Let me start with a statement from the last lesson; because of your faith in Jesus you are made righteous. Not that you are going to be righteous or that you are going to get more righteous, but that YOU ARE righteous.
2 Corinthians 5 v 21 (talking about Jesus says)…..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
We are not only righteous by faith in Jesus, we have God’s righteousness because of faith in Jesus!
So am I saying that because of this you should not do any more good works? No, I am not saying that.
However I am saying do not do good works to try and make yourself righteous. I am saying know that you are already righteous and because of this you will do good works.
The verses in scripture about righteousness are very clear; I really don’t know why there are misunderstandings and wrong teaching on this matter. I cannot see why preachers and teachers are still telling body of Christ that they have to do things to be right with God. I just cannot see, from my understanding of scripture, why people believe they have to perform to be righteous and to gain God’s acceptance, blessing and love.
I think I know why people try to make themselves righteous through good works; PRIDE. People want to feel that they are doing their bit and are better than others. They cannot believe that it is that simple, that there is “no such thing as a free lunch”.
Also some people are still trying to achieve their own self righteousness because of ignorance and lack of knowledge.
Romans 10 v 1 -4 says…………..
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.
Israel, the Jewish nation, lacked knowledge in the area of righteousness, and it is the same for many believers today. If never been told this or taught this (or worked it out for yourself) you will not know.
We are told in verse 2 that the Jews were zealous, but that they lacked knowledge. In other words they were wrong. You can be honest, sincere, God fearing, well meaning and still be wrong.
If you are trying to achieve acceptance and blessing from God through actions to become righteous then you are wrong. Look at Romans 10 v 1 to 4 and see that the most zealous people ever were wrong. Read the next lesson from Romans 5 and see that you are wrong.
Self righteousness is a slur on the work of Jesus.
People are saying “Yes Jesus died on cross for me, but I still have to do something else above that”. I still need to do a bit extra, and that is saying that the work of Jesus was not enough.
That is pride and arrogance and as a result it is sin, I really do believe that. This fact that Jesus is enough for us to attain righteousness is a real problem for many believers. It was a big problem for the Jews.
Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
Jesus and fact that He is all that is required for righteousness is this stumbling block.
Jesus and fact that He is more than enough for righteousness offends people. And this is all to do with pride.
The fact that righteousness has nothing to do with how good or holy we are, and that people in sin and those not striving for holiness can be righteous, rubs religious people up the wrong way. The Word here tells us this is what happened to the Jews.
That same stumbling block is there today for religious people. I respectfully say to you if this message offends you, you are thinking and acting like the Jews described in this passage of scripture. If that is a bit too blunt, I am sorry that you feel offended, but it is the truth.
Nothing but faith in Jesus and in His work is required to be right with God. Nothing extra is required. It is all about Jesus and His work and nothing to do with us and our works.
Have you faith in Jesus and His work? Yes, then you are righteous, and you are as righteous in God’s eyes as you ever are going to be. You in fact have His righteousness!