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Joined: 2011/9/30
Posts: 1211

 Can You Be Righteous?

Many Christians say, "God only requires one to be righteous, His Son". The thought goes that since He is righteous, God does not require me to be righteous. This is a typical response coming from Christendom, today.

Does God require men to be righteous? Here many Christians would respond, "No". They take a view called positional holiness that can be expressed as follows: "Oh, yes, I am very unholy and I commit sin; I sin in thought, word and deed every day, but by virtue of my position in Christ, all Christ's perfect righteousness is accredited to me so that God does not even see my sin; He sees only Christ and since I have my position in Christ, I remain holy before God."

The logic is, because of my position in Christ, God does not see me, He sees only Christ. Since Christ is righteous, I am righteous.

In this view one see righteousness as a legal position in Christ rather than a life of righteousness. They would say you cannot be righteous, only reckoned righteous. Faith enters into a legalistic reckoning of all sins, past, present and future, as already remitted. A permanent justification encompasses all the future sins he may commit, and nothing he does will change his position in Christ. Faith has completed the work, he no longer is responsible to repent.

Also a certain gnosticism has entered the church that says the knowledge of it makes it so. In this view, righteousness is just a matter of knowledge. If you know it, then it is yours. Confess it, and it will be so. This accomodates the positional view of righteousness. But, does a confession of righteousness make one righteous?

Let me say that again: Does a confession of righteousness make one righteous?

Is faith a substitute for repentance?

I think the church has given up on personal righteousness. Does God require men to be righteous or is it something that is impossible so we just say I am righteous because of Jesus Christ? We can't live half truths.

So, if Christ came to make men righteous, how does one experience righteousness as a work of the Spirit? Is this supposed to be an experiential reality in our lives or not?

Is there such a thing as the transformation of righteousness in a believer?

I believe there is because without righteousness the glory of God will not abide among men. It is not enough to be "declared righteous" and to say we are "justified", there must be real fruit. There must be some manifestation of the work of righteousness by the Spirit in a person. Otherwise, there is no reality of Christ in our lives and we just continue down the "happy" road of deception.

As the Church today is praying for revival the words of the prophet still speak with clear direction.

Isa 40:3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God

Isa 40:4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:

Isa 40:5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

True believing leads to the inworking (sanctification) and the outworking of our faith (true works authored by the Holy Spirit).

Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. John 15:14

Obedience is not legalism.

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Here is a question for you: Was Jesus' obedience to His Father a product of love or legalism?


 2012/7/7 10:03Profile

Joined: 2012/5/13
Posts: 2936

 Re: Can You Be Righteous?

Good Post, As I have said before and will say again I have much to learn from you Pilgrim.

 2012/7/7 11:54Profile

 Re: Can You Be Righteous?

Very good article, Pilgrim. Yes, it's what they call a "both/and" in apologetics.

We work because He worketh. Phil 2:12,13.

What hit hard was one night the LORD started pumping verses into my mind when I thought it was sleep-time. I 'had to' get up to my computer to the e-sword to find them, as fast as they were coming.

The one that hit me hardest was ... Rev 22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

I felt I was to look it up in A.T. Robertson's for the Greek. He said that the "be _____ still" was really "be 'made' _________ still" or "be made ____ yet more".

If that isn't enough to put the righteous fear of GOD into one's heart ... well, it should.
The Revelation is quite clear on this subject that you've written on - as well of course the entire N.T..

Here's Robertson's on that one verse ...

"Rev 22:11
Let him do unrighteousness still (adikēsatō eti). First aorist (constative) active imperative of adikeō, viewed here as a whole. The language is probably ironical, with a reminder of Dan_12:10, in no sense a commendation of their lost estate. Charles rejects this verse as not like John. It is the hopelessness of the final state of the wicked which is here pictured. So as to “Let him be made filthy still” (rupanthētō eti). First aorist (constative) passive imperative of rupainō, old verb, to make foul or filthy (from rupos, filth, 1Pe_3:21, as is ruparos, filthy), here only in N.T. The use of eti is not perfectly clear, whether “still” or “yet more.” It is the time when Christ has shut the door to those outside who are now without hope (Mat_25:10; Luk_13:25). Ruparos occurs elsewhere in N.T. only in Jam_2:2, and ruparia (filthiness) only in Jam_1:21. So then “the righteous” (ho dikaios) is to do righteousness still (dikaiosunēn poiēsatō eti, first constative aorist active imperative of poieō) and “the holy” (ho hagios) to be made holy still (hagiasthētō eti, first constative aorist passive imperative of hagiazō). The states of both the evil and the good are now fixed forever. There is no word here about a “second chance” hereafter."

The answer I'd like to happily give to your question is - LOVE! and Always Has Been, from before the foundations of the earth. Bless The GOD of Glory!

 2012/7/7 13:09

Joined: 2010/8/24
Posts: 1032

 Re: Can You Be Righteous?

Blessings Pilgrim.


 2012/7/7 15:50Profile

Joined: 2011/9/30
Posts: 1211


Grace overcomes sin and the gospel empowers us to fulfill the commandments of God.

It seems so strange that we boast in the power of God to save, but not to sanctify. When it comes to sanctification we add a perverted Gospel of Grace. Truly, we live in strange days.

The gospel of grace is about the power to become sons of God...not a free for all in the flesh through a repealing of irksome laws that tend to limit our freedom of doing what we feel like.

Jesus Christ is not an anarchist who tolerates sin...and He did not die to protect our right to sin. In this scheme (false gospel) men don't change or convert...GOD DOES! So the law or anything that shows the abolished. What a time we are living in. A time of no faith.


 2012/7/7 21:36Profile

Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC


When God declares sinners righteous, He actually makes them into what He calls them. And they live their lives as righteous people do, because of the supernatural miracle that has happened in their lives.

Jimmy H

 2012/7/7 23:30Profile

Joined: 2011/9/30
Posts: 1211


He won't make them into what He calls them against their will. Being conformed to the image of Christ and overcoming sin, requires our cooperation with the Spirit.

But, if you think He saves them against their will, then you might believe He sanctifies them against their will.

Your reply is mostly vague and ambiguous, though. Who are these sinners and righteous people that you talk about? Is it everyone that names the name of Christ?

Do we have any responsibility in this walk that God has given us in Christ?


 2012/7/8 0:18Profile

Joined: 2011/8/14
Posts: 1048



Good instruction,...pleadings, ...

God bless,

 2012/7/8 8:01Profile


A man becomes righteous by faith in what the Lord Jesus has done for him and puts his complete trust in Him.

All men everywhere have been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb "once for all", but no man is righteous until he puts his trust in Christ.

A believer who started out by faith and ended up in works has lost his righteous standing before God. He will need to forsake his works of salvation and go back to simple trusting in the Lord that bought him to obtain his right standing before God.

 2012/7/8 11:51

Joined: 2011/9/30
Posts: 1211


Yes, and when we begin in the Spirit, we need to continue in the Spirit and not resort to living our Christian life by the flesh, which only becomes "religious flesh". There is no real power there. One is actually professing a form of godliness but denying the power, thereof. It is just religious and no victory over sin is taking place.



 2012/7/8 12:37Profile

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