You Need HIS Righteousness!
by David J. Stewart
“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!
This speaks of Christ’s imputed righteousness (i.e., our sins are placed upon Christ’s record, and His righteousness is placed upon our record at the moment of 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 your part can undo, or make up for, the sins you’ve committed throughout your life. Even one sin can send a person to Hell forever (James 2:10). That’s why we all need HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, i.e., the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ.
We are JUSTIFIED in the eyes of God by faith, just-if-I’d never sinned. The precious literal blood of Jesus takes our sins away forever (1st Peter 1:18,19; 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).
Here are the Biblically sound words of the mighty preacher, Harry Ironside (1876-1951) . . .
“The Gospel is not a call to repentance, or to amendment of our ways, to make restitution for past sins, or to promise to do better in the future. These things are proper in their place, but they do not constitute the Gospel; for the Gospel is not good advice to be obeyed, it is good news to be believed. Do not make the mistake then of thinking that the Gospel is a call to duty or a call to reformation, a call to better your condition, to behave yourself in a more perfect way than you have been doing in the past …
Nor is the Gospel a demand that you give up the world, that you give up your sins, that you break off bad habits, and try to cultivate good ones. You may do all these things, and yet never believe the Gospel and consequently never be saved at all.”
SOURCE: Pastor Harry A. Ironside, from the sermon: What Is The Gospel?
So many people today are seeking their OWN righteousness. These are the Lordship Salvationists who require people to forsake their sinful lifestyle to be saved. Jesus never asked us to give up anything to be saved—He simply told us to BELIEVE. Jesus proclaimed in John 11:25, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” Salvation is a FREE GIFT as Romans 5:15 states, paid for by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. “Repentance” in the Bible simply means “a change of mind.” The changed life comes later, as we grow in the Lord (1st Peter 2:2). A changed life is the result, or fruit, of genuine repentance, and not repentance itself. We don’t go to Heaven because of what we are doing, but because of where we are looking… Look to Jesus!
Pentecostal / Charismatics
Those in the Pentecostal Charismatic Movement are seeking their own righteousness. They require people to maintain salvation through their OWN righteousness, or risk losing salvation. In sharp contrast, the Word of God declares that we can KNOW for certain that we are saved in 1st John 5:13. If my salvation depends upon my holy living and continuing in the faith, then I can NEVER rest assure that I am saved certain and cannot “know” that I’m saved.
Deuteronomy 33:27 reads, “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms…” The spiritual birth (i.e., being born again) is as irreversible as the physical birth. Salvation is a free gift from God (Romans 6:23). Only a self-righteous heretic would dare say that God’s salvation depends upon our own self-righteousness. Any person who claims to have been a Christian at one time; but no longer, is a LIAR. If you’re not saved now, you never were!
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.” What a powerful passage of Scripture! This precisely describes the Catholic religion. Catholics openly admit that many of their doctrines aren’t even found in the Bible, such as the “Assumption of Mary” (i.e., her bodily ascension into Heaven).
Another such false doctrine is the Perpetual Virginity of Mary. How ridiculous! We read in Luke 2:42,43 that Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to Jerusalem when He was 12 years old. Do you mean to tell me that Joseph and Mary were still living together 12 YEARS AFTER JESUS’ BIRTH, but had never been intimate as husband and wife? If you believe that, you’re messed up. There’s not one Scripture even in the Catholic Bible that teaches the “Immaculate Conception” of Mary (i.e., that she was born without a sinful nature, and was immediately saved at birth).
Romans 3:23 is very clear … “For ALL have sinned…” The only Person who never sinned was Jesus Christ (2nd Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15). Here’s a list of Catholicism’s MANMADE doctrines over the centuries. Instead of seeking HIS righteousness, Roman and Orthodox Catholics have sought their OWN righteousness, “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness…” (Romans 10:3).
Seventh Day Adventists
Seventh-Day Adventists are extremely deceitful. SDA is a false religion. They have not sought HIS righteousness (Matthew 6:33). That is, they have not sought God’s imputed righteousness, which is solely by faith without works (Romans 4:5-6). SDA’s are deceitful concerning salvation. SDA prophetess Ellen G. White (1827-1915) taught Lordship Salvation. Adventists claim to believe in salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone; but then teach a heresy known as “investigative Judgment,” in which Christ decides who is “worthy” or not to enter into Heaven. According to SDA teaching, in the year 1844 Jesus entered into the heavenly Holy Place to begin this work of Investigative Judgment.
No one is worthy! The Bible plainly teaches in Revelation 5:4, “And I wept much, because no man was found worthyto open and to read the book…” NO ONE is worthy, except Jesus (Revelation 5:9). We are all worthy of death (Romans 6:23). We are all worthy of the Lake of Fire (James 2:10; Revelation 20:13-15; 2nd Thessalonians 1:8-9). SDA’s are trusting in their own self-righteous efforts to maintain their salvation—hoping to merit salvation in the end. Don’t be deceived by this cunning pack of wolves, they are infested with many Hidden Heresies. I say that kindly, but truthfully. I have witnessed to SDA’s, who claim to believe in salvation by grace through faith alone, but then indicate that they are not guaranteed eternal life unless they live the life. Adventists are very sneaky, mixing discipleship with salvation. This is notthe simplicity that is in Jesus Christ (2nd Corinthians 11:3-4).
SDA’s also deny the reality of a burning Hell. In their writings, SDA’s teach that the idea of a burning Hell for all eternity drives people away from the Gospel. They allege that God is not a cruel God, and would never burn someone in Hell for ever and ever. Instead, SDA’s believe in total annihilation (you cease to exist) for the wicked. Please do not be tricked by the Devil, Seventh-day Adventism is not Biblical Christianity. Adventists have some very strange doctrines.
Other False Religions
There are literally hundreds-of-thousands of false religions in this world. I was recently reading something about Japan, which said that there are an estimated 173,000 cults in Japan alone. False religion is everywhere, and to no surprise, for Satan is the god of this sinful fallen world (2nd Corinthians 4:4).
Lutheranism seeks their OWN righteousness in Baptismal Regeneration. Martin Luther openly taught damnable heresies. No “Lutheran” can deny the teachings of Martin Luther while they associate themselves with his foul name. The Jehovah’s Witnesses are of the Devil, seeking their OWN righteousness. JW’s foolishly teach that Jesus was only Michael the archangel incarnate. The Mormons are of the Devil, seeking their OWN righteousness, teaching that Jesus is not God. The United Church of Christ is straight from Hell, with their homosexual priests, pro-abortion marches, and their homogenized God. You can basically believe whatever you want in their religion.
Thus, the UCOC attracts hordes of unsaved people who are just looking for a social club to hang out. They’re about as “Christian” as the secular YMCA. 95% of everything that’s labeled as “Christian” today is as heathen as can be. If you want to find a good church, look for an Independent Baptist Church, or an Independent Bible Church. Even some of those have a lot to be desired of them, but that’s where I’d search. Baptists are NOT Protestants, and come closest to upholding the truth of God’s Word and Christian living. I’d avoid ALL televangelists.
The Good Person
There are no good people, spiritually speaking. We are all less than perfect (Romans 3:23). There are good sinners, and there are bad sinners; but we are all sinners nonetheless. No amount of goodness can get a person into Heaven, sorry.
Perhaps more than any other group of people who will be cast into Hell, will be those deceived religious people who errantly and foolishly think that their good works will save them on Judgment Day. As I just quoted to you earlier from Isaiah 64:6, God is NOT impressed with our self-righteousness at all. The reason is because there’s nothing we can do to atone for our own sins. Nothing! That’s why we need a Savior. And thankfully, God the Father provided One, through the blood sacrifice of His only begotten dear Son, Jesus (John 3:16; Romans 5:9). Note that ALL Scriptures are quoted only from the trustworthy inspired King James Bible.
There are many people in this world who consider themselves “good” people; but they are not (Romans 3:10). It matters not if you’re religious or non-religious… you have no self-righteousness that is acceptable to God. Romans 10:3-4 warns of those people who try to foolishly go about establishing their “OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS.” 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… Christ is the END OF THE LAW TO EVERY ONE THAT BELIEVETH!!! What a wonderful Savior!
The purpose of the Law is a vehicle by which to bring you and me to the Savior to be saved. Once you believe on Jesus, the Christ, to forgive all your sins; then the work of the Law is done. The Law has fulfilled its divine purpose of showing you and me our desperate need for the Savior, Jesus (Galatians 3:24-25).
Self Righteousness Will Send You to Hell Forever
Ezekiel 33:13, “When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.” So if you die in your sins and go to Hell, none of the good things you ever did will be taken into consideration by God on Judgment Day. All your charitable deeds will have been in vain, because you rejected Jesus as the Christ and died in your sins (John 8:24).
God will only take into consideration the good that a person does if they are a genuine born-again Christian, trusting upon Jesus Christ and His righteousness for the forgiveness of sins, and not their own efforts in any way (2nd Corinthians 5:10-11; 1st Peter 1:17).
Jesus boldly stated in John 3:3, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” We also read the frightening words of 2nd Thessalonians 1:8, “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” You has been get born-again! And I’m not talking about the hereticalCatholic misconception of being born-again by surrendering to Jesus. That’s a sure road to Hell fire and damnation. I’m talking about being Biblically born-again by the Seed of the Word of God. You need to have your SINS forgiven. You are the SINNER, and Jesus is the SAVIOR. It’s that simple!
You don’t get saved by turning over a new leaf, promising to do better, giving up the world, ceasing from committing sin, surrendering to God, nor by making a commitment to Christ. Those are all fine in their own place; but they are roads to Hell if you trust them for salvation. Jesus paid for your sins; therefore, eternal life is a free gift that you can only freely receive apart from all self-righteousness works (John 1:12; Acts 10:43).
1Pe:1:17: And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
Eze:33:13: When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.
You Need HIS Righteousness!
The problem is that we have NO righteousness of our own to offer God, except our self-righteousness, which is NOT acceptable to God… “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” (Isaiah 64:6). Despite how good of a person you may think you are, James 2:10 plainly states… “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”
In other words, even one sin is enough to keep us out of Heaven, and condemn us to Hellfire for all eternity. No matter how much good we do in this life, we simply cannot make up for the sins we’ve committed. This is why God in His abundant love sent His only begotten Son into the world, Jesus Christ, to pay for our sins with His own literal precious blood (1st Peter 1:18,19; Hebrews 9:12). Jesus paid a debt He did not owe, because we owed a debt we could not pay. Eternal life is a free gift (Romans 5:15; 6:23), paid for by Jesus’ precious blood. 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.
You had better BELIEVE on Jesus as your personal Savior, because you are a GUILTY sinner under the condemnation of God’s holy Law, and deserving of Hell. It’s Jesus Who has the nail-scared hands and feet. All of your goodness and human effort won’t help you one tiny bit when you stand before The Great White Throne of Judgment. Your only hope is the blood of Jesus Christ which takes away our sins … “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…” (1st Peter 1:18,19). John 1:29 reads, “…Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
“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.” —2nd Corinthians 5:21
Oh listen friend, you need HIS righteousness; not your own in order to go to Heaven. I think Romans 4:5 states it best…
“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”
We are saved by believing THE GOSPEL. Jesus DIED, was BURIED and then RESURRECTED. This is the Gospel according to the Bible…
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 shed His blood for our sins…
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.”
If you receive Christ’s blood sacrifice as payment for your sins, then you are saved. Salvation is all about Jesus and has NOTHING to do with us. Jesus bore the burden of OUR SINS on Calvary’s cross. Beware of anyone who places the weight and burden of sin upon the sinner.
Are you trusting your own self-righteousness to save you? Are you trusting the false-righteousness of some religious denomination? Are you relying upon your own human effort to clean up your life of sin? Or are you trusting upon HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, which is by faith in Jesus Christ alone.
But seek ye first the Kingdom of God and HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS!
“For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” —Matthew 5:20
Christ died, that’s history; Christ died and rose for me, that’s salvation! END
“You do it God’s way, or you don’t go to God’s Heaven!”
—SOURCE: Pastor Jack Hyles, a great quote from the awesome sermon, “I’ll Do It My Way!” (1991).