your mind. This “falling asleep” happens when you hear the Law of Moses and become consumed with the “keeping of the Law.” Anytime you try and keep the Law of Moses you will fall short of God’s righteous decrees and end up in guilt and condemnation. This in turn will put you “to sleep.”
To wake up is to remember what Jesus accomplished at the cross and the gift of righteousness that He has given to you. Being righteous in God’s presence comes from faith in Him and His blood shed for you. This is an inner consciousness that you have been made righteous and acceptable to the Lord once and for all. As you “wake up” you will find your mind filled with the thoughts of God’s eternal, heavenly realities.
But now, independently of the law (of Moses), the righteousness of God is tangible and brought to light through Jesus, the Anointed One. This is the righteousness that the Scriptures prophesied would come. It is God’s righteousness made visible through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. And now all who believe in Him receive that gift. For there is really no difference between us, for we all have sinned and are in need of the glory of God.
Yet through His powerful declaration of acquittal, God freely gives away His righteousness. His gift of love and favor now cascades over you, all because Jesus, the Anointed One, has liberated you from the guilt, punishment, and power of sin!
Jesus’ God-given destiny was to be the sacrifice to take away your sins, and now He is your mercy seat (the one who declares you righteous) because of His death on the cross. You come to Him for mercy, for God has made a provision for you to be forgiven by faith in the sacred blood of Jesus. This is the perfect demonstration of God’s justice, because until now, He had been so patient—holding back His justice out of His tolerance for you. So He covered over the sins of those who lived prior to Jesus’ sacrifice.
And when the season of tolerance came to an end, there was only one possible way for God to give away his righteousness and still be true to both His justice and His mercy—to offer up His own Son. So now, because you stand on the faithfulness of Jesus, God declares you righteous in His eyes!
Where, then, is there room for boasting? Do your works bring God’s acceptance? Not at all! It was not your works of keeping the law (10 commandments) but your faith in His finished work that makes you right with God.
So your conclusion is this: God’s wonderful declaration that you are righteous in His eyes can only come when you put your faith in Christ, and not in keeping the law.
After all, is God the God of the Jews only, or is He equally the God for all of humanity? Of course, He’s the God of all people!
Since there is only one God, He will treat us all the same—He eliminates our guilt and makes us right with him by faith no matter who we are. (Romans 3:21-33 Paraphrased by me to you.) 😊
Wake up, you are righteous in His eyes.
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