We know that the manifestation of God’s power in our lives is directly linked to relationship. But this brings up a very important question. What’s the relationship between righteousness and the power of God?
I grew up always feeling unable to walk in the power of the Spirit, because I was never good enough. We’ll now look at what the Bible says about the relationship between the power of God and righteousness.
The fact is that no Biblical principle exists in a bubble, even though we like to teach them that way sometimes. Righteousness, mercy, love, and power all relate to each other. Right now we need to see how power and righteousness relate.
Just to make sure we have the same understanding, I define righteousness as being right in God’s eyes. It’s when God looks at you and says that you’re living correct according to His standards.
And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:18
This is an incredible claim, when you think about it. Ever-increasing glory. This sounds powerful to me. Remember that the definition of power is the ability to produce change.
Think about the amount of power required for this verse to be fulfilled. We’re being transformed into the likeness of the Lord from our imperfect state. This is the place Paul is bringing us to in Corinthians, chapter 3. Listen to how Paul describes this change of living in the verses prior to this.
He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant – not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
2 Corinthians 3:6
It’s obvious that he’s talking about the difference between the power of the law and the power of the Holy Spirit. Life in the New Covenant isn’t based on the power of the law, but on the Spirit. If we try to use the law, then death will be at work in us. But it’s the next verse that’s even more revealing to us.
If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness!
2 Corinthians 3:9
Did you catch what Paul said here? He said that this ministry – the ministry based in the power of the Spirit – brings righteousness. It is not the other way around as many people teach. Some would have us believe that if you live a righteous life, you’ll receive the manifestation of the power of God.
This verse shows us the fallacy in that kind of thinking. It’s just the opposite. You need the power of God in order to live righteously. In actuality, righteousness is only obtained through God’s power.
Question: Why does living righteously require God’s power in you?
© Nick Zaccardi 2013