Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith.(Habakkuk 2:4)
We’ve looked at what it means for Jesus Christ to be our Advocate (High Priest), now we’re gonna look at what it means for us to be His advocates. This is gonna be a wild ride, so let’s dive into what it means to be a prophet!
After Jesus heals a demon-possessed man, some Pharisees accuse Him of being in cahoots with Satan (because that makes a ton of sense). Rather, He says He’s invading Satan’s kingdom by the power of the Holy Spirit and bringing the Kingdom of God; He’s overpowering Satan and taking his goods (us). Jesus then explains that their words reveal the nature of their evil hearts, so them blaspheming the Spirit is an unforgivable sign of their absolute rejection of Him. The Pharisees demand proof from Jesus, despite the many miracles He’s already performed right in front of them, so the only other proof they’e gonna get is His resurrection from the dead! To Jesus, the Pharisees are worse than the Old Testament pagans, who repented when they heard Jonah’s preaching or Solomon’s wisdom, because they have the Son of God right here and reject Him for their religious self-righteousness! Since they’re rejecting Him, the demons He casts out of them are just gonna come back worse. Later on, when someone alerts Jesus of His family seeking Him, He identifies His true family as those who do the will of God.
The Old Testament prophets were often called righteous men, because made it very clear that God wanted true righteousness from Israel, not empty religion! The prophet Micah says that, rather than coming with all the sacrifices they can think of, God wants them to know Him and walk in His ways (Micah 6:6-8). The prophet Hosea says God is more interested in their knowledge of Him and being a people of mercy than their religious observance (Hosea 6:6). The prophet Isaiah says they’ve been honoring God with lip-service and no heart, simply following the rules of men (Isaiah 29:13). John the Baptist and Jesus constantly called the religious leaders out for being hypocrites, acting holy but really being the worst of all (Matthew 23:27-28). As prophets in Christ, we’re called to choose true righteousness over dead religion! Prophets don’t settle for meaningless routine based on man-made rules, they love and seek God with their hearts (Matthew 6:33). God wants more from us than rule-following or spiritual perfectionism, He wants our hearts! He’s calling us to have true righteousness instead of behavior adjustment, which doesn’t make anyone righteous.
Being truly righteous is what God wants from us, but that’s a hard standard to live up to. How are we, broken and imperfect people, supposed to be genuinely righteous? Religion says we have to make ourselves righteous by following certain instructions and doing certain things, but the Gospel says that Jesus Christ is our righteousness! We are justified when we come to Jesus; despite our sin, we are declared righteous before God. He was clothed in our sin on the cross so that we could be clothed in His perfect righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21). And it gets even better, we’re sanctified in Jesus too; the Holy Spirit is transforming our hearts day-by-day, bringing that righteousness into our lives so we can truly obey and follow Him (Galatians 5:16-17, 22-25)! The only way we can be truly righteous in God’s eyes and truly righteous in our everyday lives is by having faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection.
- True prophets don’t just honor God with superficial actions and words, they seek true righteousness by having a living relationship of faith with Yeshua, the Son of God! Our self-righteousness, thinking it’s our job to follow the rules and be “good” people, is a joke to Him, because He’s already done the work! He’s the One who defeated sin and death, who comes to us with His righteousness and perfection, and all He asks is that we realize how empty our hands are and receive His free gift! Then, He can get to work in our lives. He comes and rescues us from Satan’s kingdom, He doesn’t call from the outside and expect us to break free ourselves.
And be found in Christ, not having my own righteousness, which is from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.(Philippians 3:9)