The basis of real faith is to let the Christian know that Righteousness has been restored to him. God is not afraid to become the righteousness of the man who has faith in Jesus because He planned that Redemption. It is faith in His own Son and what that Son has wrought for man. God is not ashamed to become the Righteousness of the New Creation. Universal Sin Consciousness is the parent of all the religions of the earth. Man has ever sought to rid himself of the sense of guilt and sin. Sin Consciousness was born at the Fall. It was manifested in Adam’s fear to meet God and his desire to cover his nakedness. The Revelation of God and the development of that Revelation have been to one end-to restore Righteousness to man.
The meaning of Righteousness in this sense is the ability to stand in the presence of God without the sense of sin, guilt, or inferiority. It also includes the legal relation of a son, and fellowship with the Father God. When Adam sinned he instantly lost fellowship with Jehovah and the ability to approach Him. This Sin Consciousness has robbed man of his faith and filled him with a sense of unworthiness that dominates human consciousness today. Now the problem is this: Has God provided a Redemption that will take away this Sin Consciousness and permit man to come into His presence now and stand there as Jesus did? If God could do that, then faith is restored, for the great enemy of faith is the sense of unworthiness. Theology has failed to interpret the plan of Redemption in such a manner as to remove this Sin Consciousness from the minds of those who accept Christ. In fact, most of the ministers who are classed among the orthodox, continually preach sin instead of Righteousness, and keep their congregations under condemnation rather than lead them out into liberty where faith can function.
I have come to see that the basis of real faith is to let the Christian know that Righteousness has been restored to him. In job 33:26 is a prophecy that is very striking. It is a picture of the New Birth. I can give you only one verse: “He prayeth unto God, and he is favorable unto him, So that he seeth his face with joy: And he restoreth unto man his righteousness.” There are three facts here. First, man prays and God hears his prayer. Second, “He seeth his face with joy”-restored fellowship. Third, “He restoreth unto man his righteousness.” In these three statements we have the result of a complete Redemption. In another chapter I am going to show you the different types of Righteousness that have been granted to man down through the ages, until God in Christ restored this perfect, God satisfying Righteousness to us.
The book of Romans is a story of how God restored Righteousness to us on the ground of faith in Jesus Christ. It is the great master- drama of humanity. In Rom. 1:16-17, Paul declares: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein (in this gospel) is revealed a righteousness of God from faith unto faith: as it is written, But the righteous shall live by faith.” This Righteousness that is revealed is the Righteousness that the believer receives in Christ. In the first three chapters, up to the eighteenth verse of the third chapter, we have God showing how the Jew and the Gentile both have utterly failed to attain a Righteousness that would give them a standing with God. He concludes the argument in Rom. 3:9-18 with fourteen charges in the grand indictment against man. In the first charge He says, “There is none righteous, no, not one.”No man has a standing with God outside of Christ. These fourteen charges are laid against the unregenerate man, not the Christian. In the 19th and 20th verses He sums up the case. He shows that the Gentiles without law failed, and the Jews under the law have failed to attain Righteousness before God. Then in Rom. 3:21-26 we get God’s statement of how this Righteousness has been restored to man upon legal grounds. “But now apart from the law a righteousness of God hath been manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets.” Another translation is, “A Righteousness has cone to light.” Did you notice the expression “apart from the law”? Independent of the law a Righteousness of God has been manifested, and the law witnesses to its validity as well as the prophets. He says, “Even the righteousness (not “a” righteousness, but “the” righteousness) of God through faith in Jesus Christ unto all, them that believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Rom. 3:26, “For the showing, I say, of his righteousness at this present season: that he might himself be righteous and the righteousness of him that hath faith in Jesus.” (Mar. Am. Rev.) God is not afraid to become the righteousness of the man who has faith in Jesus because He planned that Redemption. It is faith in His own Son and what that Son has wrought for man. God is not ashamed to become the Righteousness of the New Creation. If there is anything that ought to free us and lift us above the age-old master, Sin Consciousness, it is this fact. In I Cor. 1:30, Jesus is declared to be our Righteousness. “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who was made unto us wisdom from God, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” Here God declares He is our Righteousness. And in 2 Cor. 5:21, by the New Birth He makes us His Righteousness in Christ.
No man who has received Eternal Life and given his spirit an opportunity to develop by feeding on the Word can ever challenge his standing with the Father. Never again will he shrink under that sin teaching of the modern pulpit and look upon himself as a failure and sin-ruled. He is a master. He has as much a right before the throne of grace as Jesus has upon it. He has as much a right in the Father’s presence as the Father has a right to sit upon His own throne. Why? Because the Father Himself planned the Redemption and wrought the Redemption through His Son, and sets His seal upon that Redemptive work by making the believer in Jesus Christ Righteous with His own Righteousness.Two Kinds of Righteousness.