The Righteousness of God – You Need HIS Righteousness!
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS; and all these things shall be added unto you.” —Matthew 6:33
Please notice carefully that Matthew 6:33 does NOT say, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and OUR righteousness…” Rather, the Bible says … seek HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS. We are to seek Jesus' righteousness. 2nd Corinthians 5:21 states, “For He (God the Father) hath made Him (God the Son) to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” Amen!
2nd Corinthians 5:21 Scripture speaks of Christ's imputed righteousness (i.e., our sins were placed upon Christ on the cross, and His righteousness is placed upon our record at the moment we trust Christ for salvation). You see my friend, we have no righteousness of our own to offer 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.” No amount of good works on our part can undo, nor make-up for, the sins you've committed throughout our life.
Even one sin can send a person to Hell forever (James 2:10). That's why we all need GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS, i.e., the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. Jesus paid it all. 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.” I love that… THE RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH IS OF GOD BY FAITH. You need God's righteousness because you have no self-righteousness to offer God.
We read in 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.” Amen. We need HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, that is, God's righteousness which is by faith in Jesus Christ. If you grasp this fundamental Biblical truth, then you will clearly see what is wrong with every false plan of salvation which includes human effort. Religion is man trying to reach God through human effort, whereas Christianity is God trying to reach man by the sacrifice of His Son on the cross.
We are JUSTIFIED in the eyes of God by faith, just-if-I'd never sinned. The precious literal blood of Jesus washes our sins away forever (1st Peter 1:18,19; Revelation 1:5; Hebrews 9:12,24). This is true righteousness, and it is found ONLY in Christ Jesus! We are commanded to seek HIS righteousness if we want to obtain the Kingdom of God. “But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, Who of God is made unto us wisdom, and RIGHTEOUSNESS, and sanctification, and redemption” (1st Corinthians 1:30). Christ is our righteousness, because He has the nail-scared hands, side, brow and feet.
There is no other sacrifice for man's sins than the Lord Jesus Christ. This is what the Bible means in Hebrews 10:26, “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.” If you've heard the Gospel (good news) truth of Jesus Christ crucified, buried and risen; but rejected it, then there is no other way for you to be saved…
Acts 4:10-12, “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
The Bible proclaims that Jesus died, was buried and rose again. This is the good news (the gospel)…
1st Corinthians 15:1-4, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
Jesus died on the cross for our sins, He was buried, and resurrected three days later. Blessed be the Lord! A cross-less gospel is a false gospel. Any generic gospel which leads a sinner to “trust in Jesus” or “start a relationship with Jesus” is a false gospel if it leaves out the cross that Jesus bled and died upon for our sins. You must accept the Biblical truth that Jesus died for YOUR SINS. Jesus was buried in a tomb, which officiated His death. And then, hallelujah, Jesus Christ arose from the dead triumphant three days later!!! That is the gospel according to 1st Corinthians 15:1-4. There are many gospels being taught today which leave out the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Such a false gospel (another gospel) is “cursed” according to Galatians 1:7-9.
When asked to give her testimony, I heard a popular religious singer on the radio say, “I was saved as a child when I prayed the Jesus prayer.” Kindly, that woman is as lost as the Devil, still hellbound in her sins. You don't get saved by praying. You get saved by receiving the sacrifice of Christ on the cross for your sins, believing that He resurrected from the dead three days later for your justification.
But you say, “Don't I have to repent?” Yes, certainly. But repentance is not what most people have been misled to think it is. Most people errantly think repentance means to turn away from sins, surrender one's life to Christ, and to reforming one's self. That's not correct. Biblical repentance means, “a change of mind.” Author Michael Patrick Bowen states in his excellent book titled, “I NEVER KNEW YOU,” on page 114, “Repent, as Christ meant it to be in terms of salvation, means to change your mind from trusting in what you can do for God to trusting only in what He can do for you.”
Pastor Bob Gray Sr. at the Longview Baptist Temple church in Texas correctly preaches . . .
“Repentance means to change your mind—change your mind—change your mind about how you want to get to Heaven to what God says you've got to do to get to Heaven. If you've got to repent of all your sins, you're still headed for Hell tonight.” —Pastor Bob Gray Sr.
Many Will Seek to Enter Heaven, But Few Will Be Able!
Biblical repentance is the recognition of my sinnership—the owning before God that I am as vile as He has declared me to be in His holy Word. Repentance is a change of mind, not a change of life. God will forgive anybody who looks to Jesus to be saved, no matter how deep in sin you may be. The Word of God plainly teaches that eternal life is a FREE GIFT (Romans 5:15), paid for by Jesus' precious blood (1st Peter 1:18,19). Amen! Salvation is receiving, not giving. It is not what we do that saves us; but rather, what Christ has done for us in His work of redemption.
You need Christ's righteousness my friend. We all need Christ's righteousness to enter into the kingdom of God. Matthew 6:33 wonderfully teaches that we are saved by Jesus' IMPUTED righteousness and not by any self-righteousness of our own (for we have none to offer God). The word “impute” means “to pass to one’s account, to count over” It means that Christ's righteousness is placed upon our record when we trust upon Him…
Romans 4:4-5, “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.”
Romans 4:5 declares that God only saves bad people… THE UNGODLY! All men have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). If it were possible for a man to redeem himself, then Christ would not have had to enter the world and die on the cross. Jesus paid a debt that He did not owe, because we owed a debt that we could not pay.
Salvation is of the Lord, not man. A person does not have to stop living in sin to be saved, for that would make salvation a reward instead of a free gift. A changed life is the result of the indwelling Holy Spirit, and not a part of saving-faith (2nd Corinthians 5:17). We don't give up our sins to get saved, we give up our sins because WE ARE SAVED. God makes the change. Salvation is by grace through faith in Christ sacrifice on the cross for our sins (Ephesians 2:8,9). We are saved by grace through faith in the cross of Christ, PLUS OR MINUS NOTHING!
Evangelist Lester Roloff beautifully put it this way… “Real repentance is putting your trust in Jesus Christ so you will not live like that anymore.” Departing from a sinful lifestyle is a matter of appreciation for what the Lord has done for us, of obeying God as His child, and not as a condition of saving-faith. Eternal life is a free gift. Salvation is not doing your best, it is having Christ's best put to your account through receiving Him by faith. No where in the Pauline Epistles does the apostle Paul say that believers “SHALL” do good works; but rather, he says believers “SHOULD” do good works! Titus 2:12, “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” We SHOULD live right because we ARE SAVED, but there is no guarantee nor requirement to live right to BE SAVED. The heresy of “Lordship Salvation” is requiring a changed life of some sort to prove that a person has been saved. The evidence that we are saved is the presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit, which only the saved individual can know. 1st John 3:24, “And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.”
Many religions today falsely teach that a person must be water baptized in order to go to Heaven. The repentant thief on the cross was never water baptized. No one in the Old Testament was water baptized to be saved. The Gospel of John is God's Gospel tract (John 20:31), but He never mentions baptism. The Epistle of 1st John was written to believers, so that we can “KNOW” we are saved (1st John 5:13), but no mention is made of water baptism, repentance nor speaking in tongues, et cetera.
Other false prophets teach that a person is required to turn over a new leaf, amend their sinful ways, make a full surrender to Christ or give up the world in order to go to Heaven. That's not what the Bible teaches! We don't have to give up anything to be saved, God gave up His only begotten Son to pay our sin debt…
John 3:16-18, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
If you have “just enough”… just enough faith to call (rely) upon the name of the Lord to be saved, because of what He did on Calvary, then God promises to save you.
Romans 10:13,“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Some religions errantly require a person to observe the Sabbath, tithe, partake of Sacraments, do good works or join a certain religious denomination to go to Heaven. These are all lies of the Devil who is the father of all liars (John 8:44). Eternal life is a free gift (Romans 5:15; 6:23)… freely given, freely offered and freely received.
The truth of God's Word is that we need Jesus' righteousness in order to be saved and go to Heaven one day. This is because we have no righteousness of our own to offer God (Romans 3:10; James 2:10). All we can offer God is our own self-righteousness, which is not acceptable to God (Isaiah 64:6).
Did you know that Jesus doesn't forgive sins? That is correct! Jesus has already paid for our sins with His precious blood (1st Peter 1:18-19). Therefore, forgiveness of sins is a free gift, which we simply receive BY FAITH to have. Eternal life is a free gift (Romans 6:23). Salvation is not doing your best, it is having Christ's best put to your account through receiving Him by faith. God will not save anyone who is trying to be saved, He will only save those who are trusting to be saved.
We need Jesus' righteousness, which is by faith in Him alone for salvation…
“For he [God the Father] hath made him [Jesus the Son] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
Jesus became as sin for us, Who knew no sin…
1st Peter 1:21-22, “Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.”
It is tragic that so many people today openly reject Jesus as the Christ. They are choosing their own eternal doom (2nd Thessalonians 1:8-9). The Lord paid for their sins and eternal life is freely available to them; yet they reject Christ. Jesus said, “ye will not come to me, that ye might have life” (John 5:40). Jesus didn't say 'ye cannot,' but rather, 'YE WILL NOT!' …
John 1:10, “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.”
Jesus paid for our sins with His precious, literal, physical, blood…
1st Peter 1:18-19,“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.”
Salvation is found ONLY in Jesus Christ! Would you like to be saved?
Admit that you are a GUILTY sinner, under the condemnation of God's Law, deserving of Hellfire.
You can believe in Christ all you want and still go to Hell. You must receive what Jesus Christ has done for you upon the cross as payment for YOUR SINS. THE GOSPEL (good news) teaches that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, He was buried and He bodily resurrected three days later (1st Corinthians 15:1-4). There can be no salvation without the cross.
Believe on the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to have your sins forgiven…
Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
John 1:12, “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.”
1st Corinthians 1:21, “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”
The Devil is a masterful deceiver, who comes with only intent to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10). There is a false concept which has crept into many churches today, which combines human effort with the Gospel, thus corrupting the simplicity that is in Jesus Christ (2nd Corinthians 11:3). It is common to hear religious leaders refer to the gift of eternal life, but then also teach that God will not save a person unless that forsake sinful bad habits and commit their life to follow Christ. That is highly contradictory, and a false plan of salvation. If I offer you a birthday gift, but then require that you give up the bad habit of smoking to receive it, it would not truly be a gift.
Christ died, that's history; Christ died for me, that's salvation!