Christ Our Righteousness
Pastor Tom Hughes
Gal. 2:16; Eph. 2:8-10
Christ’s righteousness is our only righteousness. We have no righteousness apart from Him. He is our only hope of salvation. Our works cannot justify us with God, and as sinners we cannot become sinless until Christ comes and removes our sinful flesh. Only when we receive our glorified bodies, can we claim sinless perfection. All of our righteousness comes from Jesus Christ Alone. He alone is worthy to be praised, He alone is perfect, He alone is sinless and He alone is perfection personified. He alone, period... no comma... period!
1. Not one person is righteous, not one is good, and not one is holy. All have sinned and are sinful but Jesus.
We are sinners, and will be till Jesus comes. All our sins, conscious and unconscious, are punishable by death. There is no free pass on unconscious sin. Some minimize any sin but conscious, deliberate sin, in an effort to justify a “relative” perfection. Any such perfection is worthless and vile in God’s sight. Christ’s perfection is the ONLY perfection acceptable to God.
· See Isaiah 64:6; Eccl.7:20; Isaiah 55:8,9; Psalms 14; 143:2; Rom.6:23; 3:10-12,23. Mk. 10:18; Lk. 18; 19 Rev. 5 The whole glorious chapter! But note especially vs. 9! Praise God for The blood of the Lamb, He alone, He alone, He alone is worthy, perfect, sinless and can approach God, and take the scroll in His hand, by His blood!
· “We cannot say ‘I am sinless’ till this vile body is fashioned like unto his glorious body” ST march 23, 1888
· “Those who would be true to God. . .Their only hope is in the mercy of God. . . They are fully conscious of the sinfulness of their lives, they see their weakness and unworthiness;” Pk. P.588
· “… The followers of Christ have sinned . . . He who has been most abused by their ingratitude, who Knows their sin . . . They may have imperfections of character; they may have failed in their endeavors; but they have repented, and I have forgiven and accepted them.” PK p.589
· Christians realize that their “character is imperfect, their life faulty . . . Even if the enemy overcomes us; we are not cast off, not forsaken and rejected of God. No; Christ is at the right hand of God, who maketh intercession for us . . . The closer you come to Jesus, the more faulty you will appear in your own eyes; for your vision will be clearer, and your imperfections will be seen in broad and distinct contrast to His perfect nature..
. No deep-seated love for Jesus can dwell in the heart that does not realize its own sinfulness . . . if we do not see our own moral deformity, it is unmistakable evidence that we have not had a view of the beauty and excellence of Christ . . . A view of our sinfulness drives us to Him who can pardon; and when the soul, realizing its helplessness, reaches out after Christ, He will reveal Himself in power. The more our sense of need drives us to Him and to the word of God, the more exalted views we shall have of His Character, and the more fully we shall reflect His image.” Steps to Christ pp. 64,65.
· “The sinner may err, but he is not cast off without mercy.” MS. 21,1891
· Even our “religious services, the prayers, the praise, the penitent confession of sin ascend from true believers . . . passing through the corrupt channels of humanity, they are so defiled that unless purified by blood, they can never be of value with God. They ascend, not in spotless purity, and unless the Intercessor who is at God’s right hand, presents and purifies all by His righteousness, it is not acceptable to God . . .He gathers into this censer the prayers, the praise, and the confessions of His people, and with these He puts His own spotless righteousness.” 1 SM 344.
2. We are saved by grace alone, through faith, to work. Only the finished work of Christ, completed two thousand years ago on Calvary, is sufficient to save us. We cannot add to it in any way. Jesus does not “make up the difference”. He is our only righteousness. We have NONE to add. He is ALL WE Need!
· 6“knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. Gal. 2:16.
· 8For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Eph. 2:8-10
· 20Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Romans 3:20-23.
· Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
· 12Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Phil.3:8-14.
· “those who are really seeking to perfect Christian character will never indulge the thought that they are sinless. . .”Those professedly sanctified persons are not only deluding their own souls by their pretensions, but are exerting an influence to lead astray many who earnestly desire to conform to the will of God. They may be heard to reiterate again and again, “God leads me! God teaches me! I am living without sin!” Many who come in contact with this spirit encounter a dark, mysterious something, which they cannot comprehend. But it is that which is altogether unlike Christ, the only true pattern.” Sanctified Life pp. 1-11.
3. Christ’s character alone is perfect and we cannot attain it by works. It can only be attained by faith. It is a gift, by God’s grace alone, and is the only character worthy of entrance into heaven. Our best efforts earn nothing. They are valuable to God only as an outward demonstration of our inward acceptance of Christ’s free gift, and as an act of love and devotion to God, which is also a free gift.
· it is the gift of God, 9not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Eph.2:9-10
· What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” 29Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God that you believe in Him whom He sent.” John 6:28, 29. Our work is to BELIEVE! That we be Christ centered and allow Him to make us perfect, completing it when He comes again, and not before. We work on believing, reading the bible, praying, keeping our eyes on Jesus, He works on perfecting us through His Spirit, and completes it when we ascend to meet Him in the air!
· 2For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 4For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. Rom. 10:2-4
· 1Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, Rom. 5:1
· “those who are really seeking to perfect Christian character will never indulge the thought that they are sinless. Their lives may be irreproachable, they may be living representatives of the truth which they have accepted; but the more they discipline their minds to dwell upon the character of Christ, and the nearer they approach to His divine image, the more clearly will they discern its spotless perfection and the more deeply will they feel their own defects.” Sanctified Life p.7
· “Righteousness is love . . . We receive righteousness by receiving Him.” TMB 18
· Not by painful struggles or wearisome toil, not by gift of sacrifice, is righteousness obtained; but it is freely given to every soul who hungers and thirsts to receive it. . .”Their righteousness is of Me saith the Lord” and “This is His name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Isaiah 55:1, 54:17; Jer. 23:6
· “The divine beauty of the character of Christ, of whom the noblest and most gentle among men are but a faint reflection; . . . He is altogether lovely.” TMB p.49. John the Baptist, Enoch, Elijah, all were but a faint reflection of Jesus. None even came close to His holy, glorious, righteous character, and no one ever will. He alone was is and always will be worthy! Glory, all glory to Jesus!!!
· “While those who are self confident, and trust in their own perfection of character, lose their false robe of righteousness when subjected to the storms of trial, the truly righteous, who sincerely love and fear God, wear the robe of Christ’s righteousness in prosperity and adversity alike.” SL p.11
Christ alone is our righteousness. Christ is our only hope. Christ is our only perfection, now, in the time of trouble, and when Christ’s priestly ministry is over. He is with us always, even to the end of the world. His righteousness is the only kind there is! “20I 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. 21I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” Galatians 2:20, 21. God’s standard is the same for all mankind, including the last days.
One righteousness! One plan of salvation! One Savior!
Christ Our Righteousness!!!