As Christians, do we ask "what is the righteousness of God"? Has it ever been conceived in our minds? Christ righteousness is a virtue of which man cannot, by his power, be able to produce and be in favor with God. In this topic, we will learn the simple way on how the Bible defines "righteousness".
What is righteousness?
"Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous." 1Jn. 3:7
Note: Plain and simple, righteousness is right doing.
What is the righteousness of Christ?
My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness. Psa_119:172
Note: God's commandments are righteousness. It is Christ's righteousness. furthermore, in Isaiah 51:6,7, it says, "Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished. Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings." Therefore, it is very clear that the law is God's righteousness. So simple, no complications.
What more proof do we have about Christ's righteousness?
In 1John 5:17 it says, "All unrighteousness is sin:" and what is sin? 1John 3:4 "sin is the transgression of the law." So unrighteousness and transgression of the law are the same; both are the definition of sin. In a positive sense, therefore, righteousness must be obedience to the law. To put it in a simple illustration it goes like this:
transgression of the law= sin
righteousness= obedience to the law
Does man have a so-called "own righteousness"? If so, what kind of righteousness does he have?
"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." Isa 64:6
"For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." Matt. 5:20
Isn't man capable of doing good and be righteous in God's sight?
".., out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man (Mark 7:21-23)".
Man is, "captive by him at his will." 2Tim. 2:26
Note: Man cannot do any good of himself. He cannot obey God's law in its entirety. Whatever proceeds from his heart is evil. In the sight of God "all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags".
"... are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes." Rom 3:9-18
In conclusion, are open sinners or professing to merely keep the law, justified before God?
Rom 3: 19,20 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
In this case, how can a man be just before God if his "deeds of the law" are all unacceptable? What shall we do in order to be saved?
believe in Jesus - John 3:16 Act. 10:43 Rom 10:13 ; 4:12
What will happen to man the moment he accepts and believes on Jesus Christ?
And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. James 2:23
Who, therefore, will put on the robe of Christ's righteousness on man?
"I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels." Isa. 61:10
Since Christ would cover the repentant sinner with His robe of righteousness, does it mean that when He presents the sinner to the Father, the Father will accept the sinner not because of his feeble works but for the sake of the righteousness of Christ?
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Tit. 3:5
What are the other process that man should act to be fully accepted by God?
learn and reason with Jesus- Matt. 11:28,29; Isa. 1:18
acknowledge sin- Jer. 3:13; 14:20; Ps. 51:3
repent and be converted- Act 2:38; 3:19
confess- 1John 1:9
amend ways and doings - Jer. 7:3
Now that man is justified, what should be his goal and what should he do to maintain his just state before God?
"That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men." Tit 3:7 ,8
What are the good works to be maintained? What is the standard of good works?
"And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." Mat 19:16 ,17
Therefore, in order for man to be "justified by the deeds of the law" he needs Christ Jesus for help. Is it possible, for a justified state of man compared to his past Christless life, to keep God's law and be acceptable?
"With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible." Matt. 19:26
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:" Joh 1:12
" I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Phil. 4:13
Does it mean that man has to cooperate with God in order to obtain eternal life?
",..work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." -Php 2:13
"(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.) -Rom 2:13
So God's law can be kept by God's grace through faith. Would the robe of Christ righteousness, then, be granted to those who pass through severe trials up to the time eternal?
And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. Rev. 19:8
Having Christ's righteousness, what will God's people be called at last?
"In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS." Jer. 23:6
We do not earn salvation by our obedience; for salvation is the free gift of God, to be received by faith. But obedience is the fruit of faith. “Ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him.” 1 John 3:5, 6. Here is the true test. If we abide in Christ, if the love of God dwells in us, our feelings, our thoughts, our purposes, our actions, will be in harmony with the will of God as expressed in the precepts of His holy law. “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous.” 1 John 3:7. Righteousness is defined by the standard of God's holy law, as expressed in the ten precepts given on Sinai. (SC 61)
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