“The Righteousness of Christ”                                         Late Mr. N. Daniel


Isaiah 57:11-21

"I will declare thy righteousness, what it is; thy works shall not profit thee", says God. There may be people who appreciate our life, but God will finally give the verdict. There are three types of righteousness: 1. The righteousness which we inherit through faith in Jesus Christ; 2. The righteousness that is the result of Christian habits and discipline; 3. The righteousness of the heathen. Among the heathen, there are peo­ple who lead good lives according to their understanding. The righteousness of faith is completely different from that. However good heathen people may be, their righteousness has no foundation. So when much is at stake, they will not hesitate to speak a lie or do something wrong. Those who worship idols deaden their con­science. Their spiritual eyes get closed like the idols' eyes. Their hearts cannot comprehend the truth of God. Yet they consider themselves to be righteous. Nobody can contradict them. This right­eousness will not avail before God.

The righteousness that comes through Christian discipline alone, is an unfruitful righteousness. Lot had such righteousness. In our country, the first converts to Christianity found Christ through faith, but the children of the second and third genera­tions find themselves without faith. They go to church regularly, they read their Bibles and pray and do some good things, but they do not have the righteousness of faith. They will merge with the people around them. They yield to the influences of the company they keep. They are like clouds without rain. Their heart is not moved when they see people perishing around them. They may be highly educated and very capable in their work. But all their efforts will be to their own gain and comfort. They are not moved by concern for others.

I Cor. 10:24 “Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth.” Those who belong to this group of people are not burdened about the spiritual life of the Church, nor are they grieved that their children do not have the righteousness of faith. If their life runs smoothly, they are satisfied. Because their righteous­ness has no foundation, their children grow up to be overcome by the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eye and the pride of life. Then the parents wake up and lament saying, “We did bring up our children well. Why then have such things taken place?” They ques­tion God as to why things should go wrong when they were careful to lead a righteous life.

Those who have the righteousness of faith are never satisfied with food and clothes and material comfort. They are grieved that they have no strength to lead people to Christ. Abraham taught his son righteousness. It was the righteousness of faith. Isaiah 57:13 “But he that putteth his trust in me shall possess the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain.” Those that possess God's holy mountain are those who speak the truth in their hearts and who will not seek vanity or practice any kind of deceit. They have clean hands and a pure heart. Such will possess the land. Possessing the land means leading people to God, and not buying lands for themselves. They will be able to help men who have been created in the image of God to give their hearts to Him. God will occupy their hearts. They will possess God's holy mountain through their life of prayer. Out of their prayer-life will flow rivers of life for many to drink. The man from whom rivers of life will flow, will possess the land. People will turn for help to those whose life and witness brings hope to their despairing hearts. If your righteousness began with your being born again, and if it has grown through your study of the Word and prayer of faith, you will possess God's holy mountain. From this mountain you will shed tears for perishing souls and you will gain those souls. John the Baptist lived in the wilderness and from there he possessed the land. People from the towns and cities went to hear him and receive his help. Where the Word of God is preached by revelation, there life will spring forth.

“Prepare ye the way; Remove the stumbling blocks on the way of my people”, says God. This is what a man of God should do. He should help to remove that which hinders people from coming to God. He who preaches against sin is preparing the way. John the Baptist rebuked adultery in King Herod, and thus prepared the way for Jesus. John the Baptist lost his life, but he pre­pared the way. Isaiah 57:15 “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” The Lord revives those who are break­ing with longing for God and His righteousness. God will give them strong righteousness. He does not keep His anger forever. If He did so, men could not bear it. He is a God of grace and mercy. His punishments are mild but His love is very strong, and many times greater than His anger. Deuteronomy 9:5 “Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” We have received our righteousness through Christ. But, we should never think that our righteousness has reached the level of Christ's righteousness. Because we have trusted in Jesus, God does not consider the imperfection of our righteousness but blesses us and uses us in order to encourage us and strengthen us. Our righteousness is still very imperfect. But God does not look at our imperfe­ctions. He deals with us as if our righteousness is perfect. As long as we maintain a broken and contrite spirit, God considers our righteousness equal to that of Jesus' righteousness. How is this possible? When with a humble spirit you are acknowledging your failure in His presence, you are being weighed but not found wanting because God has determined to heal you and perfect you. God says, “I will comfort them that mourn in Zion.” Are you able to hold the righteousness God has given you? Measure yourself against the righteousness of Christ!