TOPIC: THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF CHRIST
TEXT: PHIL. 3:9
''And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith...''
There are two sorts of righteousness: righteous by faith and righteousness by the law. The righteousness that comes by the law simply means human goodness, morality, observation of the common rules that guide human society; examples, keeping onself from what is another's, non-commission of robbery, adultery &c. All of these come under the righteousness by law--it is called by Isaiah as 'our righteousness' Put in another manner, it is the fruit of living by the light of nature. The constituent element of this law, were summed up by Moses and called the Law of moses--The Ten Commandment. On the other hand, righteousness by faith is that kind that comes by Jesus' death and resurrection: none can ain this sort; it is the kind that Jesus Himself Has--sportless, unmixexed, unchangeable and uncreated righteousness. Righteousness that streams from moral law is as menstrous cloth or napkin before God; a filthy rag! The righteousness of the law is not and never potent enough to swallow God's wrath. But that which Jesus gives to all who believe in Him, is the only answer to God's anger and holy wrath. Our righteousness is to be feared as our sin: it is but a sinful righteousness; mixed purity; wrath-attracting goodness and damning piety. Many will be turned out of the door of heaven for not being found in Christ's righteousness. No man can live with God for ever, save he who has His own kind of righteousness--righteousness by faith in Christ. God can not say to any man, 'This is my beloved son, in whom am well pleased; sit thou down at my right hand...' except he who has put on the righteousness of Christ. Paul labours night and day so that he might be found in Christ on the last day, not having his own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith. As we labour to avoid sins like a plague, so must we strive to abhor our self-righteousness. Frieinds, make certain that you are not resting on your works but on Christ's merit. Your works will ain you hell; Christ's will ain you heaven. How dangerous it shall be not to appear in Christ seamless and beautifully embroided white linen garment on the last day! Sue then for that righteousness today, and when you have laid hold on it, never let it go: let it be your night gown, your day's attire: wear it in springtime, summer time, winter time and autum time: ever be in it, and God would ever look at you with favour and saying to all and sundry, 'This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased! This is he whom I delight to honour!'