GOD REQUIRES PERFECT RIGHTEOUSNESS
How good does a person have to be to get to heaven? Basically good? Sincerely good? Outwardly good? No. He has to be perfectly good, as good as God himself. That which man looks upon as and calls his "personal righteousness" is of absolutely no value in the sight of God (Isa. 64:6).
Man's definition of righteousness depends entirely upon his definition and understanding of God. The problem is, most have never seen God in his glorious holiness. Once a sinner sees God in his holiness, he will cease forever to speak of his own goodness, personal holiness and self-righteousness. With Isaiah, he will cry, "Woe is me! I am undone!" (Isa. 6:1-6). With Job, he will say, "I have heard, of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself" (Job 42:5-6). "Behold, I am vile!" (Job 40:4). Who can stand in the presence of the holy Lord God?
NO SON OF ADAM CAN EVER STAND IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD, BECAUSE WE ARE ALL CURSED (Gal. 3:10). God is so infinitely holy that he charges the angels with folly, so holy that the heavens are not clean in his sight, so holy that when he found sin upon his own dear Son he forsook him and killed him! Are we better than the angels? Are we purer than the heavens? Dare we imagine that God will accept us, with our polluted works, when he killed his own Son for sin?
ONLY ONE WHO IS HIMSELF EQUAL TO GOD CAN STAND IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD AND PLEASE HIM (Psa. 24:3-5; Matt. 17:5). That righteousness which God requires, only God can give. Yet, it must be the work of a man, or it is of no value to men. Blessed be God! There is a Man who is himself God, who has magnified the law and made it honorable. He has brought in an everlasting righteousness by his perfect obedience to the law as a man, even the; very righteousness of God! He has satisfied the law's justice, by dying under its curse. And he lives forever to give righteousness and eternal life to sinners. That Man-God is Jesus Christ the Lord.