When God looked down, He found none to be righteous; we all had fallen short of His glory. He brought a great flood to wash clean the earth of all the evil that existed in the time of Noah, saving only him and his family; He destroyed the world of Sodom and Gomorrah with fire, saving only one family even smaller than that of Noah’s which was eight in all. Men can never fathom the extent of the holiness of God and His righteousness. We are so far away from being that which He wants us to be in righteousness; it is a struggle for those who desire to walk with Him and be holy and righteous as He is. The power of the flesh is many times greater than the spiritual power in our life, as Paul puts it: But I see another law at work in my body, warring against the law of my mind and holding me captive to the law of sin that dwells within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I serve the law of God, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin (Rom. 7:23-25).
Men’s spiritual condition after the new birth is one of many struggles against the flesh, for all who are led by the Spirit of God desires to obey the Holy Spirit, while the flesh, still alive in us, remains contrary to the Spirit of God. It is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s Law; indeed it cannot (Rom. 8:7b). For men to be considered righteous before God, he must be bathed with the blood of His Son, Whose blood is the only way to reconcile men to God. This reconciliation is the most powerful, the most significant in the life of men. It constitutes a covenant of blood; one that requires men not only to accept it, but to submit to it. Through that, God’s gift of righteousness is imputed in man and the process of sanctification takes place. It is through pruning, through trimming as we read in John fifteenth: I Am the Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser; any branch in Me that does not bear fruit He cuts away; and He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit… Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you; Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in me (verses 1-2,4). That’s how YAHSHUA makes us more fruitful, obedient and beautiful provided we abide in Him. It is a beauty from inside out. When YAHSHUA rebuked the Pharisees’ self-righteousness it was because they concerned themselves only on the outside. Outside God’s righteousness their own was like a filthy rag, as Isaiah put it. It was one of hypocrisy. That’s precisely what men’s righteousness is all about. One can be morally good, while spiritually lacking God’s righteousness. His righteousness is what makes us acceptable to Him. Salvation through good deeds without God’s righteousness being imputed is void and not counted worthy.
If there were no need for reconciliation of men to God, His Son YAHSHUA would not have died. If men were righteous, God’s righteousness would not have needed to be imputed to men. But as it is, righteousness exists only in God, and through God. Men are at the mercy of the righteous God, Who will judge them at the end of all things. Noah was found righteous before God and was not judged with the rest, who perished in the flood, he and his family. The Bible describes him as a just and righteous man, blameless in his generation; Noah walked with God (Gen. 6:9); he found favor in the eyes of God (Gen 6:8). In those days there was no Law given to men in which a covenant was established, neither was there the covenant of blood, through the blood of YAHSHUA. However, with the birth of Seth, Adam’s third son, men began to call on the name of the Lord (Gen.4:26). Noah, being from the line of Enoch, who was his great- great-grand-father, followed his example, and was found righteous before God. Enoch, the Bible says, walked with God; and he was not, for God took him (Gen. 5:24). The writer to Hebrews included Enoch on the list of heroes of faith and credited his righteousness to faith: Because of faith Enoch was caught up and transferred to heaven, so that he did not have a glimpse of death; and he was not found, because God had translated him. For even before he was taken to heaven, he (Enoch) received testimony that he had pleased and been satisfactory to God (Heb. 11:5; Gen. 5:21-24).
When men learn to call on the name of the Lord, He considers them righteous, as we read in His Word that salvation will come to those who call on His name
(Joel 2:32; Rom. 10:13).To call on the name of the Lord is to acknowledge Him as the only true God and Savior; it is to revere and fear Him. God in return credits men’s faith and considers them righteous in His sight. Men will have to make the first step toward God through repentance and contrition of the heart. That’s the first prayer God will hear when they call on His name. Good deeds should never precede the new birth as means for salvation. Many take the road of self-righteousness through good deeds only to find themselves lost in the destiny of hell, because God only acknowledges the righteousness that comes from Him and apart from the sacrifice of His Son, righteousness will not be imputed to men. So then, righteousness has to do with faith not in one’s self, but in God. For it is by faith that we approach God; it is by faith that we believe in His existence; it is by faith that we are saved. Salvation is a gift of God; it is not found in the good deeds we perform; but is through the shedding of YAHSHUA’S blood that salvation comes to those who will call on His name. When we walk by faith we are exercising the righteousness of God in us. “The righteous shall live by faith” is a requisite to please God. The righteous shall live by the righteousness of God imputed to Him. If he draws back, God says, My soul has no delight or pleasure in him (Heb. 10:38).
The body of Christ which is composed of many members must reflect His righteousness and holiness by the way we walk and conduct our life. It is a matter to profane His name when we live an unrighteous life. We profane His name when we use curse words and act as sons and daughters of darkness. The body of YAHSHUA looks sick because it lacks God’s righteousness in action. When we cannot radiate His righteousness, it is better not to call ourselves a believer in Him. If the darkness of the world is in us, then we are sons and daughters of the world, not of God, not of Light. Pretending to be does not make one to be in any situation. In that case, we are like a rotten apple causing many to rot with us. Be not found surprised if your outcome is not what you expected in the end, if you are living not in the righteousness of God. Be not surprised when you are cut off from the vine and thrown into the fire. Be not surprised, my friend. However, do not be caught up by surprise. Turn to God, call on His name, and you will be saved if you remain in the vine from where life flows to all of us who have accepted God’s Son and walk in obedience to Him. In no way will self-righteousness be accounted in the sight of God.