6 Jehovah Tsidkenu, the Lord Our Righteousness, part 3 Man’s Only Hope

Jehovah Tsidkenu…The LORD Our Righteousness

American Standard Version (ASV)

Romans 3:10-18

As it is written:

“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.”
13 “Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit.”
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 ruin and misery mark their ways,
17 and the way of peace they do not know.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

I hope our previous study brought home one truth, a fact that cannot be denied. No man is righteous. Mankind is condemned because he cannot maintain the standards of our holy Creator by his own efforts. No man can present himself before the throne of God with his head held high and say, “I have religiously kept your commandments from my youth. I am without fault and I demand entrance into heaven on the basis of my own efforts.” This man is spoken of by Paul in Romans 10:1-3  Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. 2 For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. 3 Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness

The Israelites were zealous for God. They avidly obeyed the law, even adding to it in an effort to perfect righteousness. God was their objective and this was a good thing, an admirable vocation, but it was flawed. They did not submit to God’s righteousness. As a matter of fact, they did not understand that the righteousness of God was based on faith. That faith was a gift from God, free…without strings or human effort. There was nothing they could do to earn it.

We are often in the same boat as the Israelites. We go to church, sing the hymns, pray, and even study one day a week or maybe two. We are busy, busy, busy, doing the work of the “church”. I am not saying that is a bad thing, but it is not enough. We do not have discernment about the real meaning of righteousness, the kind of righteousness required of us by God.

So what is righteousness?  Righteousness is attained when we conform to God’s standards of right and wrong. In Christianity, Judaism and Islam righteousness is also defined as rectitude, or the sense of being judged as righteous, leading a life that is pleasing to God. The dictionary defines righteousness as being morally upright, without guilt or sin. According to these definitions…no one can declare himself righteous.  Isaiah 64:6 NLT “We are all infected and impure with sin. When we put on our prized robes of righteousness, we find they are but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves we fade, wither and fall. And our sins, like the wind, sweep us away.”

“Is it not marvelous that people can read the Bible and all the time fail to see its essential teaching and its personal application to themselves? There is scarcely anything more surprising and saddening than the presence of intellectual knowledge of God’s Word with an utter failure to appreciate its spiritual meaning and force.” Dr Griffith Thomas

We carry our big pristine Bibles back and forth for years and never perceive what it really means to be saved. We do not grow. We see no Spiritual growth because we do not develop Spiritual discernment.

Elohim, the Trinity, looked at the ruin and misery that resulted from the depravity, deceit, destruction, and hurt of sin and declared that the whole world was guilty before Him. The holy God looked at man and said, For everyone belongs to me, the parent as well as the child—both alike belong to me. The one who sins is the one who will die. Ezekiel 18:4 It is a righteous judgment for He is the Creator and His character of righteousness requires justice and truth. Yet His character is also merciful, loving.

Hebrews 8:12 For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

So God has a problem. If He does what His Holy nature requires, He would wipe out the whole nasty bunch and be done with it. What about His love and mercy? God must keep all of His character attributes in balance if He is to be righteous. Remember the hymn by Avis B. Christiansen?

“Love found a way to redeem my soul,

Love found a way that could make me whole:

Love sent my Lord to the cross of shame,

Love found a way, O praise His Holy name.

With loving wisdom and power Elohim, brought forth the gospel which is the power of God to bring salvation to mankind. It was love that found a way. God retained His holiness, His mercy, justice and truth and His power gave it birth. The incarnate son of God was to be the way. In the form of Jesus, God could completely identify with man so He might bring redemption to a lost humanity. Psalm 85:11-10 describes the person of Christ.  Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other.11 Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven.

Romans 3:19, 21 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile.

This versetells us that the righteousness of God was manifested in the person of Jesus Christ, because Christ was God manifest (made known) in the flesh and the purpose of His coming was to atone for the sins of mankind.

Romans 5:6-11 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

He alone was suited for the task because He wrote the law which man had broken. He was without sin. He that was without sin became sin for us “that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.2 Corinthians 5:21God made him who had no sin to be sin[a] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Those who put their faith in Christ are declared righteous. Does God declare one righteous who is not? Not at all. The only true righteousness on this planet is imputed righteousness and imputed righteousness is the imputed Christ. I did not understand this for years and still discover layers of meaning as I study it today.

What does imputed mean? “to take something that belongs to someone and credit it to another’s account.”

When Adam sinned, his inner being was transformed. He developed an inclination to sin. Evidently it works like genetics. Our tendency to sin, the desires we have that are not a reflection of God’s thoughts, the condition of sin imbedded in us began with Adam and as his offspring, his sin is imputed or credited to us. We are born already morally impure and the original sin shows up throughout our lives in what we do, how we think, and how we make our choices. Adam not only passed on his humanity, and physical traits, and intelligence, He passed to his descendents his sinful nature. W are born sinners and that is why we sin.

“We are regarded as having sinned in Adam, and hence as deserving of the same punishment. This is imputed sin. Thus, we not only receive polluted and sinful natures because of Adam’s sin (original sin), but we are also regarded as having sinned in Adam such that we are guilty of his act as well (imputed sin). Imputed sin is the ruin of our standing before God and is thus not an internal quality but an objective reckoning of guilt, whereas original sin is the ruin of our character and thus is a reference to internal qualities. Both original sin and imputed sin place us under the judgment of God.”

(What is the Difference Between Original Sin and Imputed Sin? January 23, 2006 by Matt Perman)

Lest anyone think this is unfair, how many people have been able to resist their legacy of sin? Just as the sin of our father, Adam, was credited to our account, another man without sin was needed to bring us back into right standing with ‘God.
Jesus came as a man and lived a life completely pleasing to God. He was able to satisfy the demands of God’s law. He became the infinite lamb who bore the sins of infinite humanity. My sins were credited to him and He paid the penalty. Galatians 3:13 He became a curse for us. 2 Corinthians 5:21 God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

We become righteous through Christ. How does this come about?

This righteousness is given through faith in[a] Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, Romans 3:22

We do not become righteous by being good, we become righteous through faith in Christ. We do not come by righteousness naturally; God makes us that way

Create in me a pure heart, O God,and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 Only God can “create.” He alone can take that which in impure and ugly within us and fashion something entirely new. Our righteousness is in His hands. Our righteousness is in the LORD.

Where hope would otherwise become hopelessness, it becomes faith. Robert Brault

The question is, Faith in what?

The Word of God is clear. Mankind is guilty, unrighteous, filthy in the sight of God, incapable of doing good. We cannot attain, much less maintain, God’s standards of right and wrong; but God assures us that there is hope for sinful man. A careful examination of Romans 3-8 inspires an awesome reverence for God, who is the source of all righteousness.

 

Read Romans 3:10-18.


10 as it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one; 11 There is none that understandeth, There is none that seeketh after God;
12 They have all turned aside, they are together become unprofitable; There is none that doeth good, no, not, so much as one:
13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; With their tongues they have used deceit: The poison of asps is under their lips: 4 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:15 Their feet are swift to shed blood;16 Destruction and misery are in their ways;17 And the way of peace have they not known: 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.

 

Paul begins by quoting Psalm, Ecclesiastes, and Isaiah.  Read Psalm 14:1 
 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works; There is none that doeth good.

Paul is using this verse as the basis for his statement that no one is good, no one is righteous.  There are no exceptions.  No one is righteous.  No one is deserving of God’s love.

 

  1.  According to Romans 3:10, what are two other areas where man is lacking?

 

Man does not understand God and He is not trying to find out.  From the time of Adam, God has been the seeker and the only source of our salvation.  All have turned away and become worthless.”

 

 

  1.  Read Isaiah 53:6  Whose way are we following?

We have detoured from the path of righteousness and become worthless. The King James version uses the word “unprofitable” Another way of translating it would be “sour,” or “corrupted,” “useless.” Because we are not following the path laid out for us by God, sin takes over our hearts and we become selfish, self centered, without the ability to produce the Fruits of the Spirit

  1. 3.   Are there any exceptions? Read Psalm 14:3

 

All have turned away from God and His goodness.

 

4. Can you provide an example of the following? a) The throat is an open sepulchre;

 

 The throat is an open grave which spews the corruption of the heart. Filthy language permeates our society. We hear foul and filthy language on television and on the streets. This language comes from the corruption in the heart. Just as the stench of the corrupted body spews forth when the grave is opened, the rotten corruption in our hearts comes out when we open our mouth.

 

b) the poison of asps is under their lips, c)  Read Isaiah 59:7-8 feet are swift to shed blood,

5. Read Psalm 5:9, Psalm 140:3, Psalm 10:7. a) Add to your list of “lip sins.

We know the problem, now what is the answer? What is the only hope for a planet of insensitive, corrupt, impious fools, who spoil everything around them? “The only hope for the race, the Scriptures teach, is for individuals to turn to the LORD for salvation.” The Bible Knowledge commentary, Old Testament, John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, Psalm 14:1-3 pg 802

 

6. Read Psalm 36:1 What do the wicked do that Paul also attributes to the unrighteous. (They do not fear God.)

7. Read Proverbs 1:7, Job 28:28, Proverbs 9:10  What is the “fear of the Lord.”  How should we act on receiving wisdom?

 

 The fear of the Lord is wisdom and knowledge of God is understanding that in order to be accepted by Him we must depart from evil.

 

8. Read Ecclesiastes 12:13  What is the duty of man?

 

When we have the proper perspective of God, We hold him in awe as the mighty Creator of the Universe, as the source of all righteousness and wisdom. We will reverence Him by worship, trust, obedience and service.

 

9. Read Psalm 15:1-5   Who among us can claim to be perfect in our obedience to the list in these verses?

 

We have learned that righteousness is being right with God; reverent and obedient. We also have learned that no one possesses righteousness nor can he be justified it by his own effort.

 

10. Read James 2:10. Can we keep the law?

11. Read Galatians 2:16.If a person could be perfectly obedient to the law, yet could not reach righteousness, how can it be achieved?

 

12. Read Hebrews 2:17-18 and II Corinthians 5:21 How does He make us righteous?

 

Elohim, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, possess the qualities of love, justice, holiness, truth, mercy, wisdom, and power in perfect balance. therefore, only God is righteous. (James E. Hanson, Reformed Presbyterian Church, Takoma, Washington) Because he alone is righteous, He alone can impute that righteousness to a sinful man who has repented and come to saving knowledge of Christ as his personal Savior.

 

13. Read John 1:12  Who has the right to become children of God?

14. Now reread the verse that uses the name Jehovah Tsidkenu for the first time in the Old Testament.  Jeremiah 23:5-6, Revelation 5:5, 22:16 Who is the righteous branch? Who is Jehovah Tsidkenu, man’s only hope of attaining righteousness?