Righteousness Revealed Part 5

I want to complete this series by looking more at how we see ourselves. Recently I was reminded of a song that came out of the counter cultural hippie movement of the 1960’s. While there was a popular expression, “peace, love and Woodstock” and the “summer of love” in San Francisco, the fruit of the movement was primarily debauchery and rebellion. There were some things to challenge but by and large the fruit of this movement was not good and what saved our culture at the time was a revival known as the Jesus Movement that swept through the hippie movement. It touched North America and Europe and whether or not you are aware of it, greatly influenced the instruments you see and music you sing in the evangelical church today.

Joni Mitchell wrote a very popular song in November 1969 about the Woodstock music festival that immortalized and sanitized the event. The garden reference is to the Garden of Eden.


I came upon a child of God
He was walking along the road
When I asked him where are you going
This he told me.

I’m going down to Yasgurs farm
Think I’ll join a rock and roll band
I’ll camp out on the land
I’ll try and set my soul free.

We are stardust, we are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.
Then can I walk beside you
I have come here to lose the smog

And I feel just like a cog in something turning.
Well maybe its the time of year
Or maybe its the time of man
And I don’t know who I am

But life’s for learning.
We are stardust, we are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.
By the time I got to Woodstock

They were half a million strong
Everywhere there were songs and celebration
And I dreamed I saw the bombers
Riding shotgun in the sky

Turning into butterflies
Above our nation.
We are stardust, we are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.

We are stardust, we are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.
We are stardust, we are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.

Songwriters: JONI MITCHELL
© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Crazy Crow Music / Siquomb Music Publishing
For non-commercial use only.

I think many of us in the church are like the sentiment expressed in this song, trying to ‘get back to the garden.’ That is only one of the many wrong concepts here. The song expresses a longing for something lost and a belief that we need to recognize that we are ‘stardust and golden.’ Yet humanity without Jesus is lost, not stardust and golden. There is a longing in this song to ‘become who we are’ but it is really a longing to become who we were created to be while missing the only thing that will enable us to achieve that, the new birth.

The sentiment in the song is about identity. The issue in the church is identity. Once we have encountered Jesus and been born again our goal should never be to ‘get back to the garden.’ Adam and Eve never had what we have. Prior to the Fall they had innocence but lacked Jesus; Yahweh’s nature, in their spirits. We have that and to ‘become who we are’ we need to reflect that in our beliefs and speech. Do we think of ourselves as sinners? Is that our identity? That may reflect popular church culture but it is just as aberrant as Joni Mitchell’s song.

The scriptures teach what we are;

12  But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: John 1:12 (NKJV)

6  knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. Romans 6:6 (NKJV)

5  having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, Ephesians 1:5 (NKJV)

10  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 (NKJV)

9  For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10  and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. Colossians 2:9-10 (NKJV)

17  But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. 1 Corinthians 6:17 (NKJV)

17  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)

21  For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV)

9  But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 1 Peter 2:9 (NKJV)

1  Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2  Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 1 John 3:1-2 (NKJV)

This is by no means an exhaustive list, search the NT for other references and meditate in and on this reality and cooperate with the Spirit of Life and Truth. Turn these truths into prayers and declarations to truly become who you are. Here is truth about us.

20  I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20 (NKJV, emphasis mine)


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I have been walking with Jesus since 1985. I am currently retired from my career in the helping professions but still focused on ministering to others. I completed a Doctorate of Philosophy in Apologetics in September 2020.

7 thoughts on “Righteousness Revealed Part 5”

  1. Wow Randy! You must have had a refreshing holiday – great post. That spirit of rebellion you’ve rightly identified, has turned somewhat during the last half century…into mocking, ignoring, and denying the existence of truth. Tearing down the traditions seemed fun at the time, but our society is now reaping the rewards. Lord forgive us, and have those of us that regret and repent destroying so much; be inspired to toil in Your soon coming harvest fields! Amen.

  2. This is one of your best! I especially love the line, “Turn these truths into prayers and declarations to truly become who you are.” and would only add…or who you would like to become.

  3. Amen Rhonda, we need to look into the Word and align our lives with it by coming into agreement with what He says about us.

  4. Love it! This conversation came up recently with a fellow believer. “Do we think of ourselves as sinners? Is that our identity?” …exactly. There is too much head-hanging and hand- wringing in the church. I’ve done my fair share! But —- We are not separated from God, slave to sin and death. We do not choose perfectly at all times, but we are free to choose to obey God now, rather than dead in sin as an unbeliever, unable to do anything but sin, with even the good we try to do not really good at all, bent inward upon itself, done for our own glory, or for worship of some idol, rather than for the joy of loving God as freely and openly as we can with our whole selves, and worshipping Him and obeying Him as befits His glory. How can we ever love him enough? We get to keep at it, into eternity. We get to be with him. What flavour does sin have when we think of just being with our Lord? Thanks for sharing this one Randy. I am enjoying your blog.

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