Understanding Righteousness

IMG_2011“He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” – Galatians‬ ‭3:5‬ ‭

There is no man saved by the law or else Christ would have died in vain. To assume that we could ever be good enough, strong enough, or wise enough to do what’s right (not what we think is right but what is actually right) in and of ourselves is pride on par with that of satan’s who thought himself to be able to compete with God in all His wisdom, power, and glory. No, no man can choose what’s right by his own will. No man can do what is right by his own strength. No man can perceive what is right by his own wisdom. This is why our righteousness (what we think is right) is as filthy rags before God.

“For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him. Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember thee in thy ways: behold, thou art wroth; for we have sinned: in those is continuance, and we shall be saved. 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. And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.” – Isaiah‬ ‭64:4-7

In this passage, the prophet Isaiah talks about two different kinds of righteousness. The first when he states, “You (God) meet him that works righteousness“, and the second when he states that “our righteousness is as filthy rags.”So what’s the difference? The first is true righteousness, God’s righteousness, or what God says is right. The second is self-righteousness, or what man thinks is right. The clue lies in the following statement that “their” righteousness was as filthy rags because they did not call upon the name of the Lord nor stir themselves to seek Him for His wisdom, instructions, and Words. Therefore, if they do not seek Him for what He says is right then they will do what they think is right, which will never be what is actually right.

“And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the Lord.” – 2 Chronicles‬ ‭12:14‬ ‭

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” – Matthew‬ ‭6:33‬

When we do what we think is right we are acting in self-righteousness, which is as filthy rags and will always cause us to fall to the enemies tricks, temptations, flatteries, and snares. It’s only foolish pride that thinks it can outsmart the wisest of all God’s creatures, that old serpent the devil, the father of lies, the great deceiver, by following the leading of our own heart which scripture tells us is desperately wicked above all in it’s desires and selfishness. If we lean on our own understanding (which is self-righteousness, or doing what we think is right) we will do evil, even if only by way of our being deceived (as was Eve).

However, when we call upon the name of the Lord, seek Him for His righteousness (or what He says is right) in every situation, hear from Him, trust Him, and obey. Then we are no longer acting in self-righteousness (or what we think is right) like those of the law, but are now acting in true righteousness, God’s righteousness (or what God says is right) like those of Faith (such as Abraham who got a word from the Lord, trusted it, and obeyed it even though it went against his own hearts leading and understanding); because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.

Which brings us back to our opening passage which states that miracles can not come by the working of the law (self-righteousness), but only by the “hearing” of faith. So in all things lean not on your own understanding or abilities, but call upon the Name of the Lord, set your heart to seek Him until you hear from Him, then stand in faith on what He tells you and watch Him preform miracles to bring it about.

“Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.” – Romans‬ ‭4:16-22‬ ‭

So in conclusion, we know that we are not saved by our works (or self-righteousness) but by grace through faith. Which comes by hearing and is proven and completed in doing that it might be credited unto us as righteousness (as it was for Abraham), for we know that faith without works is dead. Works are an evidence of your faith just as fruits are an evidence that a branch is successfully grafted into a vine and is drawing from the root. God is the only source of true righteousness, therefor if you abide in Him, trust what He says is right, and obey in faith, then His righteousness will be shown in you backed by miracle working power.

“He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” – Galatians‬ ‭3:5‬ ‭

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” – Matthew‬ ‭6:33‬ ‭

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” – Romans‬ ‭10:17‬ ‭

“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” – Mark‬ ‭16:17-18‬ ‭

“…The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” – James‬ ‭5:16‬ ‭

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.” – Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-8‬ ‭

“Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.” – Galatians‬ ‭3:7-9‬ ‭


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