“God’s Righteousness” LATE MR. N. DANIEL
Phil. 3:6-9. If one is righteous he makes ten others righteous. Christian righteousness is different from other righteousnesses. Gandhi did not produce others like himself. He could not because he did not start at the cross. Some people are good, but they may not have heart-purity. They may go to church regularly and may not sin openly. Judaism also gave St. Paul a kind of righteousness. Hinduism and Muhammadanism also have certain kinds of righteousness. But that is not God's righteousness. There will be a breaking down before God when one realises he is a wretched man. Rom. 7:24 "O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" He will realise that he does not do anything according to the mind of the Spirit. When the mind of the Spirit comes to you, you will be broken. "All my good-deeds and goodness is of my own making. No good thing can come out of me" Rom. 7:18. There are certain wells where the surface of the water looks good. But a bad smell and dirt are at the bottom of the well. If you put in a long stick and stir the water, the dirt will surface.
A purifying spirit will come out of a broken man. He will say, "Every day I cry unto God." People might call you a thief. “Yes, brother I am a thief.” I do not thieve but I have a thieving nature in me. Nobody needs to tell me that I am a thief. The Holy Spirit shows me all that is within me.
When I came to Madras I was a stranger. Many preachers and leaders wrote to a friend of mine in England that I was leading a wicked life. That friend came to investigate the truth about me. He came and stayed with me for 6 months. I asked God if I was truly His. He answered me with Is. 48:15 "I, even I, have spoken; yea, I have called him: I have brought him, and he shall make his way prosperous." Thus He assured me that I belonged to Him. I deemed it a privilege for me to question God about where I stood in His sight. Many difficulties came my way. People did much harm to me. But God stood by me. There was a time when a rent of Rs. 135 (a big sum in those days) had to be paid every month. Many times I would be reduced to the last penny. Sometimes I would not even have small change to ride a bus to keep a preaching engagement. I praise God that we experienced such situations. People tried to find a job for me. But I wanted to test and see whether God would starve me after calling me out of a job. No! God stood by me.
I sought God's mind? I would not trust my mind. Have faith in Jesus who was broken for us and died for us. Non-Christians cannot have Christ. They do not know a broken heart and a contrite spirit. David prays in Ps. 51:17 "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.'' Is. 66:2 "For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.". How many of you tremble before God? In my youth I used to read the Bible on my knees. I took hold of the lines that spoke to me and prayed claiming them. I repeated those sentences before God and prayed, "O Lord help me like this. I do not have heart-purity. Help me. If I do not have heart-purity, what is the use of my preaching?" When I was preaching I would always search my heart. My heart would cry to God in the class room and in the games field.
Is your righteousness of faith from the cross? This piety (the righteousness of Christ) is not because of our worthiness. We are indeed most unworthy. But Jesus has taken away our unworthiness. We must stay broken and believe in His resurrection. John 6:27 How does the Bible get it’s value? Because of the Cross! It leads us to the Cross.
In other religions is there anyone who has died for sinners? Who has the power to forgive sins? Nobody! It is like going to a small creek and washing your feet. You will come out with more dirt on your feet. If we go to bigger streams and walk through then we will come out with some of the slush of the banks on our feet.
Without repentance do not pray for the Holy Spirit. You may think if you speak in tongues you are filled with Holy Spirit. But you are deceived. When the Holy Spirit comes you will be broken. He will convict you of sin. The Righteousness of Jesus you must receive. The Holy Spirit helps you in this. You must dig into you nature. Dig deep and discover what lies there- what the devil has put there! Perhaps the love for money is there. When you become pious and you become well known people give you money to be used for the glory of God. But you may tend to spend it on yourself. That money will ruin you and your children.
When I taught Algebra and English at school, I began to think, “cannot a Brahmin teach this?” Why should a man with an experience of God like me do this work? Before the call came to me I used to think that way. I liked teaching. I tried to speak of Christ through the poems I taught. I taught also many good things to the boys in my class. But I thought a Hindu could do that much. One day God called me. Now I am in God's will. I am happy. Your righteousness will be of God. Ps. 92:12-15. Some pray always. But their righteousness does not take hold of their children, because they did not start from the first principles - from the Cross. The righteousness in me is not mine, but it is Christ's.
John 6:63. When you accept the Cross, it will so crush the Word of God into mouthfuls you can digest. Thus God will feed you and give you the Holy Spirit. Your conviction will get deeper. The deeper your conviction you become more powerful in God's hands. Your holiness will be great. Christ's life will flow into you.
Every true Christian wants to digest the Bible. You read and meditate on it as you eat food. Josh. 1:8. Nobody will be able to conquer you. You will possess the promised land. Are you going to conquer? Or do you say, “I am holy and righteous. So do not touch me.” Some people with their own righteousness may come to you and learn your religious vocabulary. But be careful. Love them and tell them the truth about themselves. Ask them if they ever saw you dying for thirst while you followed God through the desert, or drowning in the Red sea or being bitten by snakes in the wilderness. Remember Sarah and Mary. Sarah did mislead Abraham once. But she later continued to follow the God whom Abraham followed. Then one day God asked Abraham to obey his wife. Do not despise Sarah. Once Sarah was behind Abraham but she came forward to lead Abraham. The first woman revivalist of the Fellowship Jemima's body was burnt by the fire of the Holy Spirit. I never saw flesh in her.