People are only endowed to partake in the first fruit of righteousness as a result of taking their place in the family of God. Presently, this era sees a great many people who refuse or are reluctant to assume their rightful privileges as members of God’s family. They have been Christians for thirty or forty years, yet, when facing problems or burdens in life, they seek to others for help, rather than exercising the availability of the first fruit of righteousness.
We speak here of the great crowd of Christians who lend their support to the teaching, preaching, and financial ministries of the church, but have never recognized nor enjoyed their rights as sons and daughters of God. In this case, we find people who have not come to appreciate their righteousness in Christ, and who fail to take advantage of it for the benefit of themselves and others.
Christians who take their rightful position in the family of God understand Romans 8:1, “There is therefore no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus”, realizing righteousness means the ability to come into the Father’s presence without guilt or sense of loss of relationship. They have appropriated Hebrews 4:16, to “come boldly to the throne of grace…”.
Such is the status of those rebirthed into the family of God, they have taken to themselves Hebrews 4:1, “…entering into His rest”, they have not “…come short of it”. God’s family rests in His righteousness, recognizing that the Father has commanded His loving care for them. They have discovered that the first fruit of righteousness is rest in the word of God. The first fruit of righteousness enables God’s family to live out the word, to speak out of the word which is hidden in the heart, and to act on the word. This first fruit gives us a quiet confidence in God’s word, free of anxiety and fear, having a full assurance that He is able to “keep that which we have committed to Him against that day”.
L. Jerome Jones