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.Romans 10:3
Are we ignorant of God’s righteousness? Have you ever considered your own righteousness being above that of Christ? Do we take it for granted and think that we have attained righteousness because we are decent, honest, and just? That we are righteous because of the good works we do. Some claim they are righteous by the church they have become members of. Righteousness is not a common human trait. Righteousness is what we learn through experience in how we treat each another. We are not born with righteousness. Righteousness is doing what is right and just in all our relationships. Righteousness maintains the peace in every situation. However, a self-righteous attitude does not maintain the peace, it thrives on its own virtue. One might say a self-righteous person has a superiority complex and that has negative results of conflict and irritation, which only creates distance within a relationship.
In Romans chapter ten, the Apostle Paul is talking about the failure of Israel’s claim that they are righteous by the deeds they have done. Their claim is not different than what any church or individual may claim in that they are superior in what they do. They may have a great zeal towards God. A zeal towards God by their actions by doing good works, yet they persecute others for not coming up to their standards has brought disappointment in God’s eye. The apostle Paul said they are ignorant and do not know about God’s righteousness. They have established their own righteousness. An example of this is when a place of worship becomes a place of merchandise thinking that you are doing good deeds by selling items for the glory of God. This brings disapproval in God’s eye [see John 2:16-17]. This is not the true form of righteousness.
To think that we can obtain our own righteousness by the deeds we do is an impossible task since sin reigns within our mind not to do good. We only do good if it is for our own benefit. We think we are better than the next person, but we are not. Superiority means nothing in God’s eye. To think that you are better than someone else is a falsified claim. Why? Because we should be all one in unity with God through Christ. There is one body, and one Spirit, and one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all [see Ephesians 4:4-6]. Paul tells us to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace [Ephesians 4:3]. This was the theme for every Christian Church. I remember a song we sang in church titled, “We are one in the Spirit,” written by Peter Scholtes in the 60’s. This song reveals the nature of the truth that Paul was talking about in Ephesians chapter 4, but it is also in John 13:34 that we should love one another.
We are one in the Spirit
We are one in the Lord
And we pray that all unity
May one day be restored
And they’ll know we are Christians
By our love, By our love
Yes, they’ll know we are Christians
By our love
Do they know today that we are Christians? By our love? We should all pray that all unity may one day be restored. How is it restored? It is restored through the process of reconciliation through the cross of Christ. We need to be restored back to wholeness as a child of God. Restoration is done through the Holy Spirit. Through the love of Christ death on the cross is the only way we as human beings can be restored. Paul stated in Ephesians 4:13, “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” Wow! In the unity of faith in the knowledge of the Son of God. In the knowledge of the Son of God and not in the knowledge of anything else. Why? Because “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth,” [see Romans 10:4]. Christ is the living bread of life. Christ said, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven,” [John 6:51]. Christ also said, “the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life,” [John 6:63]. The words are spirit and life, yet we enter in through the flesh, which does not profit because it is not spirit or life. The flesh speaks to its own self-worth instead of Christ. Our self-worth only comes from the Son of God who is worthy of all praise. Note that the Apostle Paul ascribes righteousness to faith [see Romans 10:6]. Righteousness is of faith, and this is what Paul is preaching about.
The righteousness of God was approved in Christ Jesus. Only Jesus met every requirement of the law. No flesh will glory in God’s presence. Christ Jesus is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption, [see 1 Corinthians 1:29-31]. This is the full meal package that is based upon the word of faith. This is the word that is near us and in our mouth to speak states Paul. Faith comes by hearing the word of God. Can we believe that Christ is our righteousness and that He fulfilled the law and the commandments? Can we believe that God has raised him from the dead? Look to God, Believe in His Son, and Confess with the mouth that God raised Christ from the dead. This is a heartfelt confession, for the Spirit reveals it to everyone who listens. We can either accept it or reject it. God knows those who have a true confession. Do not think for one moment that you are above anyone when it comes to righteousness. Do not fool yourself into your own self-righteousness. Our virtue comes from Christ alone. Adam brought death because of sin, but Christ gave us the gift of righteousness and life eternal. Let us submit to God’s righteousness through Jesus Christ who paid the price on the cross and arose from the dead to give us the gift of righteousness. We receive it with open arms, and we are thankful for God’s provision. We walk in faith accepting God’s gracious gift and ask for the Holy Spirit to help us to live the life of Christ by working out the conflict we have within our heart knowing that Christ is our righteousness. Through faith we submit ourselves to the righteousness of God.