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RIGHTEOUSNESS

What is righteousness of the Bible? With just a short study it can be seen that righteousness and the law of God go hand in hand. Righteousness is doing what is right with both God and man. God has shown us what is right when he gave us our example in his Son, Jesus Christ (1 Pet 2:21, 1 Jn 2:1). God has also shown us his righteousness through his law. We have his written law and part of that law is his commandments. The commandments are the righteousness that God has for our relationship with both him and his creation.
Psalm 119:172
My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.

LAW OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
The commandments, then, are righteousness and they are the law. The word of God calls this the “law of righteousness” (Rom 9:31) which our Creator mandates us to live by. The means by which we obey this law of righteuosness determines our eternal life. There are two ways to do this:
Martin Luther said there are two types of righteousness. One is the righteousness of the law, commbined with ceremony, tradition and outward appearance. This he called “active righteousness”. The other type is the same righteousness of the law but this type he calls “passive”. This passive righteousness is imputed unto the Christian by faith in God. Paul tells us about this when speaking of Abraham:
Romans 4:11
And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:
Romans 4:22-24
And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. [23] Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; [24] But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;

As a Christian we don’t work for and can’t earn God’s righteousness. Righteousness is imputed unto us. God’s righteousness becomes our righteousness because he, the righteous God, lives in us. We become the righteousness of God.
2 Cor. 5:21
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

[For more about works for salvation see GRACE OR WORKS in this blog for Oct. 28, ’09.]

God shows us what Luther called active righteousness, and its consequences, in Paul’s writings in Romans. Paul, when he gives this account of his unsaved life in Romans chapter 7, lets us know that not keeping the 10 commandments of God, the royal law (Jms 2:8), is sin. Jesus told the “rich young ruler” that to obtain eternal life he needed to keep the 10 commandments (Mk 10:17-22). John tells us that sin is the transgression of the law (1 Jn 3:4). Trying to keep the law by our own strength and thereby establishing our own righteousness is the definitiion of being self-righteous.

(Though we all have sinned, or broke God’s law, we all seem to think we can try this route of self-righteousness. Many denominatioins today have certain rules that distinguish them by their dress, form of worship, etc, that gives a feeling of superiority above other denominations. This is not new, just in another form from the time that Jesus walked among the Scribes and Pharisees that deemed themselves superior.
Matthew 5:20
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.

Is this not the case for all of us who have thought that our life was good enough to get God’s approval when we die, instead of coming to ourselves and knowing we are a self-deceiver and need a savior?
Matthew 23:26
Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.

Paul was a Pharisee until he saw his need.
Philip. 3:4-7
Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: [5] Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; [6] Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. [7] But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.)

Mankind establishing religious rules, traditions and ceremonies is something that is an abomination in the eyes of God, It’s the blind leading the blind and looking down on any who do not agree with their way of worship. We have hundreds of denominatios each with their own manmade systems of worship to prove this true.
Romans 10:3-4
For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. [4] For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
Matthew 15:8-9
This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. [9] But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Matthew 15:14
Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

Many unsuspecting ‘Christians’ are caught up in false denominational church doctrines and think they have salvation. Many church leaders will come in the name of Christ and with their doctrines and teachings deceive many. Others love to have it so because it gives them something to which they can hide their ungodly ways.
Matthew 24:5
For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

BEEN THERE DONE THAT
I tried this way of the religious world and was a failure with my standing with God. I could not, by my own strength, prevail and work for my salvation. Even though I was a baptised (by emersion) member of a mainline church and knew and confessed that Jesus was the Son of God, I was lost in sin and as godly as a fence post, I was on my way to hell. The things I did deemed necessary for Christian salvation according to church tradition were nothing to God not being mixed with faith. But I thought I was okay, and doing what I was taught and hoped my works would be good enough to get me into heaven.
Luke 16:15 (KJV)
And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

RIGHTEOUS CHRISTIAN
But the Christin is a righteous person according to the scripture. Since we all have sinned in like manner as Paul in Romans chapter 7, then we know it’s God that gives us that righteousness. It’s the sacrifice of Jesus Christ that he made for our sins and faith in that work that allows God to impute his righteousness in us.
Romans 10:10 (KJV)
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Romans 3:31 (KJV)
Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.
Philip. 3:9 (KJV)
And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
Galatians 2:21 (KJV)
I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
Galatians 3:21 (KJV)
Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.
Titus 3:5 (KJV)
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;

A NEW HEART AND A NEW SPIRIT

God has promised us a new heart and a new spirit when we believe on him for salvation. This new heart and new spirit within keeps the righteous law of God. The old stony heart and the old nature (spirit) are done away with, they are ded, gone.

Ezekiel 36:26-27
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. [27] And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
Romans 8:4
That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Hebrews 10:16
This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;

GOD IS IN CONTROL
God is in control of my life, and that of all Christians. All of us have been bought by him at a great price at Calvary. The life that we now live is hid in him.
Col. 3:3
For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

We live by his faith.
Galatians 2:20
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

I can’t go in and out of God’s kingdom that I’ve been born into anymore that I can go in and out of my mother’s womb. At the time I was born of the Spirit of God my old life ceased. My old man, my old nature, is gone, crucified with Christ, dead, I can no longer live in it. Now God is in me living his life in this mortal body.
2 Cor. 6:16
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Ephes. 2:10
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Hebrews 10:16 (KJV)
This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;

Psalm 40:2
He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.

God is in his people living his life in our mortal bodies. He directs our coming and going. He guides his people, by his Spirit, through his word in the path we walk down, the road to immortality, our path of eternal life.
Psalm 119:105 (KJV)
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

The righteousness of the Bible is the righteousness of God. He has become THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS (Jer 23:6) to all who believe. When God gave Moses he law on Mt Sinai we were put under the law. We were commanded to not do this and not do that. When God said “Thou shalt not..” it was a command of something we were not to do. Now, under the new covanent, the same commandment is now a statement of somethinng we cannot do. It’s God’s Spirit in us leading his righteous life. We are no longer under the curse of the law because our new spirit obeys the law.
1 John 3:9 (KJV)
Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

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