Righteousness by Faith
The word righteousness means right doing. The scriptures teach us that the redeemed are justified, or in plainer words, the redeemed are counted free of all guilt and pardoned for all sins. This can justly be done because Christ died the death we deserve, and the record of His spotless - sinless life is placed next to our name in the record books of Heaven. Christ's righteousness or obedience is imputed to us, or we may say put to our account. Thus we receive Righteousness by Faith. This righteousness is the perfect obedience, of God in the flesh, to God's holy law, put to our account. It is called Righteousness by Faith. We believe and receive all that is necessary to save us as a gift. In actuality it is, and always has been the Righteousness or right doing of God that saves lost sinful men.
Beloved, modern heathenism rules both in the world and in Christendom in these the last moments of earth's existence. The belief that mankind can be saved based on his good conduct, or anything else he can do, is heathenism. No human power or methods can change the sinful spirit, mind, heart, and nature of mankind which is evil. This can only be done by the righteousness or right doing of God in us and on our account. The Bible declares concerning God's professed people - the Israel of old, "they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God." Rom 10:3. The perfect righteousness which lawfully gives me the right to be justified, or stand sinless before God, is the gift of God's righteousness placed to my account in heaven. This is imputed righteousness, and it is my title to heaven. Through imputed righteousness which is living,- for it is a person of infinite power, comes imparted righteousness. Imparted righteousness is God the Holy Spirit's right doing in me. Therefore, what is placed next to my name in heaven is at the same time lived out in me and for me in the person of God the Holy Spirit. Imputed righteousness is our title to heaven, and is God's right doing for us and given to us as the perfect complete gift of saving righteousness. Imparted righteousness is God's work in us, and by His power He recreates us and lives out in us the same righteousness put to our account in heaven. Imparted righteousness is thus our fitness for heaven. It is us obeying God's law of love!
In Rom. 1:16-17 we find a definition of what the gospel is. It records, "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, as it is written, the just shall live by faith". In this clear definition we see revealed, that the gospel is the power of God in which the righteousness or right doing of God is revealed for us and in us. And we receive all this righteousness of God imputed and imparted by faith.
Paul, one of the Bible writers relates to us which righteousness or whose righteousness he received after he had paid the price of forsaking all. We read in Phil 3:8-9, "Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 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."
Beloved, the righteousness which is of God by faith is both perfect for us and perfect in us. When we are born again, the holy record declares that we are spiritual infants; we are babies in Christ. The perfect righteousness or obedience lived by God in the flesh is imputed to us, or we may say a perfect righteousness is given to us through faith as a gift which covers us while we stumble along, learn, grow and mature in righteousness. We are covered or accounted perfectly righteous in infancy and during the entire growth process. As God progressively imparts righteousness, we are covered with the gift of His perfect righteousness thus we stand justified or accounted sinless throughout the entire growth process. In Rom. 4:3-8 we find holy enlightenment on this great provision provided for us in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Let's look at it step by step, verse 3 says, "For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness." Here we see that the gift of the righteousness that saves is put to our account because we through faith believe in the power and right doing of God to save us. Now in verse 4 and 5 we read, "Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly his faith is counted for righteousness." In these two texts it is simply explaining to us that no one will or can be saved based on how well they kept the law of love. And for all persons seeking to earn eternity by good works they will in the end receive the reward of debt or death. It is revealed in these text that God by the gift of His own righteousness which He places as a gift to your account, justifies the ungodly. By faith, we the ungodly are counted righteous, and the internal work done in us by the Holy Spirit to make us right doers is begun. In verse 6-8 we see unfolded the work of mercy and grace in the right doing of God, which assures us salvation all during the entire growth process in learning to be Christlike, and learning to live the self sacrificing self-denying law of love. Understand here the difference in mercy and grace. Mercy is God not giving you what you deserve. Grace is God giving you what you don't deserve. The Holy record says, "Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin." This is truly a blessed reality. The fact is God imputes His righteousness to us; which we don't deserve, that is grace. And according to His great mercy, God does not - God will not impute our sins to our account all the years we are growing in grace and righteousness. Now that's mercy. The working together of grace and mercy enables the inspired Bible writer to declare that our iniquities are forgiven and our sins are covered, for blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. The babe in Christ will fall often and cry in repentance, yet by the grace and mercy of God nothing is ever held against him, and the perfect righteousness of God unceasingly is recorded to his account.
As wonderful and beautiful as the doctrine of righteousness by faith is, we see in Christendom that Satan through blind and evil men have perverted this blessedness. Professed Christians now feel at liberty to sin. Professing to be saved, too many live in willful and deliberate iniquity, falsely assured that the grace of God will excuse their love of bondage to sin. Modern day professed Christians don't want the gospel of Christ and the Bible which is deliverance from sin and freedom from living in sin. They want a new gospel or another gospel which is freedom to sin, and freedom to love the world and the things of the world, and freedom to embrace the love of money which is the root of all evil.
One thing of absolute certainty is that professed Christians may lie to themselves and others but it is an impossibility to lie to God. God reads the heart. God is the Father of born again spirits. Gods knows those who do as the Bible commands and, "strive unto blood resisting against sin." God knows who loves darkness rather than light. God knows who are the hypocrites, half-hearted, money loving, and world lovers, who want this world and heaven also. Many professed Christians want the crown but they do not want to bear their cross. They love sin, practice sin, and make excuses for their life of sin, while they make strict obedience to the law of love a small and unimportant matter. To all such these are the words you are promised by God to hear one day, "depart from me I never knew you, you are a worker of iniquity".
The righteousness which is of God by faith is wholistic. It is our title to heaven and our fitness for heaven. It is imputed righteousness which is absolutely perfect, put next to our name on the record books in heaven. Without exception what God puts to your account He performs in you. If righteousness is genuinely imputed, it is also always automatically progressively imparted. Faith works. The true gospel creates Christ within. God's righteousness imputed bears the fruit of God's righteousness imparted in us. As Eph 4:24 declares that by the grace and mercy of God we "put on the new man which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." According to the scriptures this is accomplished as Gal 2:20 reveals, and we read ,"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live: yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the son of God who loved me, and gave himself for me".