JESUS CHRIST: The Fulfillment of the Promises of God Part 7 of 9: The Lord our Righteousness
2Corinthians 1:19, 20 (EMTV): “19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us––by me [Paul], Silvanus, and Timothy––was not "Yes and no," but in Him was "Yes." 20 For all the promises of God in Him are "Yes," and in Him "Amen," to the glory of God through us.”
The Jehovah titles disclose what God is toward His people, His loving characteristics as the Creator, in provisional relationship to His creation. As God was Jehovah to the nation of Israel, so He is Jehovah to us, His covenant people today, through the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In our study of the Jehovah titles we are on the seventh as they appear in scripture. Jehovah-Tsidkenu is The Lord our Righteousness.
The title "The Lord our Righteousness", Jehovah-Tsidkenu in the Hebrew, is used in Jeremiah 23:5-6:
- “5 Behold, the days come, saith Jehovah, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is his name whereby he shall be called: the LORD our righteousness [Jehovah-Tsidkenu]."
To better understand what is meant by "The Lord our Righteousness" let us first examine the two kinds of righteousness:
- The righteousness which is of the law.
- The righteousness which is of faith.
- Romans 10:5-10 - "5 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. 6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) 7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) 8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
1. "The righteousness which is of the Law"
For Israel, under the Old Covenant of the Law, doing rightly was required for righteousness:
- Deuteronomy 12:25: "Thou shalt not eat it; that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, when thou shalt do that which is right in the sight of the LORD."
- Deuteronomy 12:28: "Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the LORD thy God."
- Deuteronomy 13:18: "When thou shalt hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep all his commandments which I command thee this day, to do that which is right in the eyes of the LORD thy God."
- Deuteronomy 6:25: "And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us."
Apart from Christ we also might ask as in Job 25:4, "How then can man be justified with 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."
- Galatians 2:21: "I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain."
2. "The righteousness which is of faith"
Righteousness is no longer based upon what man does or doesn't do. Righteousness is now based on believing what God says about Christ and what was accomplished for us at Calvary.
The Promised Gospel delivered by the Apostle Paul reveals the wonderful truth that righteousness has been freely provided for us by God through the “Branch’s” atoning death:
- Romans 3:21-24: "21But 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 [between the nation of Israel and all other nations]: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
God has made a gracious declaration, and it is bursting as a sunrise over the devastation of our sins. God's declaration throughout Paul's letters about "the righteousness which is of faith." Our awesome Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ our Lord did all the work to purchase this gift of righteousness for us. Our part is simply to accept the gift.
- Romans 10:10: "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
- Romans3:28: "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law."
We have been justified by God and are therefore now righteous in Christ. Some people may ask, exactly what does this mean? Well, according to the Scriptures, to be righteous in Christ means that, according to God's judgment, He does not hold sin against us. Moreover, He sees us in Christ as having kept His law and being exactly as we should be. To be righteous in Christ means that God pronounces a verdict from His holy throne of perfect justice. That verdict is, "You are innocent, you are cleared from sin, you are pardoned, you are not guilty, you are free". To be righteous in Christ means that the basis for God's judgment declaring us innocent is not found in any other work or merit except the accomplished work and the merit of Jesus Christ on our behalf at Calvary.
Fruit of Righteousness:
As an apple tree produces the fruit of apples, a righteous branch produces the fruit of righteousness:
- Philippians 1:11: "Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God."
- 2Corinthians 6:7: "By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
- Romans 8:10b: "the Spirit is life because of righteousness."
The "life" spoken of here in Romans 8:10b is life with God. This is the boiled down purpose of God making us righteous in Christ. God desires partnership with us in all of life. He presently finds it in those who believe His good news concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
- Romans 8:1: "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus."
- Hebrews 4:16: "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."
- 1John 1:3: "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ."
Blessings of the Righteous:
- Psalms 5:12: "For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield."
- Psalms 37:16: "A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked."
- Psalms 37:17: "For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous."
- Psalms 37:25: "I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread."
- Psalms 34:19: "Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all."
- Proverbs 12:28: "In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death."
- Proverbs 14:9: "Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour."
- Proverbs 28:1: "The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion."
As we accept this wonderful truth about being righteous in Christ we will quit striving to make ourselves right before God and others. We have already been made righteousness in Christ. We can't get any more righteous than that. So when we are aware that our thoughts have drifted to guilt and condemnation, shame or inferiority and such, we bring our thoughts back to the truth of Christ’s death in our behalf. Our own works didn’t achieve our state of being made righteous before God in any way. The best of our righteous works won’t maintain this state for us either. Our position before God rests on the accomplished works of the Lord Jesus Christ. In him all the promises of God find their yes and amen.
- Romans 5:8-21: "8 But God commendeth [demonstrates] His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by HIS life. 11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. 12 Wherefore, as by one man's [Adam's] sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: 13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come [Jesus Christ]. 15 But not as the offense, so also is the FREE GIFT. For if through the offense of one [Adam] 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 [Adam] that sinned, so is the GIFT: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the FREE GIFT is of many offenses unto justification. 17 For if by one man's [Adam's] offense 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 offense of one [Adam] 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 [Jesus Christ] shall many BE MADE righteous. 20 Moreover the law entered, that the offense 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."