Righteousness means many things to many people but I will try and make it simple here. Righteousness simply means right standing with God, being right or justified in the side of God and not from man’s perspective. Going by this definition, you will agree with me that there are those who preach works as righteousness and this is an error, a serious error and quite misleading because no man can ever be righteous on his own accord. Lt me say this, Righteousness is not earned, it is conferred. This is very important to the discussion because there are a lot of fake teachings going round as to what righteousness is. They tell you what to do to get it right with God so righteousness now becomes and act and not a gift: This has led so many people away from the faith or has driven them from the faith into living hypocritical lives.
Most at times when we talk about righteousness in this manner, we come under serious attacks and some even insinuate that we are encouraging people to sin. Really? The problem here is that Christians have been so lazy to study the word of God, and those who do read it for reading sake and not allowing the Spirit of God to interpret the scriptures to them. I have heard pastors boasts of how many times they had read the bible all through in a year and yet when you hear them preach, you begin to wonder if it is the same bible that you both read. Now, enough of the long talk, let’s check the word of God to confirm these things. (Most of the verses would read from New Living Translation NLT)
But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. (NLT) (Emphasis mine)
This is the position of the word of God concerning us. I believe these verses are clear enough and simple to convince you that you don’t have to observe any law to live righteously. I have heard many pastors and teachers, big ones who preach works as against placing their faith in Jesus and believing in him. This is an error like I said earlier. If you do righteousness by your works then it is not longer righteousness. It is called “Works”, because you earned it, but you don’t earn righteousness, it is a gift – a free gift.
Let me ask those of you that try to keep the law, was the law given to you? The answer is a capital NO! To understand well, let the bible answer the question.
Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God. (NLT) (Emphasis mine)
Is this in your bible? The bible says, the law applies to whom it was given! What this means is that, you that are under grace, and not under the law therefore it was not meant for you in the first place. Please note that, the law has it’s purpose i.e. to show that the entire world is guilty before God. What the law does is to reveal your sins before God. It exposes but that is quite different from grace.
Let us look at this; Romans 3:23-24 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. (NLT). (Emphasis mine)
When the bible says all, it means all. Including those who claim they live righteously, including those who teach works. All means all, everyone means everyone. “Everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” We all have fallen short of meeting God’s standard. How do we then meet God’s standard? The answer to this also is very simple. John 3:15 so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life. (NLT) (Emphasis mine) You meet God’s standard by believing in Christ, that is how you meet God’s own standard and not yours. It is not your standard but God’s: and when you are doing it, you have to do it his own way not your own way, that is how to believe in him. So you can see that believing in him and his finished work is the way out. Vs. 24 of that Romans 3: says, Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. (NLT). (Emphasis mine).
Is this also in your bible? Did you hear that we received God’s undeserved kindness? Undeserved kindness means that kindness that we did not deserve. It means there was nothing we did that warranted this kindness instead, we were doing the opposite. So those teaching that you have to do this and do that to be righteous, where did they get their authority from? Obviously it is not coming from the bible but from them. They are just making their doctrines up. If for any reason these verses are not in your bible then you are reading a wrong book and if your pastors are not telling you about how we received God’s undeserved kindness then you are under the wrong minister and it is time to take a walk.
Justified by Faith.
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. (NLT) (Emphasis mine) Read that again, this time around slowly. Try and dissect every word there and check the highlighted very well and when you do, you would realize that it speaks about what he has done and not what we have done or are doing. “..We have been made right.”“…Because of what Christ our Lord has done”. It is what he has done that we are righteous. We didn’t do anything and there is absolutely nothing we can do to earn righteousness but to solely rely on him.
And notice that it didn’t say, we will be made righteous, but we have been made. Let me ask you again. At what point where you said to be righteous? You become righteous at the point where you receive Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and savior. So whenever I hear pastors talking to believers and preaching condemnation asking them to repent. I feel nothing but pity for such congregation. I don’t even know where they are getting their messages from. And I have come to realize that Christians have been brain washed to the point that truth becomes blasphemy to them. This is quite sad!
Can keeping the law ever make us right with God?
To answer this question, let us read Galatians 2:21. I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die. (NLT) (Emphasis mine) The amplified version puts it this way, Galatians 2:21 [Therefore, I do not treat God’s gracious gift as something of minor importance and defeat its very purpose]; I do not set aside and invalidate and frustrate and nullify the grace (unmerited favor) of God. For if justification (righteousness, acquittal from guilt) comes through [observing the ritual of] the Law, then Christ (the Messiah) died groundlessly and to no purpose and in vain. [His death was then wholly superfluous.](AMP) I don’t think I should say more but this is the end of the matter!
To preachers preaching wearing of clothes and putting of jewelry as righteousness I ask, how dare you? Where did you get your authority from? I dare say, you are misleading the people of God and making them to believe that they could live right by obeying some laws making the grace of God of none effect. Yes of none effect because if I have to put off my jewelry, if I have to dress in a particular way, it is my effort and not what God had done. And to the members, the choice is yours, whether to believe in your pastor above what God had said; but if you ask me, I will counsel you to run from such people because they are misleading you.
In my final words here I say this, If keeping the law will make me righteous, Christ would not have come and make such supreme sacrifice in order to save mankind but because man could not meet the standard, he couldn’t obey any law in the first place hence Jesus came and offered that sacrifice once and for all. Shalom!
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