WHAT HAPPENS WHEN OUR DEFINITION OF RIGHTEOUSNESS INCLUDES WORKS?

How do you attain righteousness. By works? Or by faith? Let's do an examination and see, ok? Do you believe when Paul taught none are righteous it was because all fall short of God's perfect standard of law keeping? If you do then you have missed the mark as surely as anyone who says there is no God.

 

In Rom.4 Paul taught that righteousness is only attained by faith. He says that Abraham was righteous because he believed God. And that if it were by works, and in this case Paul is not referring to works of the law because Abraham was before there was law, Abraham would have grounds to boast.

 

In John17:3 Jesus said eternal life is knowing God. In Gal.3:21 Paul said life and righteousness are synonymous. In John6:28,29 Jesus said the work they must do to do the work of God was to believe in Him. In Gal.2:16 Paul said men are justified, that is righteous, by the faith of Christ. And not by His or anyone else's works of the law.

 

But, men continue to speak of righteousness as if it is attained by works. Saying that "there are none righteous" means that there are none that have not done bad things. That "all have sinned" means that everyone has done bad things.

 

So what must they mean then when they say we are righteous when we believe in Jesus? They must mean, and many so called teachers have outright said, that Jesus' good works are imputed to us when we believe in Him. So that we are made to be as if we never did a bad thing. And that this is done so that we will be cleansed from those bad things. And that it is this that makes us acceptable to a sinlessly pure and holy God.

 

All of this kind of thinking bases righteousness upon works. Keeping righteousness in the same realm as it was for the Israelites who were under the law of whom Isaiah said their righteousness' were as filthy rags

Isaiah said this because like these who misinterpret "all have sinned" and "there are none righteous" to mean they have violated the law, they too believed righteousness came from works. That when they kept the law blameless that meant they were righteous. And if they did not they were unrighteous. But, this righteousness was the righteousness Isaiah said was filthy rags unto the Lord specifically because it was a righteousness attained by works, and not by faith.

 

This is why Jesus told the Jews "except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." Because the righteousness of the Pharisees came from works. Specifically works of the law. While the righteousness that joins men to God and makes them heirs to His kingdom is the righteousness that is by faith. Specifically the faith of Christ.

 

This righteousness is the belief in Jesus and His resurrection. Nothing more and nothing less. Because this righteousness makes it possible for a man to say as Jesus did, "Nevertheless not my will but thy will be done". This righteousness is so completely removed from the works of the law, or any works for that matter, that it fulfills Paul's message found in Eph.2:8-10 where he taught, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."

 

Saved by grace through faith without any works done by anyone that gives men the power to be a witness for Christ and His grace. Which is His love in action. The power Jesus told them about in Acts1:8 saying, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."

 

The bottom line is this. When men conflate righteousness with works, anyone's works, they are placing themselves and others under the law. The very place from which sin derives it's power!

 

When a man says "there are none righteous" means all men do bad things he speaks as one who is under the law. When a man says "all have sinned" means that all have done bad things they have shown themselves to be yet carnal. A man under the law. Thinking in terms of justification by works. Rather than by the faith of Christ as Paul said in Gal.2:16.

 

But, if we will renew our minds so that we no longer think like the world does.

If we will stop applying man's wisdom when trying to understand the word of God. And instead will become the spiritual man that God makes all who will simply trust in Him with the faith of a child. We will no longer have a righteousness that is filthy rags as Isaiah said these Jews did. But, we will have the righteousness that is the white robes of the faith of Christ. We will be righteous just as Jesus was righteous. We will be righteous just as Abraham was righteous. By faith and not by works.

 

So if you want the righteousness that exceeds the righteousness of the Pharisees you must reject the righteousness that comes by works. By our own works or Jesus' works or anyone else's works. And come to Jesus with childlike faith. Because no matter who we say we believe has done the works, if we believe works have any effect for righteousness then the righteousness we attain will not exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees.

 

If we continue to conflate righteousness with works, anyone's works, by believing the doctrine of original sin and sin nature. We will never be born again. We will never inherit the kingdom of God. And we will never know the righteousness that exceeds the righteousness of the Pharisees.

Because the doctrine of original sin and inherent sin not only denies the doctrine of Christ by denying that Jesus came in the same flesh and blood all men have. It also makes righteousness unto salvation dependent upon works. So these must be vigorously rejected.

 

So when you read Rom.3:23, 6:23, and other passages that speak of righteousness reject the natural impulse to read into it that righteousness comes by works. Begin to see it for what Paul intended. That "all have sinned" is a reference to Jesus saying "they believe not on me". And righteousness is believing in Jesus for life that comes from a relationship with Jesus. Make Him, and not works, His or your own, the object of your faith.

 

Don't be like the false teacher Ken Copeland who had no clue what "Jesus is the object of our faith" means. Don't be like the false teacher RC Sproul and so many others who have missed the mark who said that Jesus had to keep the law perfectly to be able to be the sinless sacrifice. Don't be like all those who define righteousness by works.

 

But, instead be imitators of Paul who rejected works righteousness calling it "dung" and "loss". Believe in Jesus as He believed the Father. Make Jesus the object of your faith so that as He joined with you in your death you are also joined with Him in His resurrection.

 

Only then you will be justified. Only then will you be sanctified. Only then will you be righteous. Only then will you be a believer unto eternal life. Only then will you be saved by grace through faith without works as Paul said is the only way that men can be saved.

 

This is what it means to be saved. This is how men are born again. By believing in Jesus just as He believed the Father. Jesus Himself had no need to be born again as He was, is, and always will be almighty God. A spiritual being that came in the body of a man so He could join with us in dying a man's death. So that by His resurrection men could join with Him in immortality and eternal life.

 

This is why Jesus told the Jews in John8 "unless you believe that I AM you will die in your sins". Because if they did not believe Jesus is God, the I AM of Exodus, they will die in unbelief. The only sin that can separate man from God. The only sin Jesus said in John16:9 He sent the Holy Spirit to reprove the world of.

 

If you will believe in Jesus and confess He is Lord then you will be saved. Because as Paul said in Rom.10:9,10, "with the heart man believes unto righteousness. And with the mouth confession is made unto salvation".

 

Please note that Paul said our words, not our works, lead to salvation. And our belief, not our works, make us righteous. This is what Jesus told them in Mt.12:33-37 is the fruit that shows your heart is either bad or good.

 

So believe in Jesus. And confess He is your Lord. Do this and you will have eternal life. Do this and you will join with Jesus in immortality just as He once joined with men in our mortality. Do this... and I will see you there or in the air!

This message can also be heard at: Rumble

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1 Comment

  1. Edwitness on August 27, 2022 at 9:50 am

    Although there are many that will say they do not believe in salvation by works. There are very few that have in actuality not been deceived to believe in it. I pray this message gets to all who have ears to hear.

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