About Christ Our Righteousness
God is naturally righteous. Man is naturally unrighteous. Unless
a person is born again spiritually from above, he cannot see nor
enter the kingdom of heaven. The blood of Christ cleanses us from
He now becomes dead to sin and alive to righteousness. Rom.6:13
God is 100% love
"God so loved the world that He gave
His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not
perish but have everlasting life."---John 3:16
God is 100% just [ righteous ]
- "And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.---Hebrews 9:27 The judgment takes place in heaven.---Psalms 73:17 There is no shortage of false teachers today who will try to tell you that Jesus was judged for you on the cross and therefore no more judgment for the Christians. The Bible tells us otherwise.
- A God that is fully just, can be trusted completely. A
person who trust himself into the hands of God and His Christ
will find all his sins not only forgiven. The gift of the Holy
Spirit gives us plenty of power to overcome temptation and
- Why sinful man needs the gospel of Christ
" For the wrath is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness."---Romans 1:18.
- The unrighteous look for good in themselves and for evil in others. It is impossible for such to repent, unless they are brought to a knowledge of their sinfulness and cease to judge others. The world is so utterly perverse and Satan is so heinously wicked that he cannot allow any good work to be done, but he must persecute it. For whatsoever is of God is bound to be crucified by the world. "For all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."---2.Tim.3:12
Sin is the violation of the 10 Commandments [1.John 3:4; Romans
7:7-14. And after Jesus quoted 2 of the Ten Commandments and showed
their spirituality, He said: "Unless your
righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees, ye shall in no case
enter the kingdom of heaven."---Matthew 5:20.
Q.: How then can we exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees who were very strict in their morals? The New Testament Covenant ensures that God Himself writes love for His holy, moral and spiritual law into our hearts and mind. See Hebrews 8
In Romans 8 we read: Because the carnal
mind is enmity against God: for it is not subjected to the law of
God, neither indeed can be."---verse 7
Not only is the carnal or earthly mind not subjected to the holy law of God, but also in enmity. Friendship with the world is also enmity with God [James 4:4] and we must detach ourselves from the world first before we can be joined to Christ. Union with Him alone will save us from sin.
Christ's righteousness is of the law
"For what the law could not do, in that it
was weakened by the flesh God sending His own Son in the likeness of
sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit."---Romans 8:3,4.
We must ask God to give us His Holy Spirit through which we receive Christ's righteousness of the law of morals and so overcome our enmity against it.
doers of the law will be justified
"For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified."---Romans 2:13
You can search any comments of Dr. Martin Luther and you will not find a single comment on the above verse, why? For the same reason that he despised the apostle James. Luther could not see that the N.T. Covenant takes care of the sin problem by writing love for God and His holy law inside us. It does not save, but we cannot be saved without it.
"And she shall bring forth a son, and you
shall call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their
Save His people [you must belong to Jesus] in their sins? No, from their sins which is the violation/transgression of the law of morals.
"You see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only."---James 2:24
James could see that the Gospel advocates were pushing justification and giving lip service to the plan of salvation.
The story is told of a man who suicided because he felt that he
never was good enough to stand before God in the judgment. It is
true, we are never good enough. How sad, because he failed to accept
Jesus as his personal Savior from sin. He missed the new birth or
either, he was baptized into Christ's death alive. [Romans 6].
The judgment is good news for the Christian when like Paul we can say: I have fought a good fight*, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous judge shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all unto them also that love His appearing."---2.Timothy 4:7,8.
* note here that faith is a fight that has to be fought, yet it is Jesus Christ our Lord who is the Author and Finisher of our faith.
Christ was murdered by His church because they were jealous of His high morals. The Ana-Baptists were murdered by the Roman Catholics and the Lutherans because the Baptists had high moral standards that provoked those with lower morals. Sabbath keeping Christians will soon be murdered because they also have a higher moral standard than all other Christian bodies.
Christ is God
Some people may think that Christ is the surname. Not so, we may call Him Lord Jesus or the Christ. Jesus said: "For the Father raises up the dead, and quickens them, even so the Son quickens whom He will. For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment unto the Son; that all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honors not the Son honors not the Father which has sent Him." ---John 5:21-23. To Christ is committed the highest prerogative, that of judging. He must receive the same honor that is due to God, and for the reason that Jesus Christ is God. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only- begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.---John 1:1,14.
Jesus was always one with the Father from eternity, but when He
came to us in human flesh, His divinity had to veiled and hidden.
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be on His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Councilor, The mighty God, the everlasting Father, The prince of peace."---Isaiah 9:6.
" Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel." [meaning God with us].---Ibid 7:14.
Several new testament verses tell us that Jesus is also the God of the old testament such as 1.Cor.10:4; Col.1:16; Heb. 1:2,8.
So when Psalms 50:6 says that God is judge, it refers to our Lord Jesus Christ as we have seen above where the Father has committed all judgment unto the Son.
When Philip said to Jesus, "Show us the Father, and it will be enough for us," Jesus replied: "Have I been so long time with you, and yet has thou not known Me, Philip? He that has seen Me has seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? " I and the Father are one."---John 14:8,8; 10:30.
Jesus made this statement to the Jews:
"Before Abraham was, I am."
And when Moses asked God to tell him His name, He said: "I AM THAT I AM."---John 8:58
And, finally, we have the inspired words of the apostle Paul concerning Jesus Christ, that "it pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell." Col 1:19. What this fullness is, which dwells in Christ, we learn from the next chapter, where we are told that "in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." Col 2:9. This is most absolute and unequivocal testimony to the fact that Christ possesses by nature all the attributes of Divinity. The fact of the Divinity of Christ will also appear very distinctly as we proceed to consider CHRIST AS CREATOR.
Immediately following the oft-quoted text which says that Christ, the Word, is God, we read that "all things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. "John 1:3. Comment cannot make this statement any clearer than it is, therefore we pass to the words of Heb. 1:1-4: "God . . . hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His Person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; being made so much better than the angels, as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they."
Still more emphatic than this are the words of the apostle Paul to the Colossians. Speaking of Christ as the One through whom we have redemption, he describes Him as the One "who is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature; for by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities or powers; all things were created by Him, and for Him; and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist." Col 1:15-17.
This wonderful text should be carefully studied and often contemplated. It leaves not a thing in the universe that Christ did not create. He made everything in heaven, and everything on earth; He made everything that can be seen, and everything that cannot be seen; the thrones and dominions, and the principalities and the powers in heaven, all depend upon Him for existence. and as He is before all things, and their Creator, so by Him do all things consist, or hold together. This is equivalent to what is said in Heb. 1:3, that He upholds all things by the word of His power. It was by a word that the heavens were made; and that same word holds them in their place, and preserves them from destruction.
We cannot possibly omit in this connection Isa 40:25, 26: "To whom then will ye liken Me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number; He calleth them all by names by the greatness of His might, for that He is strong in power; not one faileth." Or, as the Jewish translation more forcibly renders it, "from Him, who is great in might, and strong in power, not one escapeth." That Christ is the Holy One who thus calls the host o heaven by name, and holds them in their place, is evident from other portions of the same chapter. He is the One before whom it was said, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God." He is the One who comes with a strong hand, having His reward with Him; the One who, like a shepherd, feeds His flock, carrying the lambs in His bosom.
One more statement concerning Christ as Creator must suffice. It is the testimony of the Father Himself. In the first chapter of Hebrews, we read that God has spoken to us by His Son; that He said of Him, "Let all the angels of God worship Him;" that of the angels He saith, "Who maketh His angels spirits, and His ministers a flame of fire," but that He says to the Son, "Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Thy kingdom;" and God says further: "Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands." Heb. 1:8-10. Here we find the Father addressing the Son as God, and saying to Him, Thou hast laid the foundations of the earth; and the heavens are the work of Thy hands. When the father Himself gives this honour to the Son, what is man, that he should withhold it? With this we may well leave the direct testimony concerning the divinity of Christ, and the fact that He is the Creator of all things.
A word of caution may be necessary here. Let no one imagine that we would exalt Christ at the expense of the Father, or would ignore the Father. That cannot be, for their interests are one. We honour the Father in honouring the Son. We are mindful of Paul's words, that "to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him" (1 Cor. 8:6); just as we have already quoted, that it was by Him that God made the worlds. All things proceed ultimately from God, the father; even Christ Himself proceeded and came forth from the Father; but it has pleased the father that in Him should all fullness dwell, and that He should be the direct, immediate Agent in every act of creation. Our object in this investigation is to set forth Christ's rightful position of equality with the father, in order that His power to redeem may be the better appreciated.
IS CHRIST A CREATED BEING?
Before passing to some of the practical lessons that are to be learned from these truths, we must dwell for a few moments upon an opinion that is honestly held by many who would not for any consideration willingly dishonour Christ, but who, through that opinion, do actually deny His Divinity. It is the idea that Christ is a created being, who, through the good-pleasure of God, was elevated to His present lofty position. No one who holds this view can possibly have any just conception of the exalted position which Christ really occupies.
The view in question is built upon a misconception of a single text, Rev 3:14: "And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write: These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the Beginning of the creation of God." This is wrongly interpreted to mean that Christ is the first being that God created; that God's work of creation began with Him. But this view antagonizes the scripture which declares that Christ Himself created all things. To say that God began His work of creation by creating Christ is to leave Christ entirely out of the work of creation.
The word rendered "beginning" is arché, meaning, as well, "head" or "chief." It occurs in the name of the Greek ruler, Archon, in archbishop, and the word archangel. Take this last word. Christ is the Archangel. See Jude 9; 1 Thess. 4:16; John 5:28, 29; Dan 10:21 This does not mean that He is the first of the angels, for He is not an angel, but is above them. Heb. 1:4. It means that He is the chief or prince of the angels, just as an archbishop is the head of the bishops. Christ is the commander of the angels. see Rev 19:11-14. He created the angels. Col 1:16. And so the statement that He is the beginning or head of the creation of God, means that in Him creation had its beginning; that, as He Himself says, He is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Rev 21:6; 22:13. He is the source whence all things have their origin.
Neither should we imagine that Christ is a creature, because Paul calls Him (Col 1:15) "the First-born of every creature;" for the very next verses show Him to be Creator, and not a creature. "For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by Him, and for Him; and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist." Now if He created everything that was ever created, and existed before all created things, it is evident that He Himself is not among created things. He is above all creation, and not a part of it.
The Scriptures declare that Christ is "the only-begotten Son of God." He is begotten, not created. As to when He was begotten, it is not for us to inquire, nor could our minds grasp it if we were told. The prophet Micah tells us all that we can know about it, in these words: "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from the days of eternity." Micah 5:2, margin. There was a time when Christ proceeded forth and came from God, from the bosom of the Father (John 8:41; 1:18), but that time was so far back in the days of eternity that to finite comprehension it is practically without beginning.
But the point is that Christ is a begotten Son, and not a created subject. He has by inheritance a more excellent Name than the angels; He is "a Son over His own house." Heb. 1:4; 3:6. And since He is the only-begotten son of God, He is of the very substance and nature of God, and possesses by birth all the attributes of God; for the father was pleased that His Son should be the express image of His Person, the brightness of His glory, and filled with all the fullness of the Godhead. So He has "life in Himself;" He possesses immortality in His own right, and can confer immortality upon others. Life inheres in Him, so that it cannot be taken from Him; but, having voluntarily laid it down, He can take it again. His words are these: "Therefore doth My father love Me, because I lay down My life, that I might take it again. No man takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of My Father." John 10:17, 18.
If anyone springs to the old cavil, how Christ could be immortal and yet die, we have only to say that we do not know. We make no pretensions of fathoming infinity. We cannot understand how Christ could be God in the beginning, sharing equal glory with the Father, before the world was, and still be born a babe in Bethlehem. The mystery of the crucifixion and resurrection is but the mystery of the incarnation. We cannot understand how Christ could be God and still become man for our sake. We cannot understand how He could create the world from nothing, nor how He can raise the dead, nor yet how it is that He works by His Spirit in our own hearts; yet we believe and know these things. It should be sufficient for us to accept as true those things which God has revealed, without stumbling over things that the mind of an angel cannot fathom. So we delight in the infinite power and glory which the Scriptures declare belong to Christ, without worrying our finite minds in a vain attempt to explain the infinite.
Finally, we know the Divine unity of the Father and the Son from the fact that both have the same Spirit. Paul, after saying that they that are in the flesh cannot please God, continues: "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His." Rom 8:9. Here we find that the Holy Spirit is both the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ. Christ "is in the bosom of the Father;" being by nature of the very substance of God, and having life in Himself, He is properly called Jehovah, the self-existent One, and is thus styled in Jer. 23:56, where it is said that the righteous Branch, who shall execute judgment, and justice in the earth, shall be known by the name of Jehovah-tsidekenu -- THE LORD, OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Let no one, therefore, who honours Christ at all, give Him less honour than he gives the father, for this would be to dishonour the father by just so much; but let all, with the angels in heaven, worship the Son, having no fear that they are worshiping and serving the creature instead of the Creator.
And now, while the matter of Christ's divinity is fresh in our minds, let us pause to consider the wonderful story of His humiliation.
GOD MANIFEST IN THE FLESH
"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." John 1:14
No words could more plainly show that Christ was both God and man. Originally only Divine, He took upon Himself human nature, and passed among men as only a common mortal, except at those times when His Divinity flashed through, as on the occasion of the cleansing of the temple, or when His burning words of simple truth forced even His enemies to confess that "never man spake like this man."
The humiliation which Christ voluntarily took upon Himself is best expressed by Paul to the Philippians: "Have this mind in you which was also in Christ Jesus; who being originally in the form of God, counted it not a thing to be grasped [that is, to be clung to] to be on an equality with God, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, becoming in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross." Phil 2:5-8, Revised Version, marginal reading.
The above rendering makes this text much more plain than it is in the common version. The idea is that, although Christ was in the form of God, being "the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His Person" (Heb. 1:3), having all the attributes of God, being the ruler of the universe, and the One whom all Heaven delighted to honour, He did not think that any of these things were to be desired, so long as men were lost and without strength. He could not enjoy His glory while man was an outcast, without hope. So He emptied Himself, divested Himself of all His riches and His glory, and took upon Himself the nature of man, in order that He might redeem him. And so we may reconcile Christ's unity with the Father with the statement, "My Father is greater than I."
It is impossible for us to understand how Christ could, as God, humble Himself to the death of the cross, and it is worse than useless for us to speculate about it. All we can do is to accept the facts as they are presented in the Bible. If the reader finds it difficult to harmonize some of the statements in the Bible concerning the nature of Christ, let him remember that it would be impossible to express it in terms that would enable finite minds to grasp it fully. Just as the grafting of the Gentiles into the stock of Israel is contrary to nature, so much of the Divine economy is a paradox to human understanding.
Other scriptures that we will quote bring closer to us the fact of the humanity of Christ, and what it means for us. We have already read that "the Word was made flesh," and now we will read what Paul says concerning the nature of that flesh: "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the weakness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Rom 8:3, 4
A little thought will be sufficient to show anybody that if Christ took upon Himself the likeness of man, in order that He might redeem man, it must have been sinful man that He was made like, for it is sinful man that He came to redeem. Death could have no power over a sinless man, as Adam was in Eden; and it could not have had any power over Christ, if the Lord had not laid on Him the iniquity of us all. Moreover, the fact that Christ took upon Himself the flesh, not of a sinless being, but of sinful man, that is, that the flesh which He assumed had all the weaknesses and sinful tendencies to which fallen human nature is subject, is shown by the statement that He "was made of the seed of David according to the flesh." David had all the passions of human nature. He says of himself, "Behold, I was shaped in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me." Ps 52:5
The following statement in the book of Hebrews is very clear on this point:----
"For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham. ["For verily not of angels doth He take hold, but He takes hold of the seed of Abraham." Revised version.] Wherefore in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in thing pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted." Heb. 2:16-18
If He was made in all things like unto His brethren, then He must have suffered all the infirmities, and been subject to all the temptations, of His brethren. Two more texts that put this matter very forcibly will be sufficient evidence on this point. We first quote 2 Cor. 5:21:--
"For He [God] hath made Him [Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him."
This is much stronger than the statement that He was made "in the likeness of sinful flesh." He was made to be sin. Here is the same mystery as that the Son of God should die. The spotless Lamb of God, who knew no sin, was made to be sin. Sinless, yet not only counted as a sinner, but actually taking upon Himself sinful nature. He was made to be sin in order that we might be made righteousness. So Paul says to the Galatians that "God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons." Gal 4:4, 5