The Righteousness Of God
In a dream recently I was doing what seemed to be the right things in working and keeping busy, but heard a voice say repeatedly, That’s not the righteousness of God. Isaiah 64:6 says in part that … all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Our righteousness falls far short of the righteousness of God, and is unrighteousness, which is sin;
I John 5:17 All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.
While this scripture says there are sins not unto death, which do not stop your relationship with God, being in the will and purpose of God for your life requires complete, total, faith and obedience; you will not and cannot find the same results in unbelief or in using your own will or path. The Word says that Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness, which is the righteousness of God!
Genesis 15:6 And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
Galatians 3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
Believing God is faith, so faith is a necessity to find the righteousness of God. Faith is a continuous action; it is something done now, not just something that you did in the past. For we walk by faith, not by sight. (II Corinthians 5:7) So we must continuously walk in obedience unto the walk of faith, believing God. Scripture attributes faith to righteousness even when it is not sought;
Romans 9:30 – 33 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
So we understand that we do not find righteousness by only seeking, but by faith. As the Gentiles did, you can find righteousness without looking for it, if you walk in faith. You can also, as Israel did, seek it perpetually and never find righteousness if you reject the faith of Christ. We receive according to our faith and obedience. Do you understand that your rewards will also be according unto your ways, works, obedience, faith, and righteousness?
I Samuel 26:23 The Lord render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness: for the Lord delivered thee into my hand to-day, but I would not stretch forth mine hand against the Lord’s anointed.
II Chronicles 6:30 Then hear thou from heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and render unto every man according unto all his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men:)
Proverbs 24:12 If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?
Romans 2:6 – 11 Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God.
If all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags, why would we want to be rendered or rewarded according to them? In fact this may put the rendering in the wrong place;
Psalm 116:12 What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me?
The many blessings given unto us of God will lead us to give back to Him. Do you love Him for His mercy, grace, and perpetual love toward you? So what things does scripture lead us to render to God?
Psalm 56:12 Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee.
While the Old Testament calls us to render praises, the New Testament extends the call; to glorify and serve only God;
I Corinthians 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
I Corinthians 7:23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.
Matthew 22:21 says in part (also Mark 12:17, Luke 20:25), render … unto God the things that are God’s. So we must render to God His righteousness, not our own! (As well as our entire selves: from the scriptures above, we are bought with a price!) We also must walk in the righteousness of God to find His will and His purpose to render to Him. So how and where do we begin to find the righteousness of God? Our beginnings will almost always start with a foundation in the wisdom of The Word of God (the Lord Jesus Christ). It is Wisdom that is speaking and declaring the start of the path to the righteousness of God in Proverbs 8;
Proverbs 8:17, 18 I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness.
If we truly love and seek wisdom early we will find wisdom, and we will be loved, and will receive for it not just the shallowness of physical riches and honour, but the enduring spiritual blessing of … durable riches and righteousness. If we search scripturally we know that God loves righteousness and judgment. Wisdom speaks further in Proverbs 8, and says;
Proverbs 8:20, 21 I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment: That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.
To find the righteousness of God we must love wisdom, and follow the lead of wisdom. We will be led … in the midst of the paths of judgment: and wisdom will make us to inherit substance and fill our treasures! Know that the righteousness of God will only be found in yielding and being lead! In Isaiah the Word says that righteousness and praise will spring forth from God;
Isaiah 61:11 For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so will the Lord cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.
The Hebrew word translated spring forth in this verse means to sprout. Stored seed can remain dormant for long periods of time: but if sown, the garden or earth will cause it to die and spring forth in new life. If we hearken to Him, seek Him, yield completely, and follow after righteousness, God alone will cause this spiritual sprouting, and cause righteousness and praise. This righteousness and praise cannot be made by you or your flesh. The apostle Paul acknowledged this failure in his own righteousness, and also the part that faith has in the righteousness of God;
Philippians 3:8, 9 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 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:
Here Paul declares that he has given up everything, and counted them as nothing, that he might have the righteousness that is through and by the faith of Christ. Unless we gain that perspective of righteousness by faith we will not find that which we are seeking. We cannot completely define, understand, or establish the righteousness of God by ourselves, but must seek and submit to the righteousness of God;
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
The kingdom and the righteousness of God do not just come to us, but we must seek them. Do not despair that you have not achieved them, but allow Him to establish you in them through the Spirit;
Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
Again realize the need for the leading of the Holy Ghost in everything. It is through our continuing walk in belief and the Spirit that we can find the righteousness of God;
Galatians 5:5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
You will not find the kingdom without submitting and allowing the Holy Ghost to establish you in righteousness. It is through seeking, tarrying, and waiting in the Spirit that we may have this hope of righteousness. Galatians 5:6 then says … faith which worketh by love. There is a hope and waiting in the Spirit to receive, but it is activated or begun by the love of God! This faith is not just in believing for a promise, or a healing, but all faith works by love. How do we get the love of God? Romans 5:5 says … the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. The Spirit is our guide to all things spiritual if we yield. The righteousness of God is found only in His love, His joy, His peace, His anointing, His power, His grace, His promise, His healing, His deliverance, His provision, His miracle, His glory, His honor, His praise, His holiness. Open your heart to receive that God alone is our sufficiency (II Corinthians 3:5), and He only, is your righteousness;
Jeremiah 23:5, 6 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
If we know that He is our righteousness, why are we so hesitant to serve Him? Ask God to open your eyes and ears to understand that true righteousness is not in or of you, but in the God given leading and provision as we fear Him;
Malachi 4:2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
A stalled calf is dependent for everything. As the sun ever shines on the earth to give warmth, energy, and life, let Jesus shine His righteousness on us that we might receive healing, go forth for Him, and be dependent on Him for everything He sends us to do. The Comforter, the Spirit, has come and now reproves of righteousness because Jesus, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS, the Sun of righteousness, has gone to the Father (John 16:8 – 11). We must then become servants of righteousness unto holiness;
Romans 6:17 – 19 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
As servants we cannot walk in our own will, and paths of iniquity, but must yield unto His path and His righteousness. As Isaiah 55:9 tells us that God’s ways and thoughts are as high as the heavens are above the earth than ours, realize our need to fully submit to have His righteousness. Know that Jesus is the way (John 14:6), and that way is far above anything you can think, find, or know in self; the way must be found in Him: Matthew 7:13, 14 says … narrow is the way … know that there is no other way to find. Many have the 23rd Psalm as their favorite scriptures, but have you found these paths in verse 3? If you yield as a sheep with the shepherd, He will lead you;
Psalm 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
We cannot find these paths of righteousness if we cannot be lead. Do you believe that there is a randomness in life, and God just sends us mixed means of finding the paths of righteousness? It is only in servitude, following His commands, hearing and obeying, that we will find the path of the righteousness of God. We will not see God without holiness (Hebrews 12:14), so our righteousness in Him must reach unto holiness.
In order to fully understand that it is His righteousness, let us look at a stark and distinct instance where in self it is not the righteousness of God. Have you ever been in extreme anger and seeking what is the right thing to do?
James 1:20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
In our wrathful anger we cannot find the righteousness of God. The fleshly nature and our anger work against the Spirit, and thus we cannot find the righteousness of God. The Spirit and the righteousness of God will work peace and joy in us (Romans 14:17 above). Isaiah prophesied of this truth and of this day;
Isaiah 32:15 – 17 Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.
The correlation of righteousness with peace can also be found in Isaiah 48:18 and James 3:18. Yield in faith and allow God to take your wrath and work His righteousness and peace in you.
We could search for additional examples where our self or our flesh work against His righteousness, but it is not necessary; we must learn that His righteousness is shown when we learn to live by our faith;
Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
How do we receive this faith to walk in? Peter wrote that we obtain … like precious faith … through the righteousness of God;
II Peter 1:1 SIMON Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:
Walking in your own righteousness is not living by faith, for you are trusting self and not God. The righteousness of God also is not in trying to find that righteousness in the law, which you can never fully obey;
Romans 3:21 – 23 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.
The righteousness of God is by faith of Jesus Christ, or we will fail, or fall, or sin. Paul continues in verses 24 through 26 to establish justification through faith in Jesus. This justification then brings us to the walk of sanctification;
II 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.
This verse does not say that we are this righteousness, but that we … might be made the righteousness of God in him. Justification must be followed by sanctification in yielding to the Holy Ghost, or we will sin again, and again need our Advocate with the Father (I John 2:1, 2). Begin to see the stark, desperate, and absolute need to be full of the Spirit. In the following verse Paul is speaking of the children of Israel, but it could easily describe each one of us;
Romans 10:3 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.
Oh, Lord, remove our ignorance that we might find your righteousness! We saw above from Galatians 5:5 that we, by the Spirit, wait for righteousness; waiting will not allow you to go about to establish your own righteousness. Waiting is part of the submitting spoken of in the above verse. A good woman once paraphrased Romans 14:22, 23 as “when in doubt, don’t”: the end of those scriptures says … for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. That submitting mentioned in the verse above will be unto, in, of, and by the Holy Ghost. There are those who feel they have been endorsed by the Spirit if they have been baptized in the Spirit and spoken in tongues in the past. They use this supposed endorsement to justify their words, deeds, actions, and ministry as correct or accepted, leaving themselves in the place of ignorance of Romans 10:3, and going about to establish their own righteousness. Realize that this puts the endorsement in the wrong place and evidences the pride that can destroy your life. What item of value do you have to give, sell or purvey? You endorse Him, and not the other way around.
Endorsement contracts almost always have a morals clause to allow the entity endorsed to get out of the contract. How many of you have been used in a gift or fruit of the Spirit and it is no longer evidenced? Have you left the righteousness of God and returned to your own righteousness? As King David in the matter with Bathsheba and Uriah, you may not even have recognized where you have failed, and are now missing the righteousness of God. Repent and allow the Spirit to be your continual guide in leading you through justification, sanctification, and purification unto perfection and holiness.
David, as king, had very much to give, sell, or purvey, but he knew where the order or place of the endorsement of the Spirit was. Please consider that David was recorded as a man after God’s heart (Acts 13:22): see that he recognized the spirit, and valued the anointing given, and see his acceptance or endorsement of them. David also knew that there was an unwritten morals clause;
Psalm 51:10, 11 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
David had seen the spirit taken from Saul for his failure to obey God; recognize the true penance, brokenness, or contrite heart in David’s prayer, desiring to be restored and to keep his position with God. Why are we so often cavalier with our walk in the flesh in violating that morals clause? In his repentance David asks God to … Create in me ... and … renew … within me. Realize that David, a man after God’s heart, could not find the righteousness of God in or of himself and his flesh.
After being filled with the Spirit, in Acts 3:6 we see that Peter has endorsed and also become a salesman or purveyor of what he has been given; … Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee … Begin to realize in humbleness the nothing that you were or possessed before you were saved, the Holy Spirit He has freely given you, and know what you now are or have, and what you have become in Him. How often do we freely endorse a product or business for something we have received or used? Why then don’t we fully realize the value of the life we have been given, and espouse, declare, and endorse its infinite value, and the value of His Spirit?
Can you be declared a man after God’s own heart? How many men did God find who could live the righteousness of God from their self?
Ezekiel 22:30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.
None were found because they had no means in their selves; the 7,000 in Elijah’s day were reserved, but had no means in their self without the Spirit. Looking further for a man;
Isaiah 41:28 For I beheld, and there was no man; even among them, and there was no counsellor, that, when I asked of them, could answer a word.
New Testament scripture further confirms this lack of righteousness in a man;
Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
No matter how you try, you cannot find the righteousness of God in self or flesh; it must be found in Him. This lack of a man able to meet the need was answered by God Himself;
Isaiah 59:16, 17 And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him. For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak.
The arm of man had no means or ability to provide the necessary deliverance, so God brought it with His arm. What did he bring? salvation and righteousness, with zeal and vengeance. The helmet of salvation will make Him the head, and allow us to be assured in His righteousness and keeping. Armed with these things He came to oppose the enemy, and overcome for and redeem His children;
Isaiah 59:18 – 21 According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompense to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompense. So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him. And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord.
The Spirit shall lift a standard; a flood of righteousness to counter and stop the flood of wickedness from the enemy. These things are not external to us, but are through the kingdom within us: we are enabled by God through faith, by the Spirit, and by the intercessor, the way, the Lord Jesus Christ within us. Smith Wigglesworth said it is impossible to overestimate the importance of being filled with the Spirit. Repent of your righteousnesses; seek God to be filled, or refilled, with the Spirit, and then let Him be your guide in all things to the righteousness of God! Then, cast as a branch, you will not wither, but be equipped to prepare and herald the coming of the way, the Head, the Lord Jesus Christ. Allow Him to have the preeminence in all things in your life!
Repetition Of Righteousness
Do you have a storage or junk room in your home where you put things so that no one can see them? Do you also do that spiritually, keeping iniquity in your heart? Do you think it is acceptable to have iniquity in your heart, your holy of holies, just because no one else can see it? There can be no mixture, Jesus loved righteousness and hated iniquity;
Hebrews 1:9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
Do you want a greater anointing and the oil of gladness? Then love righteousness and hate iniquity! This will result in a daily cleaning, and righteousness is the daily cleaning: also removing our righteousness, which is as filthy rags, for the righteousness of God.
When praying and meditating in the morning my practice is often to pace around, and while pacing one morning in my work apartment many sizes of pieces of green or white paper were obviously noticed scattered around everywhere. My daughter had given her puppy an empty Mountain Dew bottle to play with. The puppy could not get her mouth around it, and had chased it rolling around the room, and her little teeth had cut off pieces of wrapper that were green on one side, white on the other. These pieces of paper were picked up during the pacing and praying. When picking up the pieces of wrapper finished, then pieces of hair, lint, threads, and smaller pieces were noticed scattered everywhere, so they were picked up. Upon completing that, crumbs became obvious at places on the floor. God lead to consider this as similar to the sin and iniquity in our lives: the bigger items can often obscure your vision or view of other filth. As God cleanses and purges, He will then reveal other items for us to remove, and if obedient, little by little we present ourselves (by living sacrifice) as holy and pleasing unto Him, transformed by the mercy and renewing He has provided for us, finding His good, acceptable, and perfect will (Romans 12:1, 2). Yes, it is possible for us to “vacuum” clean our lives with a full repentance, but God will always follow it with other items that need changed that we could not previously see.
It was remembered that Sister Allmon seemingly vacuumed every day. Do you believe that one vacuuming or cleaning is enough? Even if there has been no activity in a room, there is always the issue of dust that will settle. Spiritually speaking the flesh continually causes new lint or threads or pieces, and daily living leaves debris in our lives as well. We should always be vigilant; as Paul said, I die daily. We may need a new spiritual cleansing, a new removing, a new vacuuming every day. Life itself also brings new things every day, and we should find a new cleansing, or seek a new repentance through the Lord Jesus Christ, our Advocate (I John 2:1. 2). Realize, know, accept, and be in action that there is a repetition of righteousness.
When I went in my daughter’s room later, more pieces of Mountain Dew wrapper were found scattered about, needing picked up. Going room to room, picking them up, it was found that in my room, where the puppy had been shut out of, there were none. God lead to consider that we are spiritually compartmentalized in a similar way. If you truly and fully love God you will obey Him in all areas: and that is why Jesus commanded to do so … with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength (Mark 12:30, also Matthew 22:37 and Luke 10:27). Begin to recognize the areas in your life where you have not given all to Him: yield and allow Jesus to have full rule and reign!
Consider what Jesus said to the disciples in John 16:12, I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. After years of being with Jesus the disciples also were still learning, and on the path of righteousness. Know, understand, and submit in this life to an unending walk of spiritual cleansing and growth. Oh, God let me see the spiritual lint, the dirt, the crumbs that need removed, that your righteousness might be found in me. And let me not be avoiding or condemning of others for their sin or iniquities that remain. Let me find your love in all things in my life!