“Oh my soul you have said to Jehovah,
You are my Lord; My goodness is nothing apart from you”
True righteousness in the life of the individual believer is always His Righteousness. It is as real as He is for within the power of true faith there is a laying hold of His Life. Faith is not an ethereal or make believe thing; it is the living conduit by which the Life of the Son becomes ours. The branch does not “pretend” to draw in the life of the vine. It does not try to put forth a good show of imitating what the life of the vine might look like; it lives by the unconscious daily ministration of that life.
In the religious world today we have many kinds of “righteousness”, from the declared judicial righteousness to the rigorous and strict self-made righteousness on either end of the spectrum. The declared one is generally filled with apathy, contradiction and carelessness. The self-made, strict one is filled with striving, contradiction and varying degrees of pride and condemnation. Both these extremes will, in some form or another, be part of the journey of a true believer. However as we grow in Him we begin to discover the need for a true and lasting power to sustain a righteousness that is no longer made up of smoke and mirrors or of self striving. The sincere heart begins to search out the true source of real righteousness with an unfeigned display of genuine life.
True Righteousness is a relationship with Christ. It is not a doctrinal position (though the initial steps of a child of God start there); it is as vital as the branch abiding in the vine. Only a real relationship with Him can bring forth a real righteousness. Within this relationship there is a continual current of interaction between the parties involved. Jesus Christ the vine pouring into us the power, substance and desire for righteousness, and we the branch receiving from this flow the divine enablement to embrace the cross and make the received righteousness a living reality. It is in this precious outworking of life that we grow into His Righteousness by the wonder of a living faith. Paul declares in the book of Roman’s…
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,
for it is the power of God to salvation
to everyone believing both to Jew first, and to Greek;
for in it the righteousness of God is revealed
from faith to faith; even as it has been written,
“But the just shall live by faith”
It is clear that the Gospel of Christ (not men) produces a revelation of the righteousness of God from faith to faith. A life that is not expressing a growth in righteousness is not living in the Gospel of Christ! When men teach another gospel, one that leaves out the cross of Christ, the result is an impotent and powerless message in which victory over sin is preached but never realized. We can grow into the realization of a life energized and sustained by the living Christ or we can settle for a form of righteousness which is devoid of any real and lasting vitality. Faith is the medium and His Righteousness is the crowning jewel of His work in us.
“For me to live IS Christ…”