Daniel 9:7 …’O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee.’ Jeremiah 23:6 …’he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.’
Matthew 5:6 …’Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.’
There is only one remedy for the sickness of the professed church today, and that is the righteousness of Jesus Christ. The Lord counsels us to be clothed with His garment (Rev. 3:18), so that when God sees us at the wedding banquet, He sees us through the righteousness of His Son. The question is, are you wearing the ‘white raiment’ of Jesus Christ? Are you not only ‘waiting’ for the Lord’s return, but also allowing Christ todwell in you day by day?
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.’
Our lives need to be hid in Christ. We need now to be living the faith of the Son of God. That Majesty of all heaven, who gave His life for us, can live in us, through His Holy Spirit and ‘transform us by the renewing of our minds, that we may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:2)
Ephesians 4:23-24 …’ And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.’
As the apostle Paul confirmed in Romans 3:10, there is none that is righteous, and in 1 Corinthians 6:9, he confirms that no unrighteous person will enter the kingdom of God. So it is imperative that we be cleansed from our unrighteousness and clothed with the righteous garments of Christ Jesus. Now it is clear from the Word of God that we can do nothing to save ourselves. This salvation, this grace of our heavenly Father is freely bestowed upon us, because His own Son took the full penalty for our sin. Again, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us!
The law points out sin, but cannot deliver us from sin, which is why the imputed righteousness of God is without our own works (Romans 4). The law declares us sinners, which in turn directs us to Jesus Christ. No works of the law in of ourselves can make us justified (Romans 4). Only by faith can we be declared righteous through Christ.
Due to our sin, we deserve death. But because of the matchless love of God, we may be accounted righteous before Him, through faith in His Son. When we repent of our sins and believe in Christ, our faith is counted as righteousness. Oh what love and great compassion our God has for us!
We are in need of a regeneration, a new birth. Without this, the sinner will remain under the condemnation of God’s changeless, holy law. As the Word of God confirms, it is only those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh that are not condemned. Are you dear reader living each day IN our Lord and Saviour? Are you dear reader walking after the Spirit and not the world?
Romans 8:1-6 …’There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.’
Righteousness is opposite to sin. Do you see that friend?
While we cannot be saved by our own works of the law, we also cannot be saved without obedience to the law giver, Jehovah. But that obedience is not of ourselves, it is Christ’s obedience working IN us, through our daily submitting to Him, causing us to do His good will and pleasure. “No repentance is genuine that does not work reformation in the heart and mind. The righteousness of Christ is not some ‘cloak’ to cover unconfessed and unforsaken sin. It does not cover continued wilful sin (Hebrews 10:26). It is a principle of life that transforms the character and controls the conduct. Holiness is wholeness for God; it is the entire surrender of heart and life to the indwelling of the principles of heaven.”(Desire of Ages, p.555-556)
Romans 6:1-2, 15-16 …’What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? … What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom yeyield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?’
1 Corinthians 15:34 …’Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.’
1 John 5:17 …’All unrighteousness is sin.’
Hebrews 1:9 …’Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity.’
When we completely surrender ourselves to Christ, a new power takes possession of the heart. A change is wrought that man can never do himself. It is a supernatural work (Psalm 51:10). But we must submit to this transforming power in order to be covered by Christ and His righteousness. There will be an outward evidence of the indwelling Spirit and righteousness of Jesus Christ. Those who are sanctified by the truth will be self controlled and follow in the footstep of Christ, who did no sin.
But there is something stopping the majority from being clothed with the righteousness of Jesus Christ. The love of worldly music, entertainment, television, movies and other ungodly things have clouded the minds, and is keeping us from this new birth and regeneration into the Spirit and life of Christ. The heart that is absorbed in worldly interests CANNOT be given up to God, and therefore cannot be under the full influence of Christ.
“No man can cover his soul with the garments of Christ’s righteousness while practicing known sins or neglecting known duties. God requires the ENTIRE surrender of heart, soul, mind and body before justification can take place (Matthew 22:37). And for us to be able to RETAIN justification, there must be continual surrender and obedience to Jesus Christ, in an acting living faith that works by love to purify the soul.” (Review and Herald, Nov.4, 1890)
James 2:21-22 …’Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?‘
This growth in Christ and setting apart is what we call sanctification. By daily submitting to the will of God, Jesus will sanctify us and present us righteous before God in Himself … “I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds willI write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” (Hebrews 10:16-17)
But do not become disheartened and overcome if you fall into accidental, rash sin. For we have an Advocate with God in Jesus Christ the righteous … 1 John 2:1 …’My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.’ … Yet we will HATE the sin that caused the suffering of our precious Saviour.
When we fully submit to Jesus Christ, our hearts are united with His heart. Our will is merged with His will. Our minds become one with His mind, and all our thoughts are brought into captivity to Him (2 Corinthians 10:5), and His life is lived out in us (Galatians 2:20). This is what it means to be clothed with the garments of Christ’s righteousness. Then as God looks upon us, he no longer sees the fig leaf garment that Adam and Eve tried to cover themselves with, nor the nakedness caused by the deformity of sin, but Christ’s own robe of righteousness which is in perfect obedience to the great and holy law of Jehovah.
This message is to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour and the sacrifice He and His Father made for the sins of the whole world. This message presents justification through faith in the surety; Jesus invites people to receive His righteousness, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God.
Many have lost sight of Jesus. We need to have our eyes directed to His divine person, His merits, and His changeless love for the human race. All power is given into His hands (Matthew 28:18), that He may dispense rich gifts unto men, imparting the priceless gift of His own righteousness to us helpless humans. This is the message that God commands to be given to the world. It is the third angel’s message, which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of God’s Spirit in a large measure.
2 Corinthians 5:15,21 …’And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again … 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.’