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Charmed into Righteousness
The Most Righteous Lord
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SpeakerDwight K. Nelson
Since 1983, Dwight Nelson has served as lead pastor of the Pioneer Memorial Church on the campus of Andrews University. He preaches on the “New Perceptions” telecast, teaches at the theological seminary and has written some books, including The Chosen. He and his wife, Karen, are blessed with two married children and one granddaughter.
More In This Series
“Charmed into Righteousness: The Most Righteous Lord”
- Zechariah 3:1-5
- Isaiah 64:6—“ All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.”
- Isaiah 61:10—“ I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of and arrayed me in a robe of , as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”
- Ellen White: “Whatever may have been your past experience, however discouraging your present circumstances, if you will come to Jesus just as you are, weak, helpless, and despairing, our compassionate Saviour will meet you a great way off, and will throw about you His arms of love and His of righteousness. He presents us to the Father clothed in the white raiment of character. He pleads before God in our behalf, saying: I have taken the sinner’s place. Look not upon this wayward child, but look on Me. Does Satan plead loudly against our souls, accusing of sin, and claiming us as his prey, the blood of Christ pleads with power.” (Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing 8-9)
Christ Our Righteousness
- 1 John 2:1 NKJV—“My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the .”
- Jeremiah 23:6 NKJV—“Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR .”
- 1 Corinthians 1:30—“It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our , holiness and redemption.”
- Christ is our .
- N. T. Wright: “[God’s righteousness] is an outward-looking characteristic of God, linked of course to the concern for God’s own glory but essentially going, as it were, in the opposite direction, that of God’s creative, healing, restorative . God’s concern for God’s glory is precisely rescued from the appearance of divine narcissism because God, not least God as Trinity, is always giving out, pouring out, lavishing generous on undeserving people, undeserving Israel and an undeserving world. That is the sort of God he is, and ‘God’s righteousness’ is a way of saying, ‘Yes, and God will be true to that character.’” (Justification: God’s Plan and Paul’s Vision 70-71)
- Wright: “. . . God’s righteousness is that quality or attribute because of which he his people. His ‘acts of righteousness’ are thus the acts he performs as outworkings or demonstrations of his covenant faithfulness.” (71)
- Wright: “Indeed, it is because God will be true to that outward-facing generous, creative that he must also curse those ways of life, particularly those ways of life within his covenant people, which embody and express the opposite [of his creative love]. . . . and therefore [he] must curse everything that thwarts and destroys the blessing of his world and his people.” (71)
- So what is a loving and righteous God to do now?
- John 3:16—“For God so the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
- 1 Timothy 1:15—“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to sinners—of whom I am the worst.”
- Romans 3:25-26—“God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his . . . so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”
- How did this loving and righteous God pull it off?
- 2 Corinthians 5:14, 21—“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for , and therefore died. . . . God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the of God.”
- White: “Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His. ‘With His stripes we are healed.’” (Desire of Ages 25)
- Romans 5:19—“For just as through the disobedience of the one man [Adam] the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man [Christ] the many will be made .”
- Wright: “The language of ‘righteousness’ in the Old Testament regularly refers to the lawcourt, or quasi lawcourt situations. . . . Let us imagine a fictitious scenario in ancient Israel. Azariah and Bildad go to law before Gamaliel, acting as a judge. Azariah accuses Bildad of stealing a sheep. Gamaliel hears the case and finds in favor of Bildad: the court declares that the accusation is unfounded and that Bildad is innocent. That ‘finding in favor,’ that declaration, is ‘’; its result is that Bildad is now ‘righteous,’ that is, ‘in the .’. . . He is, in other words, the vindicated defendant.” (68-69)
- Romans 5:18—“One righteous act resulted in and life for all people.”
- White: “With His own blood [Jesus] has signed the emancipation papers of the .” (Ministry of Healing 90)
- White: “[Christ] took in His grasp the world over which Satan claimed to preside as his lawful territory, and by His wonderful work in giving His life, He restored the race of men to favor with God.” (Selected Messages 1:343)
- “The Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through [Pastors] Waggoner and Jones. This message was to bring more prominently before the the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It presented justification through faith in the Surety; it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God. Many had lost sight of . They needed to have their eyes directed to His divine person, His merits, and His changeless love for the human family. All power is given into His hands, that He may dispense rich gifts unto men, imparting the priceless gift of His own righteousness to the helpless human agent. This is the message that God commanded to be given to the world. It is the third angel’s message, which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of His Spirit in a large measure.” (91-92)
- Romans 1:16—“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes. . . . For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed.”
- Psalm 33:6, 9—“By the of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the of his mouth. . . .For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.”
- John 6:63—“‘The I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.’”
- 2 Timothy 3:16—“All is God-breathed and is useful for teaching . . .”
- E. J. Waggoner: “When the word of God names something, then the thing that is named is formed. Whatever is described by the word, exists in that word. Thus it is impossible for God to lie, for His word makes the thing so.” (Living by Faith 13)
- Hebrews 1:3—“The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful .”
- Waggoner: “The breath of God, which has creative energy in it, is that which gives us the precepts and promises of the Bible. That creative is the power of the Gospel. . . . The power of redemption is the power of , for redemption is creation. . . . To declare is to speak, so when God declares His righteousness in Christ for the remission of sins [Romans 3:25], righteousness is spoken into and on you, to take the place of your sins, which are taken away. And it is not simply a passive righteousness that is declared on you, but real, active righteousness, for the word of the Lord is alive, and God’s righteousness is real and active.” (14-15)
- Hans LaRondelle: “However, justification implies more than a mere legal transaction. The righteousness of Christ is a power, ‘it is a principle of life that transforms the character and controls the conduct.’—The Desire of Ages p 556. Many have too abstract and narrow a view of forgiveness and justification. This led E. G. White to state: ‘God’s forgiveness is not merely a judicial act by which He sets us free from condemnation. It is not only forgiveness for sin, but reclaiming from sin. It is the outflow of redeeming love that transforms the heart.’—Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing p 114.” (Christ Our Salvation: What God Does for Us and in Us 47)
“My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus' blood and righteousness.”
Christmas Eve at PMC: The Gift. The Christmas story of God's gift to humanity, for all ages.
December 15, 5:00 PM
Location: PMC Sanctuary
Start the New Year right! Come and enjoy PMC’s 10 Days of Prayer from January 1-10 in the Youngberg home, 4731 Greenfield Drive in Berrien Springs, MI. This is the 29th consecutive year. Each session begins at 6:00 PM. We will be praying for your requests and for an abundant outpouring of the Latter Rain. There will be special handouts for attendees each session. Bring your Bible.
The topics are:
- Jan. 1 “For Such a Time as This”
- Jan. 2 “My Sheep Hear My Voice”
- Jan. 3 “Faith is the Victory”
- Jan. 4 “His Name Shall Be Called WONDERFUL”
- Jan. 5 “Toning up my Flabby Spiritual Muscles”
- Jan. 6 “Snacking on Spiritual Food or Enjoying a Full Course Meal?”
- Jan. 7 “Exceedingly Abundantly Above All that We ASK or Think”
- Jan. 8 “And the Earth Was Illuminated with His Glory”
- Jan. 9 “These Follow the Lamb Wherever He Goes”
- Jan. 10 “You Are My Hiding Place”
January 1-10, 6:00 PM
Location: 4731 Greenfield Drive, Berrien Springs, MI
On behalf of the thirteen churches in southwestern Michigan, we’re delighted to host Pavel Goia, editor Ministry magazine and international prayer conference speaker, on Sabbath, January 5, 2019. Pastor Goia was featured significantly in Ron Clouzet’s Adventism’s Greatest Need because of a resurrection he and his wife sought and received from God. A man of bold prayer and intercession, Pastor Pavel is the right preacher to lead us into an uncertain New Year globally, nationally and even locally. He will preach in both the 9:00 AM and 11:45 AM services at Pioneer, and in between will preach in the Berrien Springs Spanish Church (10:30 AM). An afternoon district-wide prayer conference will follow here at Pioneer (3:00 PM). Mark your calendar, and let us discover how to make collective prayer our high priority in 2019.
January 5, 9:00 AM & 11:45 AM
Location: Pioneer Memorial Church
You are invited to an evening of popular Christmas music on Saturday, December 15, at 7:00pm at the Howard Performing Arts Center on the campus of Andrews University. Join us as we bring in the holidays with a variety of well-known Christmas songs including a grand finale played by the combined musical groups.
December 15, 7:00 PM
Location: Howard Performing Arts Center
Please join us at the Howard Performing Arts Center for our annual Christmas programs. The Vocal Christmas program is 7:00 PM on December 18 and the Instrumental program is at 7:00 PM on December 19.
December 18 & 19
Location: Howard Performing Arts Center
On Sunday, December 2, 2018 Dwight K. Nelson, Lead Pastor at Pioneer Memorial Church, took the pastoral team and their families on a Christmas excursion. Following a delightful meal, they headed to a nearby ice skating rink. The team is thankful for the time together!
Seasons cheer was in the crisp, cool air as the pastor's kids and the rest of the team circled around the rink. A few huddled on the sidelines while laughing, taking pictures, and waving through the merry gang of PMC skaters. Almost an hour after getting on the ice, Pastor Nelson incurred an injury to his right hip and right shoulder. Everyone is thankful that he did not hit his head on the ice.
The staff from the arena responded professionally, assessing the situation and calling for the paramedics. They even responded warmly to the suggestion from one of the other pastors. That suggestion was that along with the paramedics, they include a local marching band to escort him to a local hospital where he would get x-rays taken. (unfortunately, they were not available). On arriving at the hospital, they were received and attended with great care. Thank you to all who work in medical services for the professionalism and attentiveness you offer your patients.
As of December 3, Pastor Dwight went through his first successful surgery for his hip, and on December 5 he is scheduled to go into surgery again to attend to his shoulder. During this season we are reminded of many things, but today we are thankful that even through the disruptions this life brings God is watching over us. He is the Lead Physician and the Loving Shepherd.
We welcome your prayers and cards. We have set up a CaringBridge site (www.caringbridge.org/visit/dwightnelson) to read updates as they are made available and for you to leave your words of encouragement (we are not setting up a donation portal through CaringBridge). At the present time, we are asking for no-one to visit so that Pastor Dwight can have the necessary rest and recovery important in these early days post surgery. If you have care packages or cards, please feel free to deliver them to the church office. The pastoral staff will ensure they are delivered.
The Honduras mission team needs a used violin and children's recorders (or funds to buy some) for the children's home in Honduras. We want to share the joy of music with these precious children.
Contact: Glenn Russell - email@example.com
The funeral dinner team needs additional helpers to bring food and/or work in the kitchen. If you would like to assist in this way, please contact Pat Erhard at (260) 471-7366 or the church office at (269) 471-6565.