We Need HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS!
by David J. Stewart | January 2010 | Updated July 2016
Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;
and all these things shall be added unto you.”
The Bible plainly states in Matthew 6:33 that we need Jesus' righteousness to have the kingdom of God. 2nd Corinthians 5:21, “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.” Jesus is sinless and perfect (1st Peter 2:22; Hebrews 4:15). Jesus never sinned, not even once. He is the perfect Lamb of God, Who came into the world to pay the price for our sin debt.
Jesus paid the price for the Church with His precious blood (Acts 20:28; 1st Peter 1:18-19). The place where He made that payment is the Mercy Seat in Heaven (Hebrews 9:12, 24; 12:24). We are saved by God's imputed righteousness, and not our own self-righteous human efforts. Philippians 3:9, “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” Starting to get the picture?
The Bible, God's Word, is very clear that we have no self-righteousness to offer to God. Isaiah 64:6, “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.” The Bible says our best efforts are filth to God. Why? It's because no amount of good can undo the sins we have committed.
Picture if you will, a big list in Heaven. Let's imagine a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle of the page, creating two columns. In one column we write the word “Good” at the top. In the other column we write the word “Bad” at the top. No amount of good added to the list can remove the bad we've done from the list. Literally, we're taking an inventory of our life. That is exactly what God is doing in Heaven. In Matthew 12:36 Jesus warns that men shall give account on Judgment Day for every word spoken, even their idle words. We will be held accountable for every work (Ecclesiastes 12:14). We will be held accountable for our thoughts (Proverbs 24:12). Not a single human thought, word or deed will be overlooked, dismissed or forgotten by God. We will be judged, from the cradle to the casket. Even one sin is enough to send a person to the Lake of Fire forever. That is exactly what James 2:10 states, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” Even one sin makes us guilty in God's eyes of breaking all of His commandments. Romans 3:19, “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”
The purpose of God's Law is to show us our guilty condition, our need for the dead Savior. The Law was never given to merit eternal life. Romans 3:20 plainly states this truth, “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” And again in Galatians 3:24 we read, “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” Amen!
The way of salvation is solely through faith in Jesus Christ, whose blood washes our sins away. Revelation 1:5, “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.” And again in 1st Peter 1:18-19 we read, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” It is Jesus' precious, literal, physical, blood that washes our sins away forever. Amen!
The word “atonement” is an Old Testament word which meant “to cover.” Jesus didn't atone for our sins; but rather, His precious blood TOOK AWAY our sins forever (Hebrews 10:4; 9:12,24). Jesus paid a debt He did not owe, because we owed a debt we could not pay. Amen! “How Permanent Is Your Salvation” (awesome MP3 sermon by Pastor Hank Lindstrom).
Thus, we are saved by Jesus' righteousness, and not by our own self-righteousness in any way, fashion or form. Romans 4:5-6, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works.” The words “counted” and “imputeth” are the exact same Greek word. Hence, they are interchangeable. What a precious passage of Scripture! A man's faith is COUNTED (imputed) for righteousness! A man's faith causes God to credit the righteousness of Christ to him. Jesus took our sins upon Himself at Calvary. God places the righteousness of Christ upon us at the time of salvation by faith. We are declared justified... JUST-IF-I'D never sinned! This is only made possible by the literal blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ that taketh away our sins.
So I say to you my friend . . . if you want to have eternal life, then you need HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS. That is, you need God's imputed righteousness. I trusted Jesus as Christ, the Son of God, to forgive my sins, when I was a young teenager. I have His Righteousness! We are saved by Jesus righteousness. Jesus, Who knew no sin, became as sin, that we who knew no righteousness could be made the righteousness of God in Christ. Romans 10:3-4, “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.” Have you submitted unto God's righteousness? Most religious people today are going about to establish their own self-righteousness. They are still bound for Hell in their sins. They have churchianity without Christianity. Religion wants to fit us with glasses, but the Lord wants to open our eyes.
Oh, listen my friend. We need His righteousness to get to Heaven. There's absolutely nothing that you, nor I, can do to impress God in the flesh. Jesus paid for our sins in full with His precious blood. Jesus came into the world to SAVE SINNERS. If we'll simply acknowledge our guilt of sin in God's sight, believing on Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, to forgive our sins, then we will be saved. Christ died on the cross, was buried and risen for us. Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call [invoke] upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” 1st Thessalonians 4:14, “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.”
Did you know that you don't have to “ask” Jesus to save you? That is correct. God has already promised in His Word “TO SAVE THEM THAT BELIEVE” (1st Corinthians 1:21). Certainly it is appropriate to say a sinner's prayer to express one's new faith in Christ, but the truth is that a person is saved before they even bow their head to pray. The reason why is because we are saved by believing, not by praying. Romans 10:10a, “FOR WITH THE HEART MAN BELIEVETH UNTO RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
Also, Jesus doesn't forgive sin. What? Yes, that is correct! Jesus doesn't forgive sins. JESUS HAS ALREADY PAID FOR YOUR SINS, AND MINE! This is why God offers eternal life to us as a free gift, because it is already paid in full by Jesus Christ. Forgiveness of sins is received as a gift from God by faith in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus has already paid for everyone's sins (1st Timothy 4:10; John 3:16). 1st John 2:2, “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” Believe the Gospel, Oh sinner, and you will be immediately born-again by the Holy Spirit of God! Simply make Jesus Christ your only hope for Heaven, receiving His payment upon the cross for your sins, believing that He is the bodily resurrected Son of God!
We are saved by believing, not by repenting! When you turn toward Jesus Christ by faith, believing the Gospel, you have repented from your unbelief and sins which previously hindered you from coming to the light to be saved. You don't have to cease from sinful behavior to be saved. That is reformation, behavior modification and false religion, not regeneration (i.e., the new birth). John 1:12-13, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” If you think you are saved just because you once prayed a prayer to Jesus, you need to be born-again by believing the Gospel. Prayer is not the Gospel. Turning over a new leaf is not the Gospel. Joining a church is not the Gospel.
The Good News (Gospel) is that although you are a filthy, rotten, dirty, hell-deserving, sinner—Jesus has already paid the price for your sins, all of them! If you'll simply receive Christ's sacrifice on the cross as full payment for your sins, believing that He bodily resurrected from the dead three days later, God will save you instantly by your faith. This is the only way to become a child of God. Most religious people who name the name of Jesus, even preaching about Jesus, are going to burn in the fires of Hell when they die (Matthew 7:21-23; 2nd Corinthians 11:13-15; Luke 13:23-24). Why? The reason is because they have never received God's righteousness, which is solely by faith in Jesus Christ. Romans 10:3-4, “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.” Are you trying to be saved friend? If so, you're not saved at all. God only saves those who are trusting to be saved! That's the big difference, and it's literally a matter of Heaven or Hell.
Revelation 1:7, “Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen.”
Jesus Came to Save Sinners |