Christ’s Righteousness, Not Our Righteousness

March 27, 2009

by Shawn Brasseaux

Multitudes of people who have no assurance of salvation are somehow hoping to achieve salvation. Based on the fallacies they hear in church, they reason that God will find appeasement in their penance, praying, candle-burning, confession, and communion-taking. Indeed, the Scriptures encourage believers to pray and observe the Lord’s Supper to remember His sacrificial death and resurrection. However, salvation cannot be found in any ceremony, rite, or ritual that we do! That is why Christ had to do what He did on Cavalry’s cross!

Most church members are unlearned regarding these basic doctrines of Scripture. In the natural state, all of us have been born with a sin nature that stays with us until the day we die (Romans 5:12-21, for instance).

“12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:…
15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Regardless of the myriads of good deeds we have done, we still are not good enough for heaven because our inherited sin nature has already damned us all to an everlasting lake of fire! We can do absolutely nothing to change that because we will never be perfect enough to satisfy God’s righteous standards. The purpose of the Mosaic Law (the Ten Commandments) was to show that we ALL are guilty of falling short of the glory of God. Consider Romans 3:19-23 KJV:

“19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
22 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:
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

According to the Bible (above Scriptures), the Mosaic Law does not make you “fit for heaven,” it makes you “fit for hell!” We are all sinners, and the Law proves it! We are all “guilty before God.”

Titus 3:4-7 KJV says this:

“4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

If you are not a Christian saved by grace through faith in Calvary alone, nothing you do will count for eternity. If you are hoping to gain salvation by trusting in Christ, and also “doing the best you can to finish what He did not do,” Christ’s work will be canceled completely. Galatians 2:21 KJV: “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” You cannot depend on your own works and the finished work of Jesus Christ to get you to heaven. People just cannot seem to take the Scriptures literally (Romans 4:1-5): “to him who worketh not, but to him that believeth [trusts in Christ Jesus], his faith is counted for righteousness.”

By placing your faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ, His death, bloodshed, burial, and resurrection, God will then appropriate Christ’s righteousness to you! As we read in 2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV: “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.” In Christ Jesus, we have been given God’s righteousness!

“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation [substitution, fully-satisfying payment] through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God” (Romans 3:24,25 KJV).

Notice the Bible says “freely,” without cost to us. Take notice that when a person is saved, it declares Christ’s righteousness, not that person’s righteousness. I am not perfect, but as a member of the Church the Body of Christ, I am saved by faith, and God has appropriated Christ’s righteousness to me! I am justified, sanctified, reconciled, and forgiven through Christ! And I played absolutely no role in gaining God’s salvation!

Christ’s righteousness has covered your sins. Christ suffered for you, and you need suffer nothing to earn salvation. Everyone will avoid purgatory, because purgatory is a false idea conceived by religious people who want to line their pockets with your treasure. You can also avoid hell, or like most, you can avoid heaven. It all depends on whether or not you trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ before you die. Trust in Christ alone, and God will save you forever!