“Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivers from death.” Proverbs 10:2
There are three types of righteousness but only one which God will accept.
“The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank You, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.” Luke 18:11
Relative righteousness compares one with another and is nothing more than self righteousness.
“I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.” Luke 18:12
Works righteousness is rampant in the modern church. There are many who perform wonderful works in the Name of Jesus but Whom Jesus Himself does not know (Matthew 7:21-23). None of these works are required to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven but many believe their works merit righteousness. Cain’s works based righteousness was squarely rejected by God. Even the unredeemed have a works based righteousness. Just as the worldly system’s works based righteousness does not deliver them from death; neither does the religious system’s works based righteousness deliver from death.
“And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto Heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.” Luke 18:13
Imputed righteousness is given freely by God and is the ONLY righteousness God can accept. Those who have accepted the atoning work of Jesus Christ as their means of Salvation are imputed HIS righteousness…not our own. The righteousness of Jesus Christ cannot be earned and neither can it be measured but is freely given when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour.
“18 Forasmuch as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious Blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, 21 Who by Him do believe in God, that raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.” 1 Peter 1:18-21
The believing sinner is washed in the Blood of Christ, Who was foreordained before the foundation of the world. The Child of God is washed because Jesus loves us; He does not love us because we are washed. Jesus imputed HIS righteousness unto the Believer as the Sacrificial Lamb of God, that we may be delivered from eternal death. It is our faith in Jesus Christ and Him crucified which justifies us before God. It is vanity to believe our good works, even though they may be Scriptural, gains us righteousness with God.
There is a righteousness which delivers from death…but it is imputed righteousness; the only righteousness God can accept. This righteousness comes by faith in the Son of God, Jesus Christ. We are given access to this righteousness by means of the Cross of Christ. Jesus is the Source and His Cross the means by which the Believer is imputed righteousness.
Jesus Christ and Him crucified…be determined to know nothing else.
-Donna Clark Warren