EXISTENTIAL RIGHTEOUSNESS (4)
Man’s toil of righteousness is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6)
(…continued from part three…)
4) Unknown to most Christians, as earlier explained, is the egregious anathema of the definition of ‘filthy’ (found in Isaiah 64:6), which is ‛êd (ayd): ‘the menstrual flux (as periodical); by implication (in plural) soiling.’ Beged (behg’-ed) is the Hebrew for ‘rags’ meaning: ‘treachery, deceit; garment, clothing (used indiscriminately).’ It was an unfortunate loss, that Adam plunged humanity into, unquestionably. Disobedient sinfulness eroded Adam’s righteousness, engendering a spiritual spillover of unrighteous existentiality unto every Adamic accouchement. It became extremely difficult for the Adamic nature to please God in this garb of sinfulness. “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;” explained Jesus in Matthew 5:20.
But all was not lost, all thanks be to God who bestowed an existential Image of Himself on the day six of Adam’s creation. Man had the eternality of spiritual survival implanted into him, just in case he decides to follow the right path in his future life of sin. Why would God say to the murderous Cain in Genesis 4:7 “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door”? The feminine noun, ‘sin’ is regenerative. It is the Hebraic chaṭṭâ’th (khat-taw-aw’): ‘sin offering, sacrifice, expiation.’ And what is ‘lieth’? It is râbats (raw-bats’), meaning: ‘to crouch (on all four legs folded, like a recumbent animal)’; and that was the solution: “bring a sacrifice of a recumbent animal (sheep or goat): and I, the LORD God will forgive you, Cain,” was the divine solution to the sin question. Cain decided not to be a follower of Christ. Doomed, he became, for all eternity.
Purchase of regeneration very, very costly indeed.
God, as a Businessman, will never lose His capital. He always makes sure of that. He knew that, unlike the progenitor of the antediluvian miscreants, some of the Adamic stock would come to Him for salvation. Those ones would ignite the soteriological gene in them, and make their way to the Saviour, Jesus Christ. They will see the Light, after having believed the word of the saving grace. To them is the reservation of celestial regeneration midwifed by God, the Holy Spirit. Amen. Romans 1:17 “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” Where comes the faith? It comes from the Word of God, Jesus Christ. The righteousness bestowed upon Christians does not come as an earned reward from a spiritual toil. Romans 4:6 “Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works;” because it is something God decided, based on an act of faith from an individual. “Imputeth’ is the Greek logizomai (log-id’-zom-ahee): ‘to reckon, count, compute, calculate.’ Based on our ‘righteousness,’ impaired by our carnality, it is nothing short of ‘menstrual rags’ as offensive as the fig leaves apparels of Adam and his wife.
Not having mine own righteousness…but that which is through the faith of Christ (Phil. 3:9)
“Not having mine own” found in Philippians 3:9 has Scriptural corroboration in Psalms 130:2-4
“Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. 3) If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? 4) But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.” God, having walked with Israel, had engendered certain consanguinity. This reality emboldened David to ask for God’s ears. Access granted, an existential righteousness prompts an appeal to the Divinity, and in a so to speak manner, the rhetorical question of the third verse becomes so apropos. Knowing that all was not lost, the sanguinity of the fourth verse is a conclusive facticity.
Romans 9:29-33, “And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha. 30) What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. 31) But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. 32) Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; 33) As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” What the legalism of the Jewry stance could not achieve is easily accessible to the supposedly hopelessness of the Gentiles: they tread the Scriptural path of faith. While Israel struggles with the mercilessness of the legalistic chambers of Mosaic institution, born again Christians are enjoying the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. A righteousness of faith ignition is the right standing that faith has enabled us to share with the LORD God. Amen.
Jesus puts it very succinctly in Matthew 9:13 “But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Temple sacrifices are of the Law, which cannot lead to eternal rest in heaven. The phrase, “which is of the law” from Philippians 3:9 receives corroboration from Galatians 3:10-14, “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. 11) But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. 12) And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. 13) Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 14) That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”
The Bible insists: no man is justified by the law which has become a curse, when not totally observed; and that the promise of righteousness comes through faith.
Get born again by saying this simple prayer.
“Dear heavenly Father, I come to You now in the name of Jesus Christ. I believe in my heart that Jesus is the Son of God. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sin. I believe that You raised Him from the dead. I confess with my mouth that Jesus is Lord and I receive Him now as my Lord and my Saviour. I give God all the glory. Amen!”
(…to be concluded…)
Read part 3 here
You will get the concluding part 5 here