"Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth..Ē†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††† -- Romans 10:1-4


Fallen man has no righteousness of his own. And he is totally ignorant of God's righteousness. He is ignorant of God' s character of righteousness, God' s requirement of righteousness, and God's accomplishment of righteousness in Christ.


Fig Leaves


Being ignorant of both the righteousness of God and his own sinfulness, fallen man ever goes about to establish his own righteousness. Fallen man made an apron of fig leaves, by which he hoped to meet with God's approval. Adamís firstborn son followed the example and nature he had received from his fallen father. Cain offered God a bloodless sacrifice which he had produced by the works of his own hands. But God despised it.


No one will ever trust Christ until he sees that he has no righteousness of his own and that it is utterly impossible for him to produce any righteous work acceptable to God. Yet, fallen, ignorant, sinful men and women continue the vain, futile work of trying to establish their own righteousness. They take bricks from the kiln of their corrupt hearts and slime of their defiled hands for mortar, and try to build a tower of Babel that will bring them to heaven. By works of legal obedience, moral reformation, personal sacrifice, self-denial, devotion, sacramentalism, penitence, and religious zeal, foolish man hopes to establish righteousness for himself. What folly!


Filthy Rags


When man has done the very best he can do and offers it up to God, giving God his righteousness is like throwing a vile, discarded, loathsome menstrous cloth in the face of the triune God, who declares all our righteousness to be nothing but filthy rags (Isa. 64:6). He will not have it. God requires perfect obedience. He cannot and will not accept anything less than perfection, both inward and outward (Gal. 3: 10). Fallen man cannot produce righteousness because his heart is evil (Matt. 15:19). A corrupt fountain cannot bring forth pure water. Everything man does is defiled, because his motives are defiled. No man can make atonement for his sin (Heb. 10:11). Even if man could cleanse his heart and begin to do righteousness, he could never be accepted with God on that basis, because he still bears the guilt of sin and must be punished. If we would be righteous before God, we must be made righteous by God, by the imputation of Christís righteousness to us. We must be made the righteousness of God in him.


Grace Baptist Church of Danville - Grace For Today Radio Message #773

2734 Old Stanford Road - Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438

Donald S. Fortner, Pastor -Telephone 606-236-8235 - Email grace@mis.net