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On the Righteousness of the Believer: Works or Grace?

jeremiah1five

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Seems much is being said about whether we as born-again Covenant believers in Christ are righteous, or that we have to perform works in our grace from God to continue to be righteous. As the apostle Paul said:

Romans 4:4-5 (KJV)
4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Romans 11:5-6 (KJV)
5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

It seems to me some believe they must work for their righteousness, or to stay righteous, but this means if it is by works that we remain righteous, then God has now been made in the image of man. God is Righteous. Christ is Righteous, and the Holy Spirit is Righteous. If we must work our righteousness then we are no longer saved, nor have we been saved. This is a Works-Gospel. Not a Gospel of Grace, but of Works.

Consider the Lord's own words:

John 3:3-12 (KJV)
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

John the Baptist echoes the same thing of verse 12:

John 3:27 (KJV)
27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.

Are we as born-again believers in Covenant with God righteous, or do we have to practice and WORK our righteousness?

One more thing...

The kingdom of God is not a place or location, but a Person. Christ is the kingdom of God.

When you think of a kingdom you think of a king, subjects, a court, a castle, a location, all the typical furnishings of an earthly kingdom - even a heavenly one.

Matthew 12:28 (KJV)
28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.

Question: What is Christ doing?
Answer: Casting out devils.

Jesus Christ is in effect saying HE IS the kingdom of God.

So what is [the] kingdom of God?

Paul and the Holy Spirit answer that for you:

Romans 14:17 (KJV)
17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

If Christ says He is the kingdom of God, and a believer is born-again, then now the Holy Spirit resides/dwells in that believer then that believer is RIGHTEOUS due to the Presence of Christ in that individual. He/she is also at peace with God as opposed to the non-elect, non-Covenant, world who hate God and are in a state of hostility toward the Lord and King. We also are in joy. IF we are atoned, and we are, then we are righteous do to the atonement. IF we are not atoned, then the Holy Spirit could not reside/dwell within us and we are still in sin and unrighteous before God.
Do you also notice the Trinity in the above verse in Romans?

righteousness = the Father
peace = the Prince of Peace, the Son
joy = the Holy Spirit.


The kingdom of God is Christ in us and we are righteous because He is righteous.

A man or woman can receive nothing except it be given them from heaven.
 

Senior

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IMO, anyone who rejects the verses about "practicing righteousness", etc.
might consider that there is a difference between:
--- performing "the works of the law" in the hope that will save them
vs.
--- doing the works of obedience that God has commanded us to do.
 

JLB

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Seems much is being said about whether we as born-again Covenant believers in Christ are righteous, or that we have to perform works in our grace from God to continue to be righteous. As the apostle Paul said:

Romans 4:4-5 (KJV)
4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Romans 11:5-6 (KJV)
5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

It seems to me some believe they must work for their righteousness, or to stay righteous, but this means if it is by works that we remain righteous, then God has now been made in the image of man. God is Righteous. Christ is Righteous, and the Holy Spirit is Righteous. If we must work our righteousness then we are no longer saved, nor have we been saved. This is a Works-Gospel. Not a Gospel of Grace, but of Works.

Consider the Lord's own words:

John 3:3-12 (KJV)
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

John the Baptist echoes the same thing of verse 12:

John 3:27 (KJV)
27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.

Are we as born-again believers in Covenant with God righteous, or do we have to practice and WORK our righteousness?

One more thing...

The kingdom of God is not a place or location, but a Person. Christ is the kingdom of God.

When you think of a kingdom you think of a king, subjects, a court, a castle, a location, all the typical furnishings of an earthly kingdom - even a heavenly one.

Matthew 12:28 (KJV)
28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.

Question: What is Christ doing?
Answer: Casting out devils.

Jesus Christ is in effect saying HE IS the kingdom of God.

So what is [the] kingdom of God?

Paul and the Holy Spirit answer that for you:

Romans 14:17 (KJV)
17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

If Christ says He is the kingdom of God, and a believer is born-again, then now the Holy Spirit resides/dwells in that believer then that believer is RIGHTEOUS due to the Presence of Christ in that individual. He/she is also at peace with God as opposed to the non-elect, non-Covenant, world who hate God and are in a state of hostility toward the Lord and King. We also are in joy. IF we are atoned, and we are, then we are righteous do to the atonement. IF we are not atoned, then the Holy Spirit could not reside/dwell within us and we are still in sin and unrighteous before God.
Do you also notice the Trinity in the above verse in Romans?

righteousness = the Father
peace = the Prince of Peace, the Son
joy = the Holy Spirit.

So Senior and all who hold to the argument he presents on post on this question that we must perform works so that we may continue to be righteous are in error and need to correct their doctrine and belief-system so that it reflects the truth of the Word of God.

The kingdom of God is Christ in us and we are righteous because He is righteous.

A man or woman can receive nothing except it be given them from heaven.
You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. Romans 11:19-22




JLB
 

for_his_glory

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John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

We are saved by God's grace as no one can work towards righteousness. The works we are to do is the continued righteous works of the Lord found in Matthew 25:34-40 that we remain in God's righteousness through faith that is Christ Jesus who is our gift from God to all who will believe through faith in which Christ is our faith and hope of eternal life with the Father.
 
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JLB

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This is good stuff! Free from sin, free to serve God, saved to serve ...

Saved to serve our family; our household and our brothers and sisters in Christ.


Then as we grow and mature in Him, we will serve the world by sharing Christ with them.



JLB
 
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I've always thought it would be helpful when someone mentions "works" they also speak about what type of works they are speaking about. The Bible speaks of different types of works........works of God, works of Satan, righteous works, unrighteous works, good works, evil works, etc.

Romans 10:3 speaks of two different types of works, one work that does not save "establishing their own righteousness" which those Jews were doing and a work that does save by 'submitting to (obeying) the righteousness of God".

Since all works mentioned in the Bible are not alike therefore they cannot all be lumped together under the term "works".
 
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JLB

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I've always thought it would be helpful when someone mentions "works" they also speak about what type of works they are speaking about. The Bible speaks of different types of works........works of God, works of Satan, righteous works, unrighteous works, good works, evil works, etc.

Romans 10:3 speaks of two different types of works, one work that does not save "establishing their own righteousness" which those Jews were doing and a work that does save by 'submitting to (obeying) the righteousness of God".

Since all works mentioned in the Bible are not alike therefore they cannot all be lumped together under the term "works".

Well said. Great discussion topic!


Knowing this one simple truth from the scriptures is extremely important.


James and Romans teach this important principle of faith.


The different works that are mentioned are:


The works of the law of Moses
Good works
Works that earn a wage

The “work“ of obedience; The obedience of faith



JLB
 

JLB

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Since all works mentioned in the Bible are not alike therefore they cannot all be lumped together under the term "works".

Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. John 5:28-29



  • those who have done good, to the resurrection of life,
  • and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.


JLB
 
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Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. John 5:28-29



  • those who have done good, to the resurrection of life,
  • and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.


JLB
Yes, the verses you cite obviously shows all works are not the same therefore all works cannot be indiscriminately lumped together as if they were the same.
 
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JohnDB

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WOW...
Another two year old thread resurrected from the past
 

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