Repent & Believe

Repent & Believe

Friday, March 16, 2012

How is Anyone Declared Righteous in the Bible?

  • Are there any righteous people? - Man justifies himself thinking I am not wicked, I am a decent, moral person, surely the good I have done in my life far outweighs whatever bad I have done. On the contrary, by God’s standard of righteousness even the most moral person is looked upon by God as desperate sinner on his way to Hell. God knows the secrets of the heart of man, where sin resides. The Bible teaches that no one is good enough in himself to go to Heaven. Our problem with God is not just “bad behavior, errors, and mistakes”. Because all men have broken God’s Laws in the Bible repeatedly, we are all sinners, and we are all guilty before God. Since Adam and Eve represented the human race, God’s curse of eternal death was transmitted to all of their descendants, as Rom 5:12 instructs. Furthermore, Psa 51:5 indicates that this happens at the moment of conception. Thus man is born physically alive, yet spiritually dead. Before salvation, there is none righteous, no not one. Neither Noah, nor Job, nor David, nor Moses, nor Zechariah the father of John the Baptist, nor anyone else in himself was righteous. We are all sinners.

Rom 5:12 “Wherefore, as by one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death [spiritual] passed upon all men, for that all have sinned…”

Psa 51:5 “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.”

Rom 3:10-12 “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

  • Can anyone get right with God by following the God’s law? - First of all God's Law is not just ten commandments but the whole Bible. 1 John 3:4 declares that sin is “…the transgression of the law…”, and the “Law” that is being disobeyed is God’s Word, the Bible. God’s Word says that our breaking of just one of God’s commandments means that we’ve broken the whole Law. In the eyes of God, one’s thoughts are identical to one’s actions, and are thus sufficient to incur His eternal wrath. Even our “good works” are considered wicked by God because they are tainted with our sin. What about the people without God's law? God has written law in every human being's conscience. We all know wrong from right. You do not have to teach your child to sin, to steal a cookie or to tell a lie. We know that it is wrong to murder or commit adultery. The fact remains that man cannot be righteous by anything he does on his own. The purpose of the Law of God, even to the people who never heard the law, since the law is written in everyone's heart, is to expose sin, so that we might be driven to see the need for the Savior and go back to God.

Jam 2:10 “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”

Matt 5:27-28 “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”

1 John 3:15Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.”

Isa 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.”

Rom 2:12 “For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;”
Rom 2:14-15 “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 15Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)”

Rom 3:20 “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.”

Rom 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.”

Gal 3:24 “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”

  • Can men be “made” righteous? if so, how? - Our own works of righteousness cannot save us, as we learn from Tit 3:5. Rom 10:3 also underscores this important fact, “For they [national Israel] being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God”. That was the condition of the Apostle Paul until he was saved and freed from a life of spiritual bondage in trying to keep the law, according to Php 3:9. The robe of Christ’s righteousness [given in Salvation] is absolutely needed in order for one to escape from the inevitable broad road that leads to Hell. One can be made Righteous onlythrough the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith”. Noah was “perfect” and “walked” with God because he was saved by grace. God looks upon a person whom He has saved as “walking uprightly” because his sins have been paid for by the Lord Jesus Christ at the cross; and God's Spirit works in the person and causes the person to walk uprightly as a result of his salvation.

Tit 3:5Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”

Gen 7:1 “And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.”

Heb 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”

Rom 4:1-8 “What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? 2For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. 3For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. 4Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. 6Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, 7Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. 8Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.”

Phil 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:”

2 Cor 5:21For 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.”

Isa 61:10 “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.”

  • Do we then make void the law through faith? - We establish the Law, answers Rom 3:31. How so? Obedience is the distinctive hallmark of the child of God, as we read in John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments”. God is essentially telling us in these verses in John 14:15 and John 15:10, “You must become saved in order to have a right relationship with Me”. This is comparable to Jesus’ words in John 3:7, “Ye must be born again [born from above]”. No one can fear and love God and keep His commandments until God saves him. The test or evidence of salvation is a desire to be obedient to the Word of God – the Bible. It is against this backdrop of salvation by the grace and will of God that we are exhorted to “be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves”. A “doer of the Word” is one who has become saved. The Bible differentiates between the “carnally minded” and “spiritually minded”. To be “carnally minded” is not merely defining one’s physical existence, but is a statement of one’s spiritual condition, the nature of one who is unsaved and in the kingdom of Satan. On the other hand, to be “spiritually minded” refers to someone who has become saved by the will and Word of God and illustrates the nature of a true Christian – one who has become a citizen of God’s kingdom. Obviously, only a heart that has been made alive spiritually and infused with the Spirit of God will want to be obedient to the Word of God. So God must sprinkle the clean water of the True Gospel on him to cleanse him from his sins, give him a new heart, and put His Spirit within him, as we read in Eze 36:26-27.

Rom 8:7-8 “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”

Rom 3:31Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.”

John 15:10If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.”

Rom 2:13 “For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.”

Eze 36:26-27A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.”

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