172. ARE YOU TRYING TO ESTABLISH YOUR OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS?

(The Faith Forum Series – Batch 4)

Romans 10:3 states:

“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.” (Romans 10:3 KJV)

The problem with people who seem so nice and have seemingly done so many ‘nice’ things in life for others like O. Winfrey or that really nice, sweet, kind and giving person or that well-behaved, respectable, mannerly gentleman is that they have disregarded God’s righteousness and are living life, not according to his prescribed formula but as they see fit and consider to be acceptable.

The same is true of religious but yet still unsaved people, who create their own set of rules for living, prescribe different ways to make it to heaven when God has already given one.

Jesus stated of himself in John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Yet, these people tell other people that there are many ways to get to heaven.

In Acts 4:12, Peter made it clear of Jesus Christ that “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Yet, people lead others astray by telling them, that they can live as they see fit and worship whoever or whatever they understand to be God or hold on to the Old Covenant law in the Old Testament which was given to the Israelites and in so doing, their sacrifices will be accepted by God and that faith in Jesus alone is not enough and so something or someone else must be added for salvation.

Sadly, even if some of them mean well, they have been deceived by the devil. For, in pursuing life according to their own formula, they have discarded and rejected God’s righteousness, thinking that they are wise enough, powerful enough, rich enough or good enough, to chart out their own course in life and to do things as they see fit in their own eyes.

At the heart of the problem therefore is pride, the same pride that caused the devil to rebel against God in heaven, which caused him to be cast out. Pride says we need not submit to God’s way. We can do our own thing, ignore the antidote he has given in the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins and we will be alright.

It can be so easy for us to be deceived by our own sense of ‘goodness’. Yet, the Bible, which is God’s Word to mankind and our compass, tells us clearly that the best of us have failed his thrice holy standard of righteousness. Our best works are as filthy rags in his sight and therefore, he refuses to accept our offering, no matter how well intentioned we may think we are or how good we may have deluded ourselves into thinking we are.

The fact is we are all sinful creatures. The Bible tells us so and we can choose to accept this verdict or rebelliously reject it.

The Word of God tells us of our vile condition:

  • “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.”

Romans 3:23 tells us: For ALL have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”.

Isaiah 64:6 informs us: “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.”

None of us, no matter now nice we think we are, powerful, rich, influential, educated or smart, have what it takes to find our own path to righteousness. Righteousness is in Jesus Christ and him alone.

I repeat: RIGHTEOUSNESS, GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS IS IN JESUS CHRIST ALONE. It is not in Mary. It is not in Buddha. It is not in Mother Lakshmi or Allah or the moon or the stars or in our own human efforts or in the Old Testament law like the sabbath, which some still try futilely to keep.

To be righteous, we must therefore believe from our hearts that Jesus rose from the dead and humbly confess with our mouth the truth, which is that he is Lord. We must repent of our sins and our rebellion and submit to the righteousness of God, which is in Jesus Christ his Son. THIS righteousness is GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS and is sufficient to give us access to heaven.

We must therefore humbly accept the righteousness of God and abandon our own ideas and so-called intelligence. We do not have the solution to life’s problems and the key to gain access to heaven but Jesus does and we must of necessity, put our trust in HIM.

He wants to be the Captain of our souls and if we allow him to clothe our wretchedness with his perfect righteousness, we will be forgiven. We will be whole. We will be cleansed. We will be covered. We will be given access to heaven because the perfect righteousness of God’s only Son, has been imputed or placed on us, freely by our faith in Him.

Of Abraham and of God’s righteousness which can only be placed on a human being when he or she, by FAITH, believes in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Bible states:

  • “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in FAITH, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore IT WAS IMPUTED TO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
  • Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; BUT FOR US ALSO, TO WHOM IT SHALL BE IMPUTED, IF WE BELIEVE ON HIM THAT RAISED UP JESUS OUR LORD FROM THE DEAD; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
  • Therefore being justified by FAITH, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by FAITH into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 4: 20-25;5:1-2)

The Bible states of Israel’s error in pursuing after the LAW of the Old Covenant for righteousness (which it is impossible to keep perfectly 100% of the time) and in so doing, rejecting God’s righteousness which is offered freely by having FAITH in Jesus Christ and damning their souls to hell:

  • “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that THEY HAVE A ZEAL OF GOD, BUT NOT ACCORDING TO KNOWLEDGE. 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.
  • For CHRIST is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that BELIEVETH. For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the LAW, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. But the righteousness which is of FAITH speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
  • But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of FAITH, which we preach; That if thou shalt CONFESS WITH THY MOUTH the Lord Jesus, and shalt BELIEVE IN THINE HEART that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the HEART man believeth unto righteousness; and with the MOUTH confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto ALL that call upon him. For WHOSOEVER shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:1-13)

Romans 3:21-28 also states:

  • “But now THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD WHICH IS BY FAITH OF JESUS CHRIST unto all and upon all them that BELIEVE: for there is no difference:
  • For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through FAITH in his blood, to declare HIS righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time HIS righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which BELIEVETH in Jesus.
  • Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of FAITH. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by FAITH without the deeds of the law.”

The decision is yours, as it is all of mankind’s. Will you submit to GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS which requires you to believe in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ His Son and to confess him with your mouth as Lord for salvation or will you still try to establish your own righteousness which is futile and in so doing, perish?

(Written on 01st February, 2021)

ADDENDUM

GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS = Jesus’ perfect blood covering which we get when we believe he rose from the dead and confess with our mouth the truth that he is Lord (Romans 10:9-10 KJV; Philippians 3:9 KJV)

(When we believe, this righteousness of Jesus which is perfectly sinless is put on us, makes us good enough and because of Him, grants us access to heaven) FOR, DUE TO JESUS’ COVERING or HIS ROBE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, WE ARE PROPERLY ATTIRED OR CLOTHED FOR HEAVEN.

vs.

MAN’S RIGHTEOUSNESS = Confidence in anything other than faith in Jesus alone, like Mary, Buddha, Mother Lakshmi, Allah, Good Works, the Old Testament Law, Sabbath, Rituals, Abstaining from certain meats, Worshipping false gods of wood and stone, the moon, the stars, Religiosity, Money, Popularity, Position, Family background, Good Looks etc. (Isaiah 64:6 KJV)

(This is regarded by God to be like filthy rags, not good enough and ushers us down to hell) FOR, DUE TO US SEEKING TO FIND OUR OWN PATH OF RIGHTEOUSNESS (WHICH WILL NEVER BE GOOD ENOUGH), WE ARE STILL NAKED IN GOD’S EYES, FILTHY AND SO NOT AT ALL FIT FOR HEAVEN.

FURTHER ADDENDUM

Having sincere intentions, zeal, passion and a genuine love for religion and religiosity, never got a man to heaven yet. You may have sincere intentions but sincere intentions do not equate to gaining access to God’s heaven.

There is one way that he has set for man to trod, in order to be saved and that way is Jesus Christ. Hence the reason why Jesus said, “I am THE WAY, THE TRUTH and THE LIFE. No man cometh to the Father but by me.”

It is also why the Word of God states in Proverbs 14:12: “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

When man pursues the way that seems right in his own eyes and does so zealously and with good intentions, it is sad because God does not change the path he has set for man to trod, even for a person that means well. Man MUST submit themselves to the way that God has set because only then will they attain to his righteousness.

Hence the reason why Acts 4:12 tells us of Jesus,“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we MUST be saved.”

This is also why, though Israel in Romans 10: 1-4 had a zeal when it came to God, it was not according to knowledge, meaning, they were seeking after God according to their own understanding, while rejecting the path that he had already provided for salvation, in Jesus Christ. Hence, they remained unsaved and destined for eternal damnation.

The Word of God states:

  • “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. FOR CHRIST IS THE END OF THE LAW FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS TO EVERY ONE THAT BELIEVETH.”

THIRD ADDENDUM

I thought I was finished with this Article and these Addendums but apparently I’m not. Allow me to state further that, many people fly in the face of God, ‘so to speak’, by placing confidence in their ‘niceness’. They do a whole lot of nice things are reputed by others to be ‘nice’ people without ever coming to Christ and they’re basically saying to Jesus: “I don’t need your cloak or robe of righteousness. I am capable of being nice and good enough on my own.”

This appears to be exactly what happened with the man in Jesus’ parable, who was found at the Wedding without a wedding garment. He did not have on a wedding garment (Jesus’ robe of righteousness), not because it wasn’t made available to him but because he thought that his was good enough. He saw no need to put off his garment and to put on Christ’s.

This ‘niceness’ therefore, while on the surface it seems admirable and kind and good is nothing but rebellion. It is people saying to God: “You say I need your righteousness but I’ll show you I don’t. I’m perfectly okay and doing fine without it. Can’t you see all the good that I am doing and have done?”

This is therefore, not just a rebellion issue but also one of pride. Coming to Jesus for his righteousness, means to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, to acknowledge that we are filthy sinners, not good enough in our own merit and to ask Jesus to come into our hearts and lives and clothe us because we are miserable and pathetic without him. Yet, the ‘nice’ person outside of Christ, refuses in his or her pride to do that. For such a person, that would be to stoop too low, to discredit themselves too much and they are too important in their brand of ‘niceness’ to do that.

In their folly and even as they continue doing all these ‘nice’ things, they don’t realize that, according to God’s Word, their best works are as filthy rags in God’s sight, that God is thrice holy and that they could never in their own efforts, be good enough for his heaven. They don’t realize that the only ticket to heaven is Jesus Christ, hence the reason that he himself said, when he was here on earth, that “…I am the way the truth and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by me.” (John 14:6).

Such persons, if they die outside of Jesus Christ with their own cultivated version of ‘niceness’ or ‘nice enough’, have a rude awakening on the other side of yonder. These are some of the people that, in trying to build a case for why they should be let into heaven and avoid hell, would rattle off all the ‘nice’ things they did while on earth.

Of them, Jesus stated in Matthew 7:22: “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?”

Alas, all their efforts will be in vain, for the only thing that matters on the other side of yonder is whether you are clothed in Jesus’ righteousness or not.

Those that are will be sent to heaven, no matter how undeserving they are and how unpopular or unimportant they were while here on earth.

Those that aren’t but have in their memory a long list of their ‘accomplishments’, will be sent to hell because despite their self-proclaimed ‘niceness’, they have died in their sins without being cleansed by Jesus’ blood.

People are slow to get it but THERE IS NO MERIT SYSTEM IN HEAVEN. Jesus will not be looking at your earthly bank account or your good looks or which family you were aligned to or how popular you were or to which political party you were affiliated or how well you did for yourself while here on earth or how many ‘nice’ things you did.

Only those who have relationship with Jesus and have been reconciled to God through Jesus’ blood, by believing that Jesus rose from the dead and confessing that he is Lord while on earth, will be allowed into heaven and get to escape hell. This was why Jesus stated in Matthew 7:23, about what his response will be to those self-proclaimed ‘nice’ people: “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

If Jesus tells you that he never knew you, then you are toast, literally.

If in all your life, you never made it right with God, never believed that Jesus was Lord and never asked him to come into your heart and save you, if you never believed God’s testimony that Jesus came to earth in human form, died but rose up again on the third day and that all you believe on him and confess with their mouth that he is Lord, will be saved, then you never had relationship with Jesus Christ, even if you mentioned his name. In short, he never knew you, meaning that you were never of his fold.

Any act of kindness or niceness you did therefore, while still under Satan’s management and without ever being repositioned into the Kingdom of Jesus Christ while on earth, is nothing but iniquity. Those acts earns you no points. Your ‘goodness’ earns you no points. If when your time is up upon this earth, you dare to die still unbelieving, then you would have died outside of the righteous covering of Jesus Christ, doomed and destined for hell.

While you are still allowed to have breath, know this: No matter who you are whether President, Prime Minister, Princess or Pauper, only Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the Saviour of the world, could make the difference in your outcome and grant you access to heaven.

As I close (hopefully, this will be the final Addendum), I would simply put what Matthew 22 states. In Matthew 22, Jesus gave a parable of a King who invited guests to a wedding for his Son.

Based on my understanding, the King refers to God the Father, the Son is Jesus Christ. The people who were first invited were the Israelites in the Bible (God’s chosen people under the Old Covenant). When they refused and rejected the invitation, God then opened up the doors to the Gentiles (you and me), people who were once estranged from the commonwealth of Israel, so that we too, whether considered to be ‘goody-two-shoes’ or really bad people, could accept the invitation. However, whether Gentile or Jew, although the invitation has gone out to all so that whosoever will may come to that Wedding (heaven), those who come MUST have on a wedding garment, meaning Jesus’ perfect righteousness, not their own.

The scripture reads:

  • “And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.
  • But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. 
  • And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.”

(Written on 04th September, 2021)

Dear Reader, if you found the above Article to be informative, edifying, beneficial or interesting, you may also be interested in reading the following:

  • Note 9 – ‘Do You Need A Change Of Garments?
  • Note 41 – ‘In Me Dwelleth No Good Thing’
  • Note 184 – ‘Could You Be Sincerely Wrong?’

Under the ‘SINGLE Daughters of God’ Page:

  • Note 93 – ‘Must I Keep The Law? (Part 1/3)
  • Note 243 – ‘What The Bible Says About Keeping The Law (Part 2/3)
  • Note 246 – ‘To Those Who Insist On Keeping The Law (Part 3/3)
  • Note 302 – ‘God Has Said It – So That Settles It’

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