“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
Measured by Justice & Holiness, by Randall D. Kittle

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“I will make justice the measuring line, and righteousness the plummet” — Isaiah 28:17

In a vision, I saw a large, beautiful church building from above. Then, the hand of the Lord reached down from Heaven and opened up the roof like it was made to be rolled back out of the way. I then saw a measuring tape in the hands of the Lord, and He made various measurements of the dimensions of the building. The measuring tape was called “Justice,” and there was a name written on the hook at the beginning of the measuring tape which read “Righteousness.” Then I saw a heavy, brass plummet drop down from heaven. Engraved on this plumb-bob was the word “Righteousness.” It hung there straight and steady hanging upon a heavy line, and the name of the line was “Holiness.”

God is coming to His Church and He is going to test it to see just how it measures up. Let us remember, however, the Lord is not coming to inspect a building, but to evaluate you and me, His people. We, the people of God, are the Church, and He is coming with a measuring line and a plumbline to examine us and see how we measure up.

It Begins With Righteousness
In the vision, both the plumbline and the measuring line began with righteousness. And that is how it will be in these days as the Lord appraises our lives. For the believer’s life, the outworking of both justice and holiness begins with the righteousness that has been given to us.

The Bible tells us that “
all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). When we were born-again, God did not try to “clean up” our righteousness and make it good enough. He gave us His righteousness. “But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe ” (Romans 3:21–22). It is by faith that every born-again believer has been saved, and it is by faith we are given righteousness. Every true believer now wears the golden breastplate of Jesus’ righteousness as their own!

This is one of the most awesome truths of the kingdom of God, that when we are born-again we are not only cleansed from our sins, we now possess the very righteousness of Christ. Let the deep truth of 2 Corinthians 5:21 sink into your heart,
“God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” If you are truly “in Him” (i.e., born-again), God Himself has given testimony that you are the righteousness of God!

This righteousness we have been given is more than a positional asset — something we possess so we are able to stand before the infinite Righteous One. It is also a provisional asset — something we have been given to allow the very character of God to be expressed through our lives. The inworking of righteousness we inherit when God re-creates our lives at salvation should produce an outworking of His life. Specifically, the implanted righteousness should yield a harvest of justice and holiness.

God Looks For Justice
One of the things God is looking to see on the earth and in our lives is justice. The prophet Isaiah tells us that justice is something the eye of the Lord searches for. “He looked for justice, but behold, He found oppression” (Isaiah 5:7). Man was made in the image of God, so when the Lord looks at our lives He expects to see justice, for He is just. “For I, the Lord, love justice” (Isaiah 61:8). With the fall of man, selfishness, oppression, and lawlessness began to rule the hearts of men. How this grieved the heart of God. “Now the Lord saw, and it was displeasing in His sight that there was no justice” (Isaiah 59:15).

But with the atoning work of Christ upon the Cross, provision has been made to remake our lives into the very image of God. We can be born-again and have the righteousness of God ingrafted into us. Because of this, justice should flow forth from our lives.

The simplest definition for justice is
“doing the right thing to and for others.” Justice is treating others right. We do this simply by allowing the righteousness we have been given to be shown to those around us. Jesus died so His righteousness could become ours, and He is expecting to see the fruit of that righteousness expressed as an entire company of people who exercise justice toward others.

The second great commandment is to
“Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). It is easy to say we love those around us, but justice can be easily observed. Through the righteousness that we have been given, the Lord has provided a way for us to fulfil this requirement. While righteousness is something you possess, justice is something you do. It is as we do right for our neighbors that we demonstrate that we love them through justice. The justice we give displays the character within. Justice is something God has called us to do, “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you: but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8), and the Lord is coming to determine if we have used the righteousness He has given us to give justice to others.

Being Holy
Not only is righteousness to be worked out toward others as justice, it is to be worked out in our relationship before God as holiness. In fact, the writers of Scripture describe the character of God as holy much more often than they describe God as love. We are very quick to say that God is love, and He is, but if you read the Bible you will find that it points to holiness first and foremost as His preeminent characteristic. Exodus 15:11 says “Who among the gods is like you, O Lord? Who is like you — majestic in your holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?” The phrase “majestic in your holiness” literally means holiness is God’s “crowning feature.”

Our God is a Holy God, and He expects believers who have been remade into His image to be holy.
“But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy’” (Matthew 5:48). Holiness is not trying to perform some long list of do’s and don’ts. It is simply taking the righteousness we have been given and doing the right thing in our personal lives and our relationship with God — our actions are right, our motives are right, our attitude is right.

The first and greatest commandment is to
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). It is very easy to say we love God, but the proof is in our willingness to take the righteousness we have been given and choosing to use it to live a holy life. God, in His infinite wisdom and lavish mercy, has made a way for us to be the righteousness of God, and He is now looking to see if we will live this out in holiness before Him, doing right in all we do, say, and think.

God is about to come to the Church with a measuring line of justice and a plumbline of holiness to examine our lives. This is not to bring a judgment of punishment but a judgment of revelation. In His great mercy He is choosing to examine us and show us where we measure up and where we fall short. He longs for us to live out the righteousness we have been given toward others in justice and toward Him in holiness. Will you allow the Holy Spirit to apply the measuring line of justice to your life and the plumbline of holiness to your heart?


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