His Righteousness

This Short Study will look at Righteousness and how it applies to the New Testament saint.

By Pastor G. E. Newmyer 

There are basically three types of Righteousness, imputed, imparted and self, but before one can venture into the types we should have a grasp on the term Righteousness. Most of us associate the word Righteousness with Right Standing, but Right Standing also has degrees. For instance we know of the legal system, within the court room an attorney has “right standing” to enter the area where the legal business is conducted, a place called “pass the bar”; the “bar” is the railing separating the spectators from the court room business, which by the way is the name of the test wherein attorneys gain the right to “pass the bar”, thus those who meet the standards set forth are granted the standing to “pass the bar”. However, the lawyers are not the only ones who have “standing”, the judge sits as the authority, as standing over the standing of the lawyers. Then there is the “court clerk” who records information, but they are not allowed to venture beyond their authority. The “court clerk” cannot make decisions, cannot defend any client, cannot voice an opinion, their authority is limited to keeping the records. Then there is the court bailiff, who has the authority of keeping peace, and protecting the people in the courtroom from harm. Then the clients, who are allowed standing based on the standing their attorney holds. The client has “imputed” standing, or a standing granted by accepted position of another, thus the client in and of their self has no standing. All these show various types of right standing, all with various duties, authorities and powers. If the client attempted to be the clerk, it would be out of order, lacking right standing. If the clerk attempted to be the judge, it would out of order, lacking right standing. If the lawyer attempted to be the bailiff it would be out of order, lacking right standing. Each standing is designed for the one who has the standing. So it is in the Bible, we find those under the Law of Moses have a standing through the Law, the Prophets are never noted as “doers of the Law”, yet they had a standing as well. Their standing was through the granted prophetic positions, but if they added to the Word, or took away from the Word they were outside of their standing. During the days of Jeremiah the prophets were saying things, attempting to get God to obey their words, which is false prophecy; meaning they no longer had right standing in the position. David as a king had standing as a king and prophet, as Nathan had standing as a priest. Under the Old Covenant the order established by God for Israel made it illegal for someone to be both priest and king, they could be priest and prophet, or king and prophet; yet David, or any other king in Israel did not have the standing to be both a priest and a king. Why would it be important? God separated the civil government from the religious order, He wanted them kept that way. In the Book of Revelation we find Jesus has (past tense) made us both kings and priests, in the one Kingdom of God (Rev 1:6). However, do we have standing as priests under the Law of Moses? No, our standing is granted under a different Law, thus for us to venture over to the Law of Moses as priests means we have vacated our right standing in the New, since we are not of the Tribe of Levi, it would mean we lost both positions. The vast differences between the priesthood under the Old, and the priesthood under the New makes it impossible to hold both. Our standing is not complex, but it is limited to the things of the New Covenant: the more we view the differences between the various standings the more we can appreciate the “Righteousness of God” granted to us who are Born Again.

If we are kings, we must have a kingdom. We know our kingdom is the Kingdom of God, but if it’s the “Kingdom of God”, wouldn’t God be the King? Yes, but we have the keys, thus we are kings in our part of the Kingdom. We have the power to deny entry, or allow entry. It doesn’t mean we are over people, rather it’s things. We can allow uncontrolled anger to rule in our kingdom, or we can vacate it. We can allow Mercy to rule in our kingdom, or we can reject it. Whatever we allow, or disallow, better match the Kingdom order of Jesus, the King of all kings.

In the Book of Hebrews we read, “unto the Son He said, Your throne, O God, is forever and ever: a scepter of Righteousness (rightness or straightness) is the scepter of Your Kingdom” (Heb 1:8). Meaning the Scepter of the Kingdom is the Righteousness of God. In the next verse we read, “You have loved Righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows” (Heb 1:9). Who are those “fellows”? Or could it be, verse 8 refers to Jesus, verse 9 to the kings in the Kingdom? To help us we find two different Greek words used in these two verses for "righteousness”, in verse 8 it’s the Greek Euthutes which comes from the Greek Euthus meaning True, Sincere, or Level, referring more to the persons character, than their position. In verse 9 it’s the Greek Dikaiosume meaning a condition making the person acceptable to God, which shows the second usage is something granted from the first, thereby showing how the Righteousness of the Kingdom is first seen as a covering, or imputed, then it becomes imparted, but how? The New Birth, the imparted Righteousness of God is in the New Man (Eph 4:24).

Another definition of Righteousness is: One who is Righteous is one who is true, upright, and correct; however, it depends on the source. If we leave the foundation to natural thinking sinful man, then he uses the natural, social, intellect to define his standing in the world. Whatever the natural person deems good grants them the right to use any lawful means they can to reach the result, whether the means is moral, doesn’t matter, as long as its lawful. if the methods used are acceptable in some manner by society, the natural thinker feels they can use the means to achieve the end, in their mind the end being good made them righteous. Perhaps the end is a political one, or a business one, so they twist the facts a little, the idea is to get the plan accepted, without being accused of a violation. Why not leave out some facts, who really cares? Make fun of others, mock them, as long as we can trick people into going along with us, so we reach what we assume is a “good goal”. Use opinions, emotions, fear, anything Legal or Acceptable by the world, so we can reach the end and feel good about ourselves, which the world call “righteous”. The worldly also feel if they have “standing” in the community they’re affiliated with a righteous position. None of those give any person Right Standing with God, thus the Scepter of the Kingdom is the Righteousness of God.

First John tells us the Blood of Jesus cleans us from all unrighteousness, since Jesus made it possible for us to have the Righteousness of God, all forms of self-righteousness became unrighteousness. Paul used Abraham as an example, since Abraham obtained imputed righteousness. Imputed means God views something of the person as a righteous act, allowing God to view the something, so the person can gain. In Abraham’s case it was a continual belief, the purpose was so it could be by faith. In order for it to be by faith, there had to be a Covenant, with a hope and promise. The man Abraham didn’t have standing, but his belief did. By his belief God was able to impute right standing on the belief, allowing the man who held the belief to make entry into a Covenant, then the Covenant allowed it to be by faith.

Paul begins by telling us on one is righteous, then tells us Abraham’s belief was. It’s still true, no one in and of themselves is righteous before God, but the belief of Abraham gained the righteousness. The same is true with us, the Cross is the beginning point, we belief in the death and resurrection of Jesus, the Father imputes Righteousness on us, in order to forgive us based on the words of Jesus, “Father forgive them”. As we accept the forgiveness of the Father, but our act of forgiving, we become righteous to enter the Covenant.

The New Birth gives us Imparted Righteousness (Eph 4:24), the same Scepter denoting the Kingdom. The Holy Ghost gives us the Seed of God, the Seed of God is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Holiness who declared Jesus as the Son of God by the Resurrection (Rom 1:4). We are then sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, yet we can grieve the Holy Spirit by using rulers of the darkness as a nature. If we return to the ways of the world our souls lose the righteousness, as we separate ourselves from the Spirit. Not an easy task, the Spirit is bent on completing the purpose, even the salvation of our souls.

The Law of Moses was based on self-righteousness, established on an effort of the flesh to complete a deed. However, the use of the flesh tainted the deed, causing the Commandment Thou shall not Covet to fall on the doer. Self-righteousness is limited in scope and time, since it’s flesh based. Once the effort is done, it’s done, the person has to start all over again. Therefore, they were not required to keep one sabbath day, but all of them. Because they used the flesh, it also means they admitted they were sinners, meaning the act was dead. Something the Book of Hebrews calls “dead works”. On the other hand the Righteousness of God is continual, it does not depend on the flesh, but the Holiness of God. We then find the New Man is created (or formed same Greek word) after the True Holiness and Righteousness of God. The rule was set in order in the very beginning, everything produces after its own kind.

The view of Abraham’s belief matches the last verses in Mark, where we are told if we are baptized (meaning in the Body), adding we continually believe, then the saying Thou shall be saved applies. Under the Law of Moses the use of self-righteous deeds never granted anyone right standing before God, only before the Law for the moment.

One of the first Commandments Jesus gave us was “seek you first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness”. The Kingdom of heaven is a place, the Kingdom of God is the Seed of God as the Holy Spirit in us. Once we have the Seed it becomes our goal to continually seek God’s righteousness, by refusing to enter self-righteousness.

Far too many of us are tricked into acts of self-righteousness, we thought if we did something on our own we would impress God. Some think they can excite God, how can anyone excite God? Excitement is something we feel, God knows what we’re going to do long before we do it, how then can we excite Him? If we are able to control the emotions of a person, we are able to control the person. God has emotions, but we are not going to control His emotions. The Joy of the Lord is an emotion, the wrath of God is an emotion. We are given the measure of faith so we can Please God, not impress Him. Self-righteousness attempts to impress God, or ourselves. We think our study grants us favor before God, yet Jesus said why do we except favor for doing what we are suppose to do?

We are in a Covenant, any Covenant has duties, we seek the Kingdom and His Righteousness, then the things will be added. If we insert our self-righteousness, we violate the premise, thus the things won’t be added. Meaning we will use another premise, perhaps from a different Law in order to get the things, but in so doing we are also involved in self-righteousness, causing the Commandment to fall on us, find us guilty, then proclaiming the judgment of death. How can it be? We used a premise of dead works, allowing the Commandment to fall. The Righteousness of God is set for all time, it was around before time began, it will be around long after time ceases. Like God’s love we don’t earn it, we accept it by faith. 

There are signs of a person being more prone to self-righteousness, they do something of the flesh, pay their tithe, pray, mow the neighbor’s yard, take out the trash, love their wife, submit to their husband, go to church, then think their efforts motivating God to do something for them. The next time we see them they spend hours telling us all they did to get God to perform for them. They never considered God did based on His love for His children, not their works of the flesh.

An element of the rudiments of the Doctrine of Christ is “repentance from dead works” (Heb 6:1-2). Hebrews 9:14 reads, “How much more shall the Blood of Christ who through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works”. The word Dead is the Greek Nekros meaning a corpse, or dead body, useless efforts amounting to death. The same Blood of Jesus is cleaning us from unrighteousness (I Jn 1:9), indicating all self-righteousness is unrighteousness. We have the Righteousness of God by the New Birth, we can come boldly to the throne of Grace, to obtain Mercy and find Grace in the time of need. All that is required of us is to reject the temptation to enter self-righteousness, as we accept God’s Righteousness. Selah.

Note: The use of SOZO Bible Study Lessons, Newsletters or Short Studies (written/penned by Pastor G. Evan Newmyer as scribe and author, prior to his passing from this world) has been given to Ann M. Wolf by written permission from the author, as was customarily granted to alumni of the Sozo Bible Institute. This limited permission is given under clear agreement to never “charge” specific amounts for the Lessons, but rather to share the material with others as the Spirit leads, for the purpose of “edification and encouragement,” on a free will offering basis, and while honoring the biblical principal to “teach the truth in love.” We ask then, that the desires of the original scribe (Rev. Newmyer) be respected; therefore the material can be shared among those who are dedicated in their study of the Bible, but shared freely without charging specific fees and with respect to the copyright laws of the land and states. All rights are reserved.

KJV: For greater understanding of these commentaries, please use the Authorized Version of the King James Bible for confirming the Scripture passages mentioned. Please see the article, "The Word" in the Study Resource/Lighthouse Leadership area of our Website for information regarding why we use KJV. Thank you for visiting our Study Resource area.