Saturday, November 23, 2019

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS & GOOD WORKS - EXPLAINED

'Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.' - Matthew 5 vs 16

Greetings dearly beloved of God in Christ. I'm sure that by the grace of God you will be refreshed in understanding as concerning this subject and even beyond, by the Spirit of God. Amen. You're lifted.

Okay. Someone asked, "what's the difference between self righteousness and doing good works as a Believer seeing that we are exhorted in the New Testament to walk in godliness and do good works, therefore what's their difference?". I tell you, this is a beautiful question, and having an understanding of it will do so much good to the one who possesses the understanding in his walk with God here on Earth. So right now we will be seeing the difference between self righteousness according to the Old Testament and Good Works according to the New Testament.

Now let's see a few more Bible passages of the New Testament that urges us to do good works. The first is our opening passage, the Lord says, 'that men may see your good works.' Okay;

'As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance...' - 1 Peter 1 vs 14 {KJV
 
Okay, this is the Apostle Peter, admonishing the brethren on how they should live their lives, not after their former worldly nature, but after holiness. You can further read this chapter into the 15th verse to see the whole writing. Let's see another;

'For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.' - Ephesians 2 vs 10 {KJV}

You see that here again, this is the Apostle Paul admonishing the brethren by the word of the Lord, informing them of God's intention and desire towards us Believers, and that intention/desire of God concerning us is that we possess Good Works. - Selah. It's very important to note this line; "which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.". This clearly shows to us that God's intention and desire concerning His people right from the Old Testament even into the New Testament has not changed, He still desires that His people walk in the Light of His nature, He still has the desire for us to do good works, good things and not evil things. - Selah

SO WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOOD WORKS ACCORDING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT AND SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS?

I will start with self righteousness. Self Righteousness are works done (good deeds) done in an attempt to get God's approval, God's goodness, God's blessings, God's favour. Let's see Scriptures;

'Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine...' - Exodus 19 vs 5 {KJV}

Do you see this? they needed to obey the Law in order to get God's approval. God's approval for them was conditional to their obedience. You see that? so they were not being righteous for nothing, they were doing those works of righteousness to get God's approval as "His people". That's why it's called 'Self Righteousness', a righteousness that has benefits attached to it. More Scriptures;

'And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:
And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God.' - Deuteronomy 28 vs 1 - 2 {KING JAMES VERSION}

You see, there was a condition placed on them for experiencing the blessing from God, their tasting of God's goodness was conditional to their obedience to the Law. This is why it is called 'Self Righteousness' because it is selfish, it's a righteousness exhibited to obtain something. You get it? okay. If you continue reading this chapter, you will see the beautiful blessings they would enjoy if they kept the Law and Commandments. But in the verse 15, curses were to come on them if they did not keep the Law and Commandments. You can check it out yourself for further study. So now, you see what self righteousness is and all about, it's all about "doing" to get God's approval, doing to obtain blessings from God. So if you find a man who says he doesn't do this and that simply because he doesn't want to go to hell, that's self righteousness being exhibited, that kind of righteousness cannot save a man. - Selah

Okay. On the other hand, what are Good Works according to the New Testament? Good Works are those godly virtues which proceeds forth from a Believer which proves that he loves God the Father, or rather which proves that the love of the Father is in him. Beloved, having established from Ephesians 2 vs 10 where we read above that God's desire for His people remains the same, which is that we walk in Newness of Life, it is important that we establish that Truth with further biblical readings;

'Or are you [so blind as to] trifle with and presume upon and despise and underestimate the wealth of His Kindness and forbearance and long-suffering patience? Are you unmindful or actually ignorant [of the fact] that God's Kindness is intended to lead you to repent (to change your mind and inner man to accept God's will)?' - Romans 2 vs 4 {AMPLIFIED BIBLE TRANSLATION}

Notice the words, he says that GOD'S KINDNESS IS INTENDED TO LEAD THE BELIEVER TO REPENT.

I always said this that it is the Believer who can repent, the sinner (unbeliever) cannot repent, it's only a man who has received the Gospel (no longer an unbeliever) that can now repent (have a change of mind and heart to now walk according to God's will) by reason of the knowledge of the Truth his eyes have been opened to in the Gospel. Do you get it? - Selah

So you see, all the blessings, promises and goodness which the people were to receive from God by their obedience to the Law in the Old Testament, God gave them all to us who believe in the sacrifice of His Son Jesus, freely for all eternity, in the New Testament. Hallelujah! It was hard for them to keep the Law seeing that (1), the flesh which is corrupt by nature would not allow them, and (2), there was fear for the curse if they didn't keep it; so walking uprightly among those of the Old Testament was grievous. So God changed the plan. Mind you, GOD did not change His desire for us to walk in righteousness! that didn't change and that will not change; it's still the same even till today. What God changed was "the method of operation", by which men will now be enabled and able to walk in the will and righteousness of God which has always been His dream and intention for His people even according to Romans 2 vs 4 where we just read above. So you see, sin and wicked living is still not welcomed! that's why that portion in Romans 2 vs 4 above says "to change your mind and inner man to accept God's will". Amen. God changed the method of operation so that it will be possible for us to accept His will, which is (Walking in Newness of Life) - Romans 6 vs 4. - Selah

The Law says this;

'Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.' - Exodus 19 vs 5 - 6 {KING JAMES VERSION}

"If you will obey, then you shall be." But see the New Testament;

'But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light...' - 1 Peter 2 vs 9 {KJV}

You see, no condition attached, unlike in the Law. You see, check the two comparing portions, you will find out that it's the same Blessing which was conditional for them to receive in the Old Testament that has come upon us freely for all eternity in the New Testament. Hallelujah! The same very blessings that was said of them "If they will obey, then they shall be" are the same blessings conferred on us freely in Christ Jesus. He says, "You are!" No conditions. God be praised forever. Their righteousness was conditioned to their obedience to the Law, but our righteousness in the New Testament is our faith in the finished work of Christ. Righteousness for us in the New Testament is a gift, a free gift - {Romans 5 vs 17}, but righteousness for them in the Old Testament was their obedience to the Law; so in the Old Testament, you are only righteous when you kept the Law, once you break it, you are a sinner. But in the New Testament, you are not only righteous by faith in Christ, but that righteousness of yours which He gave to you freely in Christ is for all eternity, never to be lost, whether you sin along the way or not; that's because God's word does not change. Righteous forever is righteous forever; perfected forever is perfected forever. Glory to God. - {Hebrews 10 vs 10 - 14, Hebrews 7 vs 25}.

Therefore Beloved, it's easy now to walk in righteousness. Romans 2 vs 4 where we read above informs us that God's intention for giving us Grace is that we may come into repentance, that we may receive enablement, empowerment to do those good works which He already ordained for us to walk in them. - Selah. {Ephesians 2 vs 10} You see... So we do good works not because we seek His approval or we want to obtain His goodness or blessing, no! He already blessed us with all His blessings {Ephesians 1 vs 3}, but we do good works because it's our new nature, that's how we live, this is how we roll; it has no business or connection with obtaining anything from God. - Think about it. So you see that Good Works in the New Testament is so very different from Self Righteousness? Yea. - Selah

Therefore dearly beloved, walk in the light of your new nature in Christ. I trust God that you have received understanding on this subject, and even more understanding of the Gospel has been imparted into your heart. You can visit our mp3 page, click here to go there right away and get our audio teachings on the Gospel of Christ for free on your device.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

- Jenning U. Angel

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