Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Doctrine of Righteousness

This month we are looking at "Salvation". The first two weeks were spent addressing certain foundational concepts that will help us understand Salvation in-depth. Last week, we began bringing Resolution to the traditional man-made definition of grace ("unmerited favor") and the non-contradictory Biblical definition: "the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life".

This week we will look at implications of these two definitions of grace. Yesterday, we looked at how "unmerited favor" is based on the premise that Salvation is attained through lack of sin. Today, we will look at Righteousness...

Here is an excerpt from The Sequel:

However, the Bible said Salvation actually depends on Righteousness. I call this “The Doctrine of Righteousness”.

“For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:20)

Righteousness results in going to heaven. Look at the previously listed verses from Romans:

"For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through 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)

"For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth." (Romans 10:4)

"Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law." (Romans 13:8)

"Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law." (Romans 13:10)

Notice, Jesus said that Righteousness is what allows you to enter into the kingdom of heaven. Righteousness is not the same as lack of sin. Everyone sins, yet not everyone makes it to heaven. However, everyone who is Righteous makes it to heaven!

Righteousness is based on “achieve gain”. Righteousness is profitability. Again, this is God’s metric! There are two types of righteousness. There is righteousness that comes from us and leads to Reward. I represent this with a little “r”. There is Righteousness that comes from God through grace and leads to Salvation. I represent this with a capital “R”.

Remember, Reward and Salvation are completely separate. That’s why our righteousness is like dirty rags when compared to the Righteousness that leads to Salvation.

There are numerous examples in the Bible where profitability and Righteousness were equated with Salvation. Here are a few:

“Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” (John 15:2)

“And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 25:30)

“I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” (Isaiah 61:10)

“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:10)

“Mine eyes fail for thy salvation, and for the word of thy righteousness.” (Psalm 119:123)

“Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it.” (Isaiah 45:8)

Grace results in profitability. Grace is God’s Righteousness and it exceeds the righteousness of the Pharisees. God wants us to take direction from Him even if we make a mistake! God would have us be HOT or COLD. God’s Will for our lives is to be profitable. You cannot get to heaven by focusing on not sinning…you need Righteousness!

In fact, in our dispensation, we OUGHT NOT judge others. We OUGHT NOT focus on sin!

“Therefore thou are inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.” (Romans 2:1)

“Judge not, that ye be not judged.” (Matthew 7:1)

“Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:5)

“Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.” (Romans 14:13)

Paul said the only thing we OUGHT to judge is when someone attempts to cause someone else to fall. Notice, this is a focus on the exchange (source of profitability), not the individual. Jesus said we OUGHT not judge and even when we see something wrong, the objective OUGHT to be fix ourselves so that we can help someone else…not judge someone else.

God values and measures profitability…not appearance (IS). Tradition leads to unprofitability and contradictions. Profitability is the effect of grace. It is Righteousness. The Pharisees focused on sin…on judging the appearance. That actually limits profitability…and Righteousness…and Salvation.

The non-contradictory Biblical Doctrine of grace focuses the believer on Righteousness. Salvation is attained by having Righteousness. Basically, the goal is to attain "Profitable" status. This can ONLY be attained by choosing to let God do the Righteousness through you.

Ultimately, this mentality is going to result in the individual being HOT/COLD...AND making mistakes! This is going to result in sin...NOT because of God but because we aren't perfect at hearing God.

Remember, "IS" is the mentality that tells us to adjust to the way things are. It is the recognition that we are "Unprofitable" and all we can really hope for is to be "Not Unprofitable". The world celebrates this result.

"OUGHT" is the mentality that says we have to strive for "Profitable" by letting God work through us...even if we are "Unprofitable" during the process. Ultimately, "IS" is the world's rationalization for not attempting "OUGHT".

If the individual's focus is to guard against loss ("IS"), then the best way to do this is to strive to do nothing...to not try to gain...to not take a risk...to not get judged by God and others. Work in your own strength to prevent mistakes! This will just wear a person out...

We have already seen this is NOT God's Process. God's Process is to go HOT/COLD, check with Him, and confess and repent/repair if you are wrong. This is OUGHT! This is the Good News! We don't have to focus on being wrong...we are to focus on being Right the ONLY way possible: let God work through us.

Look at the verses in the Bible that tell us we are sinners. For example, we saw Paul said this in his letter to the Romans. Notice, the point of that verse was to tell us that we need God to achieve Righteousness. The point of that verse was NOT for us to work hard to remove sin. Paul's solution in the Book of Romans was NOT to work at avoiding sin. His solution was to be led by the Spirit...to walk according to the Spirit...to walk in grace.

Why do people think Paul's focus was on a DON'T? ("Stop sinning")

Why do people think Paul's focus was on judging Sin? ("Make sure you judge everyone!")

Paul was focused on a DO (walk in the Spirit) and NOT judging...

...so people would be encouraged to take risks, achieve Righteousness, and attain Salvation.

Do you believe in the doctrine of sin or the Doctrine of Righteousness?

We have now brought enough Resolution to identify three views:
1. "Unmerited favor" - Remove the sin in your own strength
2. Works - be righteous in your own strength
3. Grace - be Righteous by choosing to let God flow through you

Let's look more closely at the difference between works and grace...

Next Post


dave said...

10 for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

is this a "do this and do this and you will achieve salvation" or a cause and effect relationship between "believeth with the heart" (cause) and the (effect)will be confession (which is a cause) that will see salvation as an effect?

the confession being the remission of sin and believing (convinced and obedient) with the heart being Righteousness?

dave taube

jg lenhart said...

Hi Dave,

Believing with the heart is a CAUSE and the effect is Righteousness. Confession with the mouth is a statement of your will so you can continue growing in this. By the end of the month, we will get to what specifically salvation is and how it comes and goes. For now, salvation is the avoidance of eternal punishment...so we are open to eternal punishment when we are not saved and we are not open to eternal punishment when we are saved.

GREAT QUESTION, but I can't really give the complete explanation without addressing the Big Picture objective and process which we will do on Monday.