Righteousness of Christ

There are many people in our churches today who think they have a 'knowledge' of righteousness by faith, but are missing out on the most important part - EXPERIENCE. A mere 'knowledge' of Christ's righteousness is not going to get us anywhere, because it is only by having Christ living in us that will give us eternal life. Anyone can have a knowledge of it, but it is another thing to have an EXPERIENCE of it, which is what is lacking in the churches. And this is why we are still waiting for the final end time events to take place, as God is still waiting for us! We STILL are not EXPERIENCING the righteousness of Christ in our lives. Instead, we are continuing to hold onto the world and hold onto SIN, which places us in Satan's kingdom, not the kingdom of God.

There are many also in our churches who think ... "I believe in Jesus, therefore I am justified by Christ's righteousness, JOB DONE!" ... And they fail to realize that this is just the very first step of righteousness by faith. There are many in the churches who have not gone further than this first step of 'belief', and will be no more justified in the sight of God than an unbeliever! And the judgment will expose them as such. The apostle Paul confirmed in Romans 1:17 that the 'righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith'. We move onwards from faith to faith, always growing in the righteousness of Christ, unto perfection.

There are many elements of Christ's righteousness, but the two main points are to do with justification and sanctification. Through faith in our Lord and Saviour, His righteousness is 'imputed' to us and makes us justified. In other words, Christ's righteousness is 'credited' to us, we are 'made righteous' and we gain, through Christ alone, a 'right' to heaven. Then the righteousness of Christ is 'imparted' to us and sanctifies us. In other words, through faith, Christ becomes an indwelling presence to bring about character perfection and obedience to all of God's law. This is our 'fitness' for heaven. These two main elements go hand in hand and cannot be separated, as true faith will work and obey.

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.'

John 7:37-39 ...'If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.'

This is the only remedy for the sickness of the professed church today. 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 to dwell in you day by day, through HIS SPIRIT, and changing you into His image?

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. Christ, 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 of himself, 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 difficulty is, so many people try to get the righteousness of God out of the law by the law ... when the people get their minds on works and works and works instead of upon Jesus Christ in order to work, they pervert the whole thing." (A.T.Jones, General Conference Bulletin, 1893)

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.

"Who then is to do the work in order that it may be good works always? Let us read again: 'If Christ is dwelling in our hearts, He will work in us 'both to will and to do of his good pleasure.' We shall work as He works; we shall manifest the same spirit. And thus, loving Him and abiding in Him, we shall 'grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ'. Now, then, that is what the Lord wants, that is what the mind of Christ is." (A.T.Jones, General Conference Bulletin, 1893, p.298)

This is why we are in need of a regeneration, a new birth. Because we were born with a fallen human nature due to the sin of the 'first Adam' (Romans 5:12). So we need to be 'born again' from this fallen nature, into another nature. 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.'

Do you see what Paul states above? He says the righteousness of the law will be fulfilled in us. In other words, just as Christ lived in fallen flesh and overcame all sin, so we will also overcome all sin in this flesh with Christ living in us.

Now 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)

Isaiah 51:7 ...'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.'

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 ye yield 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, unhealthful food and other ungodly things have clouded the minds, keeping us in slavery to sin and Satan, and 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 will I 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 do commit 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, and will seek to sin no more through Christ.

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.

It should be clear that this message is to be 'proclaimed' not just in words, but more importantly through EXPERIENCE. Just look at the 144,000 of Revelation 14 ... 'And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having His Father's name written in their foreheads ... And they sung as it were a new song ... and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.'

Now what is the difference between these and the rest of the professed Christian world? This group sing a new song which no one else could learn. They follow the Lamb wherever He goes. They have no guile in their mouths and they are without fault before the throne of God. It is CLEAR that this group of the 144,000 saints are those who not only 'know' about the righteousness of Christ, they are EXPERIENCING it, and have gotten the COMPLETE VICTORY over sin and the devil, while the rest of the people remain in the Laodicean, sinful state!

This is what God is waiting for. He is waiting to have a group of people who will VINDICATE His character before the devil and the universe. A people who ARE keeping the commandments of God AND the faith of Jesus Christ. God is not simply waiting for people to 'understand' the truth. He is waiting for us to EXPERIENCE it (James 1:22).

"When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, He will come to claim them for His own." (Christ's Object Lessons p. 69)

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.'

In the heart that is touched by the love of Christ, there is begotten a desire to work for the Lord and to obey Him. Those works are combined with faith and are the fruit of someone being in a saving relationship with Christ.

"Now let us have this word, and that will be the best close I could make to the whole thing tonight. Steps to Christ, page 79: 'The heart that rests most fully upon Christ will be the most earnest and active in labor for Him.' Amen ... Do not forget that now. Do not think that the man who says that he rests wholly upon Jesus Christ is either a physical or a spiritual loafer. If he shows this loafing in his life, he is not resting on Christ at all but on his own self. No, sir, the heart that rests most fully upon Christ will be most earnest and active in labor for Him. That is what real faith is. That is faith that will bring to you the outpouring of the latter rain; that is faith that will bring to you and me the teaching of righteousness according to righteousness--the living presence of Jesus Christ--to prepare us for the loud cry and the carrying of the third angel's message." (A.T.Jones, General Conference Bulletin, 1893, p.302)

The Real Danger of the Trinity Doctrine

The trinity doctrine has confused many a mind as to who exactly it is that comforts us and helps us. And yet the Word of God is very clear on this subject of who it is that dwells in us, renewing us into the image of God. It is Jesus Himself! Look at what Jesus said concerning the 'comforter' ...

John 14:16-17 ...'And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless. I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.'

Do you see this amazing truth friend? Did Jesus say He would send a 'third God of the Godhead'? No! Jesus confirmed that it would be Himself, via His Spirit, as the comforter.

And this is vitally important friend, because not only does the trinity doctrine teach that Jesus is NOT the literal Son of God, therefore diminishing the Father, Son relationship and the matchless love of the Father, who 'sent His only begotten Son'. The trinity also teaches that 'another third being' comes to us while Jesus is in heaven. And yet who is it we need to dwell in us, to overcome sin and temptation? It is Jesus Christ, NOT 'another being'.

John 15:4-5 ...'Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.'

Think about this important point: - Who is the one divine being who has also taken on the fallen human nature? (Hebrews 2:14-18) Who is the one divine being who has been tempted in all points as we are? (Hebrews 4:15). Who is the one divine being who knows what we go through and is able to truly help us overcome? (Hebrews 2:18). It is Jesus Christ, the righteous Son of God!

"The influence of the Holy Spirit is the life of Christ in the soul. We do not now see Christ and speak to Him, but His Holy Spirit is just as near us in one place as another. It works in and through every one who receives Christ. Those who know the indwelling of the Spirit reveal the fruits of the Spirit,-'love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith." (E.White, Bible Echo, June 17, 1901)

Please understand this vitally important fact. If we do not have Jesus Christ in us, then He will not be able to impart His life and righteousness in us, and we will be lost. The trinity doctrine takes Jesus away from us and places 'another god' in us. Another 'god' who cannot help us overcome sin. But also understand, there is 'another god' who wants to control us ... Satan!

Oh, but this isn't what my church teaches! Then stop relying on your church for salvation and start relying on the only One who can save us - Jesus Christ.

Looking towards the end of time with His prophetic eye, Jesus said ... "Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8). Jesus could see the wretched state the professed church would be in. He could see that the majority of His professed church would fall away from the truth of RIGHTEOUSNESS BY FAITH. And He could see that the majority would end up following Babylon and look to her 'false god' (third person of the trinity) as their 'comforter'.

The trinity teaching robs Christ of the job that only HE can do in us. Obedience is worked out for us and with us and in us by the very One who Himself shared our fallen nature while on earth. If Christ did not come in our sinful nature with all its hereditary weaknesses, He could not, as an indwelling Saviour, provide us with a resistance to temptation. The same is true if we replace Christ with 'another god' in us as our comforter. And thus, our 'hope of glory' fades away! No wonder there is no power in the churches today! They have turned away from the ONLY LIFE which can save them, and look to 'another god' to help them!

Colossians 1:26-27 ...'Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.'

This is the 'mystery' which has been hid for ages past, and is now revealed to us. It is CHRIST IN US, not some other 'third being'. We become partakers of the divine nature of Christ, and if we allow Him, Christ will live HIS LIFE in us. Only then can we be counted righteous!