Doctrine #35: Righteousness

What would it take for you to change your beliefs?

We learned that it is impossible to please God without faith. If we have faith we believe that God "Is" and that He rewards us when we seek after Him. Would that ever mean that you could BE God? No. So, if you are not God, how would you be able to be more Right than Him? You will never be. Have you ever been right about anything? Yes. So, you can never be more Right than God, but you can still be right. That must mean there are two different scenarios in regards to being right. We can be right, and God is Right. What are the effects?

Righteousness is the effect of being right. When we are right, the effect is righteousness that leads to reward. When God is Right, the effect is Righteousness that leads to salvation.

Question: Do you believe you measure righteousness based on your own opinion or God's view?

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If you need it, here is the support from the Word of God...

"11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat upon it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne; and books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead that were in it; and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death, even the lake of fire.
15 And if any was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:11-15)

(There are two judgements. In verse 12 the "books" were opened. Those books were multiple books of reward/works. God is Just and He has an account for everything that we have ever done. The second book was singular. This is the book of life, which is salvation.)

"1 Take heed that ye do not your righteousness before men, to be seen of them: else ye have no reward with your Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 6:1)

(This reward can't be salvation, otherwise you lose your salvation by giving. Giving is a WHAT, and Jesus gave us a HOW/WHY to give. YOUR righteousness is your works. Works are quantitative, it is associated with a number. Justice is a quantitative measurement.)

"8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: but each shall receive his own reward according to his own labor." (1 Corinthians 3:8)

(It is in your control how much you want to work, and your reward is based on your own work. This is a physical example of something spiritual. Do you remember what a "workman" is?)

"5 Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember thee in thy ways: behold, thou wast wroth, and we sinned: in them have we been of long time; and shall we be saved?
6 For we are all become as one that is unclean, and all our righteousnesses are as a polluted garment: and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away." (Isaiah 64:5-6)

(Our righteousness is nothing compared to God's Righteousness. Our works can never produce enough for us to earn salvation. Some people will interpret this text to mean that we are totally depraved, and there is nothing at all that we can do that is righteous. This is wrong. Works produce reward, and our reward is something that we can store up and produce. There are actions and decisions that we can do/make (we have been given the Mind of Christ) that are righteous, but they will result in reward, not salvation. We are not totally depraved.)

"20 For I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:20)

(The righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees wasn't enough to get to heaven; there was never enough that they could do to earn salvation. The only way for your righteousness to exceed the most diligent of religious leaders is if it is God's Righteousness through you. What would it look like for God's Righteousness to flow through you?)

"1 Brethren, my heart's desire and my supplication to God is for them, that they may be saved.
2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.
3 For being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.
4 For Christ is the end of the law unto righteousness to every one that believeth.
5 For Moses writeth that the man that doeth the righteousness which is of the law shall live thereby.
6 But the righteousness which is of faith saith thus, Say not in thy heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down:)
7 or, Who shall descend into the abyss? (That is, to bring Christ up from the dead.)
8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach:
9 because if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved:
10 for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:1-10)

(God's Righteousness leads to salvation, not our righteousness. In the Law, it was the individual who had the responsibility to be righteous and follow the Law, this was a work. Now we have access to God's Righteousness, because of Jesus' fulfillment of the Law. We are able to think as God Thinks, and now the mystery has been revealed to us by the Law being upon our hearts, through the Holy Spirit. Do you have the same causes as God?)

"8 Distil, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, that it may bring forth salvation, and let it cause righteousness to spring up together; I, Jehovah, have created it." (Isaiah 45:8)

(God's Righteousness leads to salvation. In this passage righteousness and salvation even "spring up together.")

"12 Hearken unto me, ye stout-hearted, that are far from righteousness:
13 I bring near my righteousness, it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not tarry; and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory." (Isaiah 46:12-13)

(God gave an amazing HOW for people who were far from Righteousness. God will bring near His Righteousness, and His salvation will not hesitate; they will be together. Many verses in Isaiah have salvation and God's Righteousness together.)

"5 My righteousness is near, my salvation is gone forth, and mine arms shall judge the peoples; the isles shall wait for me, and on mine arm shall they trust.
6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath; for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment; and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.
7 Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye dismayed at their revilings.
8 For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool; but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation unto all generations." (Isaiah 51:5-8)

(God is Right and Just. HIS Righteousness is near, and HIS arms shall judge the peoples.)

"1 Thus saith Jehovah, Keep ye justice, and do righteousness; for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed." (Isaiah 56:1)

"14 And justice is turned away backward, and righteousness standeth afar off; for truth is fallen in the street, and uprightness cannot enter.
15 Yea, truth is lacking; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey. And Jehovah saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice.
16 And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his own arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it upheld him.
17 And he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a mantle.
18 According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, wrath to his adversaries, recompense to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompense." (Isaiah 59:14-18)

"10 I will greatly rejoice in Jehovah, 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 a garland, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels." (Isaiah 61:10)

"1 For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until her righteousness go forth as brightness, and her salvation as a lamp that burneth." (Isaiah 62:1)

(There were also many instances of salvation and Righteousness stated together in Psalms...)

"123 Mine eyes fail for thy salvation, And for thy righteous word." (Psalm 119:123)

"39 But the salvation of the righteous is of Jehovah; He is their stronghold in the time of trouble." (Psalm 37:39)

"10 I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation; I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great assembly." (Psalm 40:10)

"14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation; And my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness." (Psalm 51:14)

"1 Oh sing unto Jehovah a new song; For he hath done marvellous things: His right hand, and his holy arm, hath wrought salvation for him.
2 Jehovah hath made known his salvation: His righteousness hath he openly showed in the sight of the nations." (Psalm 98:1-2)

"15 The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tents of the righteous: The right hand of Jehovah doeth valiantly." (Psalm 118:15)

God's Righteousness and salvation go hand in hand. We understand what it means to be righteous and how God will use that to reward us through justice/works. Now, we are working our way towards understanding salvation.

You have heard it said that salvation is for the elect, for the people who God chooses. But, what if we had the choice? Do we have the ability to choose God, or can He only choose us? Why would God choose some and not others?