Contagious Righteousness
 "And a woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and could not be healed by anyone, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His of His cloak; and immediately her hemorrhage stopped."  Luke 8:43-44

A friend shared recently on the above account in scripture.  He talked of how the woman's condition would have rendered her unclean in Jewish society, and anyone she touched would be made unclean as well.  She was considered spiritually "contagious."  To touch someone like Jesus, who was considered at least to be a great teacher by all, would have been unforgiveable.  Yet she dared to do so.  My friends point in this was that the one who was considered defiled was made clean by He who was righteousness in the flesh.  The very opposite of what the Jews would have expected to happen, happened.  She did not defile Him by her touch, but she was instead made clean and whole as a result of laying hold of even a part of Him.  My friend called this "contagious righteousness."  This is what Christ walked in.  It's what He walks in still.  Do we walk there with Him?  Do we live in a state of contagious righteousness?  When others, trapped in the bondage of sin, come and touch our lives, does His Life flow out of us?  James Robison said something to the effect that if we are filled with the Living Water of His Life, than a river of that Life must flow out of us.  Is the river of His Life flowing out from within us?

I think the church is living in basically three conditions.  There are those, too many, who view this lost and fallen world, and those souls held captive in it, much like the Jews viewed this woman.  As something, as people, to be avoided, who will defile us. So we fort up in our churches, home groups, and other acceptable "Christian" gatherings as a means of protecting ourselves and our families from them.  Then there is a second group.  These are the ones who wish, with very good desires, to reach those trapped in that fallen world.  With great zeal they go out and seek to bring them in.  This is called ministry and outreach.  It is worthy ministry and outreach.  The problem lies in that they go out, we go out, in our own strength and power and bring these ones into fellowships that are moving and ministering in their own strength and power.  In a sense, souls and people come in, but they never really come out.  Out of the captivity of sin.  They have laid hold of us, but they have never laid hold of Christ, because we ourselves have never fully laid hold of Him.  This is so, because so few of us seem to be really living, moving, and ministering in the cleansing, healing, freeing Life of Christ's contagious righteousness.  Only this kind of life, flowing freely and fully in the midst of the Body, and the individual parts of that Body can bring that kind of cleansing, healing, and freedom.  It is the kind of Life I want to have.  Is it the Life you wish to have as well?

This is what the church, particularly here in the west as darkness grows ever deeper, must be moving in.  A righteousness that is contagious.  A light and purity that the world at it's darkest cannot extinguish or defile.  A Life so filled with Him that all that darkness and sin can do upon contact with it is either to flee from or lay hold of it, and so be made pure and holy.  May I, we, be such a man and people.  May our church fellowship, and yours, be such a Body.  May we live contagious.  In contagious righteousness, where His Life is spreading in every direction, outward from within us.

Blessings,
Pastor O 
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