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Posts Tagged ‘Righteousness’

What does it mean to hunger and thirst for righteousness? — A.W. Pink

February 10, 2012 Comments off

“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” — Matthew 5:6

In Romans 1:16, 17a, Paul says, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith.” In Romans 3:22-24 we read, “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; Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” In Romans 5:19, this blessed declaration is made: “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made [legally constituted] sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made [legally constituted] righteous.” In Romans 10:4, we learn that “Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”

The sinner is destitute of righteousness, for “there is none righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10). God has, therefore, provided in Christ a perfect righteousness for each and all of His people. This righteousness, this satisfying of all the demands of God’s holy Law against us, was worked out by our Substitute and Surety. This righteousness is now imputed to (that is, legally credited to the account of) the believing sinner. Just as the sins of God’s people were all transferred to Christ, so His righteousness is placed upon them (2 Cor. 5:21). These few words are but a brief summary of the teaching of Scripture on this vital and blessed subject of the perfect righteousness that God requires of us and that is ours by faith in the Lord Christ.

“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness.” Hungering and thirsting expresses vehement desire, of which the soul is acutely conscious. First, the Holy Spirit brings before the heart the holy requirements of God. He reveals to us His perfect standard, which He can never lower. He reminds us 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). Second, the trembling soul, conscious of his own abject poverty and realizing his utter inability to measure up to God’s requirements, sees no help in himself. This painful discovery causes him to mourn and groan. Have you done so? Third, the Holy Spirit then creates in the heart a deep “hunger and thirst” that causes the convicted sinner to look for relief and to seek a supply outside of himself. The believing eye is then directed to Christ, who is “THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jer. 23:6).

Like the previous ones, this fourth Beatitude describes a twofold experience. It obviously refers to the initial hungering and thirsting that occurs before a sinner turns to Christ by faith. But it also refers to the continual longing that is perpetuated in the heart of every saved sinner until his dying day. Repeated exercises of this grace are felt at varying intervals. The one who longed to be saved by Christ, now yearns to be made like Him. Looked at in its widest aspect, this hungering and thirsting refers to a panting of the renewed heart after God (Ps. 42:1), a yearning for a closer walk with Him, and a longing for more perfect conformity to the image of His Son. It tells of those aspirations of the new nature for Divine blessing that alone can strengthen, sustain, and satisfy.

Our text presents such a paradox that it is evident that no carnal mind ever invented it. Can one who has been brought into vital union with Him who is the Bread of Life and in whom all fullness dwells be found still hungering and thirsting? Yes, such is the experience of the renewed heart. Mark carefully the tense of the verb: it is not “Blessed are they which have hungered and thirsted,” but “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst.” Do you, dear reader? Or are you content with your attainments and satisfied with your condition? Hungering and thirsting after righteousness has always been the experience of God’s true saints (Phil. 3:8-14).

“They shall be filled.” Like the first part of our text, this also has a double fulfillment, both initial and continuous. When God creates a hunger and a thirst in the soul, it is so that He may satisfy them. When the poor sinner is made to feel his need for Christ, it is to the end that he may be drawn to Christ and led to embrace Him as his only righteousness before a holy God. He is delighted to confess Christ as his new-found righteousness and to glory in Him alone (1 Cor. 1:30, 31). Such a one, whom God now calls a “saint” (1 Cor. 1:2; 2 Cor. 1:1; Eph. 1:1; Phil. 1:1), is to experience an ongoing filling: not with wine, wherein is excess, but with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18). He is to be filled with the peace of God that passeth all understanding (Phil. 4:7). We who are trusting in the righteousness of Christ shall one day be filled with Divine blessing without any admixture of sorrow; we shall be filled with praise and thanksgiving to Him who wrought every work of love and obedience in us (Phil. 2:12-13) as the visible fruit of His saving work in and for us. In this world, “He hath filled the hungry with good things” (Luke 1:53) such as this world can neither give to nor withhold from those who “seek the Lord (Ps. 34:10). He bestows such goodness and mercy upon us, who are the sheep of His pasture, that our cups run over (Ps. 23:5-6). Yet all that we presently enjoy is but a mere foretaste of all that our “God hath prepared for them that love Him” (1 Cor. 2:9). In the eternal state, we will be filled with perfect holiness, for “we shall be like Him” (1 John 3:2). Then we shall be done with sin forever. Then we shall “hunger no more, neither thirst any more.

– A.W. Pink (1886-1952)

Source: The Beatitudes, by AW Pink

Sound doctrine – Titus 2:1

December 8, 2011 Comments off

“Speak thou the things which become sound doctrine.” Titus 2:1

There are but two forms of religion in the world. One is true. The other is false. One is saving. The other is damning. One is “sound doctrine” the doctrine of Holy Scripture, the “doctrine of God our Saviour” (Titus 2:10). The other is false doctrine, “the doctrine of vanities” (Jeremiah 10:8). Those two forms of religion are free-grace and free-will.

Free-grace declares that salvation is the work of God alone. Free-will declares that salvation is, at least, in part, the work of man. Free-grace declares that salvation is conditioned upon the obedience of Christ alone as the sinner’s substitute. Free-will declares the salvation is ultimately and finally conditioned upon the obedience of the sinner himself. Any doctrine that makes salvation, eternal life, acceptance with God, and the reward of the heavenly inheritance to be dependent upon, or determined by YOU, at any point or in any measure, is contrary to sound doctrine. To receive, believe, or embrace such doctrine will be damning to your soul. (Read Galations 5: 1-4)

Gal 5:1  Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Gal 5:2  Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
Gal 5:3  For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
Gal 5:4  Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

(Shortened version by Pastor Don Fortner) from The Grace Bulletin May-June 2011)

Philippians 3:9 – Philpot

October 14, 2011 Comments off

“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.” Philippians 3:9

Here are the two righteousnesses clearly laid down, in one or other of which we must all stand before God—the righteousness which is of the law, and the righteousness which is of God by faith in Christ. But bear this in mind, that a  righteousness to be available before God must be a perfect righteousness. This righteousness no man ever did or could produce by his own obedience to the law, for no man ever yet loved God “with all his heart and soul and mind and strength, and his neighbour as himself;” and if a man do not thus love God and thus love his neighbour, he is accursed and condemned already by that righteous law which curseth “every one who continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.”

Now the Apostle felt that as this righteousness could not be yielded by himself as a fallen sinner, he must necessarily fall under the condemnation and curse attached to that  holy law. Trembling, therefore, in his conscience, as feeling that the wrath of  God was revealed against him, and all unjustified sinners in a broken law, and knowing that he must sink for ever under the terrible indignation of the Almighty, if he had no covering for his needy, naked soul but his own righteousness, he fled out of it to find justification and acceptance, mercy and peace in the righteousness of Christ. Thenceforth he “was determined to know nothing, save Jesus Christ and him crucified,” and Jesus became to him his “all in all.” When once he had been favoured with a view of the righteousness of the Son of God, he wanted no other for time or eternity. He saw by faith the words and works of the God-man, and he beheld Deity stamped upon every thought, word, and action of that pure humanity with which it was in union, and thus investing them with a merit beyond all conception or expression of men or angels. He saw him by faith bearing his sins in his own body on the tree, and by his active and passive obedience
working out a righteousness acceptable to God, and such as he and all the redeemed could stand in before the great white throne without spot or blemish.

As a traveller overtaken by a violent thunderstorm gladly flies to a house by the wayside wherein he may find shelter from the lightning-stroke and the sweeping rain; or as a ship threatened with a hurricane bends every sail to reach in time the harbour of refuge, so does the soul terrified by the thunders and lightnings of God’s righteous law, seek for shelter in the wounded side of Jesus, and hide itself beneath his justifying obedience. This righteousness is here called “the righteousness of God;” for God the Father contrived it, God the Son performed it, and God the Holy Ghost applies it; and it is said to be “by faith” and “through the faith of Christ” because faith views it, believes in it, receives it, and gives the soul a manifested interest in it.

Christ our righteousness – John Bunyan

January 16, 2011 Comments off

229. But one day, as I was passing in the field, and that too with some dashes on my conscience, fearing lest yet all was not right, suddenly this sentence fell upon my soul, Thy righteousness is in heaven; and methought withal, I saw, with the eyes of my soul, Jesus Christ at God’s right hand; there, I say, is my righteousness; so that wherever I was, or whatever I was a-doing, God could not say of me, He wants (lacks) my righteousness, for that was just before Him. I also saw, moreover, that it was not my good frame of heart that made my righteousness better, nor yet my bad frame that made my righteousness worse; for my righteousness was Jesus Christ Himself, the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever (Heb. 13.8).

230. Now did my chains fall off my legs indeed, I was loosed from my affliction and irons, my temptations had fled away; so that, from that time, those dreadful scriptures of God left off to trouble me now; now went I also home rejoicing, for the grace and love of God. So when I came home, I looked to see if I could find that sentence, Thy righteousness is in heaven; but could not find such a saying, wherefore my heart began to sink again, only that was brought to my remembrance, He ‘of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption’ by this word I saw the other sentence true (1 Cor. 1.30).

231. For by this scripture, I saw that the man Christ Jesus, as He is distinct from us, as touching His bodily presence, so He is our righteousness and sanctification before God. Here, therefore, I lived for some time, very sweetly at peace with God through Christ; Oh, methought, Christ! Christ! there was nothing but Christ that was before my eyes, I was not only for looking upon this and the other benefits of Christ apart, as of His blood, burial, or resurrection, but considered Him as a whole Christ! As He in whom all these, and all other His virtues, relations, offices, and operations met together, and that as He sat on the right hand of God in heaven.

232. It was glorious to me to see His exaltation, and the worth and prevalency of all His benefits, and that because of this: now I could look from myself to Him, and should reckon that all those graces of God that now were green in me, were yet but like those cracked groats and fourpence-halfpennies that rich men carry in their purses, when their gold is in their trunks at home! Oh, I saw my gold was in my trunk at home! In Christ, my Lord and Saviour! Now Christ was all; all my wisdom, all my righteousness, all my sanctification, and all my redemption.

233. Further, the Lord did also lead me into the mystery of union with the Son of God, that I was joined to Him, that I was flesh of His flesh, and bone of His bone, and now was that a sweet word to me in Eph. 5.30. By this also was my faith in Him, as my righteousness, the more confirmed to me; for if He and I were one, then His righteousness was mine, His merits mine, His victory also mine. Now could I see myself in heaven and earth at once; in heaven by my Christ, by my head, by my righteousness and life, though on earth by my body or person.

234. Now I saw Christ Jesus was looked on of God, and should also be looked on by us, as that common or public person, in whom all the whole body of His elect are always to be considered and reckoned; that we fulfilled the law by Him, rose from the dead by Him, got the victory over sin, death, the devil, and hell, by Him; when He died, we died; and so of His resurrection. ‘Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise,’ saith he (Isa. 26.19). And again, ‘After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight’ (Hos. 6.2); which is now fulfilled by the sitting down of the Son of Man on the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens, according to that to the Ephesians, He ‘hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus’ (Eph. 2.6).

235. Ah, these blessed considerations and scriptures, with many others of a like nature, were in those days made to spangle in mine eyes, so that I have cause to say, ‘Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness’ (Ps. 150.1, 2).

Source: Grace abounding to the chief of sinners

The Law demands perfect obedience for righteousness

December 6, 2009 Comments off

And when the apostle saith, in Rom. 4: 5, “But unto him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness”, the scope of it is neither to characterise and describe the justified person, as one that is lazy and slothful, and has no mind to work, nor the rebellious and refractory, refusing obedience to the commands of God; but to represent him as an humbled sinner, who is convinced of his inability to work out his own righteousness by the law, and sees all his endeavours to obey the law fall short of righteousness, and therefore is said, in a law-sense, not to work, because he does not work so as to answer the purpose and end of the law, which accepts of nothing beneath perfect obedience.

John Flavel, The effectual application of Christ to the soul

Superstition abounds – the “virtuous pagan”

August 13, 2009 Comments off

“Virtuous pagan” bizarre superstition

Joh 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

There were no elect living in times and places where there was no means for salvation given by God, i.e. withheld by Him. He didn’t put it there because there was none of his people there who needed to be saved. It would’ve been a waste to have put the means there.

Rom 10:11  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
Rom 10:12  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
Rom 10:13  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Rom 10:14  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
Rom 10:15  And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

There is no such thing as “equal opportunity” with grace. All people deserve only hell. God doesn’t owe them anything – they sinned of themselves.

Grace is something extra, from the outside, undeserved, giving you what you don’t deserve, life. Hence it is given to whomsoever God wants to give it. And He decided who they would be before the foundation of the world.

The Gospel couldn’t reach certain places, because that is how God willed it. So, the people there couldn’t possibly have come to faith, and hence couldn’t possibly be saved.

This “virtuous pagan” superstition was contrived by the Catholics who don’t know the righteousness of God. According to them “good people” (whatever that might be) are saved and “bad people” (the Bible says everyone is bad in God’s eyes, except Jesus Christ and those in Him) not; it’s all “good works” based – the complete opposite of what the Bible says. Christ has no place in salvation for them. Hence Christ-less salvation, or “virtuous paganism”.

Rom 2:12  For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;
Rom 2:13  (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
Rom 2:14  For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
Rom 2:15  Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
Rom 2:16  In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

Above says that sinning without the Law is still sinning, for which you will be punished. The same goes for sinning under the Law.

No man can live on God’s standard – so everyone is going to hell, except those with a different righteousness, God’s own righteous, the righteousness of Christ, received by faith in Christ.

Php 3:9  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:

Prominent examples are Socrates or Virgil. The Roman Catechism issued by the Council of Trent, based on the opinion of Thomas Aquinas, asserted that these souls were waiting in a limbo between heaven and hell, and were freed at Christ’s Harrowing of Hell.

Former Catholic priest’s testimony