You Need HIS Righteousness!

By David J. Stewart
January 2009 | Updated September 2016

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” —Matthew 6:33

       Please notice carefully that Matthew 6:33 does NOT say, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and OUR righteousness...” Rather, the Bible says ... seek HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS. We are to seek Jesus' righteousness. 2nd Corinthians 5:21 states, “For He (God the Father) hath made Him (God the Son) to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” Amen! Philippians 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.”

This speaks of Christ's imputed righteousness (i.e., our sins were placed upon Christ on the cross, and His righteousness is placed upon us at the very moment of salvation). Literally, we are saved by God's righteousness. Philippians 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.”

You see my friend, we have no righteousness of our own to offer God. Isaiah 64:6, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and ALL OUR RIGHTEOUSNESSES ARE AS FILTHY RAGS; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” No amount of good works on your part can undo, or make up for, the sins you've committed throughout your life. Even one sin can send a person to Hell forever (James 2:10). That's why we all need HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, i.e., the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ.

We are JUSTIFIED in the eyes of God by faith, just-if-I'd never sinned. The precious literal blood of Jesus takes our sins away forever (1st Peter 1:18,19; Hebrews 9:12,24). This is true righteousness, and it is found ONLY in Christ Jesus! We are commanded to seek HIS righteousness if we want to obtain the Kingdom of God. “But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, Who of God is made unto us wisdom, and RIGHTEOUSNESS, and sanctification, and redemption” (1st Corinthians 1:30).

The Bible proclaims that Jesus DIED on the cross, was BURIED and bodily RESURRECTED. This is the Good News (i.e., the Gospel)...

1st Corinthians 15:1-4, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”

Jesus died on the cross for our sins, He was buried, and He bodily raised up three days later. Blessed be the Lord! A cross-less Gospel is a false Gospel. Any generic Gospel which leads a sinner to “trust in Jesus” is a false Gospel if it leaves out the cross that Jesus bled and died upon for our sins. You must accept the Biblical truth that Jesus died for your sins friend. Jesus was buried in a tomb, which officiated His death. And then, hallelujah, Jesus Christ arose from the dead triumphant three days later!!! That is the Gospel according to 1st Corinthians 15:1-4. There are many “gospels” being taught today which leave out the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Such a false Gospel (another Gospel) is “cursed” according to Galatians 1:7-9.

Many Will Seek to Enter Heaven, But Few Will Be Able

Biblical repentance is the recognition of my sinnership—the owning before God that I am as vile as He has declared me to be in His holy Word. God will forgive anybody who looks to Jesus to be saved, no matter how deep in sin you may be. The Word of God plainly teaches that eternal life is a FREE GIFT (Romans 5:15), paid for by Jesus' precious blood (1st Peter 1:18,19). Amen! Salvation is receiving, not giving. It is not what we do that saves us; but rather, what Christ has done for us in His work of redemption. Salvation is not doing your best, it is having Christ's best put to your account through receiving Him by faith. God will not save anyone who is trying to be saved, He will only save those who are trusting to be saved.

You need Christ's righteousness my friend. We all need Christ's righteousness to enter into the kingdom of God. Matthew 6:33 wonderfully teaches that we are saved by Jesus' IMPUTED righteousness and not by any self-righteousness of our own (for we have none to offer God). The word “impute” means “to pass to one’s account, to count over” It means that Christ's righteousness is placed upon our record when we trust upon Him...

Romans 4:4-5, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works.”

Romans 4:5 declares that God only saves bad people... THE UNGODLY! All men have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). If it were possible for a man to redeem himself, then Christ would not have had to enter the world and die on the cross. Jesus paid a debt that He did not owe, because we owed a debt that we could not pay.

Salvation is of the Lord, not man. A person does not have to stop living in sin to be saved, for that would make salvation a reward instead of a free gift. A changed life is the result of genuine repentance, and not a part of saving-faith (2nd Corinthians 5:17). We don't give up our sins to get saved; we give up our sins because WE ARE SAVED. God makes the change. Salvation is by grace through faith alone in Christ (Ephesians 2:8,9).

Pastor Ralph Yankee Arnold of the Calvary Community Church makes the following excellent Biblical statement...

“'You can't tell me you can trust Christ as Savior, and then go out here and live like the Devil, and still go to Heaven!' Yes, I can tell you that! That's what the Bible says. If you don't come to the conclusion, that—Yes, you can trust Christ as your Savior and live like the Devil, and still go to Heaven when you die—you don't get grace, because that is the exact truth! That is the truth! I do not have to change my life! I don't have to stop one sin! You say, 'I've never heard a preacher say that.' You just heard one! And you listen to me—I want to live as holy and as godly as I possibly can. I am now 70 years old. I've been saved for 52 years. ... the only reason I'm going to Heaven is because, 52 years ago in a little living room, I accepted Christ as my Savior.” —Pastor Ralph Yankee Arnold, a great quote from the awesome sermon, Calvinism And Grace Are NOT Compatible.” | MP3

Yes, that is very true! God's simple plan of salvation for mankind is without works. Jesus paid a debt on the cross which He did not owe, because we owed a debt of sin that we could not pay. We all deserve to burn in Hell for our own sins. But God in His unfeigned love showed mercy upon man, by sending His only begotten Son to be crucified on the cross for our sins.

Departing from a sinful lifestyle is a matter of discipleship, and not a matter of salvation. A man is saved simply by believing the Gospel. Anyone who adds the slightest bit of human effort to the Gospel has not yet received the new birth. Turning away from sinful bad habits is not a condition of salvation. Please listen to the awesome MP3 sermon titled, “Caught Between Grace And Works,” by Dr. Ralph Yankee Arnold.

Some religions today falsely teach that a person must be water baptized in order to go to Heaven. Other false prophets teach that a person is required to turn over a new leaf, amend their sinful ways, or give up the world in order to go to Heaven. That's not what the Bible teaches. We don't have to give up anything to be saved; God gave up His only begotten Son to pay our sin debt... 

John 3:16-18, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

If you have “just enough”... just enough faith to call (rely) upon the name of the Lord to be saved, then God promises to save you.

Romans 10:13,“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Some religions errantly require a person to observe the Sabbath, tithe, partake of Sacraments, do good works or join a certain religious denomination to go to Heaven. These are all lies of the Devil who is the father of all liars (John 8:44). Eternal life is a free gift (Romans 5:15; 6:23)... freely offered and freely received.

The truth of God's Word is that we need Jesus' righteousness in order to be saved and go to Heaven one day. This is because we have no righteousness of our own to offer God (Romans 3:10; James 2:10).  All we can offer God is our own self-righteousness, which is not acceptable to God (Isaiah 64:6).

We need Jesus' righteousness, which is by faith in Him alone for salvation...

“For he [God the Father] hath made him [Jesus the Son] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

Jesus became as sin for us, Who knew no sin...

1st Peter 1:21-22, “Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.”

It is tragic that so many people today openly reject Jesus as the Christ. They are choosing their own eternal doom (2nd Thessalonians 1:8-9). The Lord paid for their sins and eternal life is freely available to them. Jesus said, “ye will not come to me, that ye might have life” (John 5:40). Jesus didn't say 'ye cannot,' but rather, 'YE WILL NOT!'

John 1:10, “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.”

Jesus paid for our sins with His precious, literal, blood...

1st Peter 1:18-19,“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”

We read in Romans 10:3-4, "For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth."

Salvation is found ONLY in Jesus Christ! Would you like to be saved?

Admit that you are a GUILTY sinner, under the condemnation of God's Law, deserving of Hellfire.

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to forgive your sins.

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” —John 1:12

Christ died, that's history; Christ died for me, that's salvation!

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“The Gospel is not a call to repentance, or to amendment of our ways, to make restitution for past sins, or to promise to do better in the future. These things are proper in their place, but they do not constitute the Gospel; for the Gospel is not good advice to be obeyed, it is good news to be believed. Do not make the mistake then of thinking that the Gospel is a call to duty or a call to reformation, a call to better your condition, to behave yourself in a more perfect way than you have been doing in the past …

Nor is the Gospel a demand that you give up the world, that you give up your sins, that you break off bad habits, and try to cultivate good ones. You may do all these things, and yet never believe the Gospel and consequently never be saved at all.”

SOURCE: Pastor Harry A. Ironside, from the sermon: 'What Is The Gospel?'

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"In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ." —2nd Thessalonians 1:8

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