“For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees – ye shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.” [Mt.5:20]
“For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God – but not according to knowledge. (3) 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. (4) For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” [Ro.10:2-4]
Where the pure truth concerning “the righteousness of God” is concerned there is a great deal of misunderstanding. The consequence of being sinners in this sin filled world makes it impossible for anyone (lit.) “to come unto a full knowledge of the truth” [1Tim.2:3] – apart from the free grace of God and the Holy Spirit of God. Sin adversely affects the judgment of even the most religious – the most intelligent – or, the most all around gifted sinner. There is no exception! We need the Spirit of Christ for all our spiritual understanding needs! [see: Pr.16:22; Jn.7:38; Eph.1:17-18]
Where the righteousness that we need for eternal salvation is concerned, Jesus, Himself, said what has been recorded from Mt.5:20 (see above) — and this text is still the Truth. The righteous-ness that we need in order to be accepted and approved by holy, holy, holy God for heaven…or, to put it another way — for us to be “meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in Light” [see: Col.1:12] – is none other than the righteousness that only God the Father can give us by His great grace – through the person and work of His incarnated only begotten and beloved Son – the Lord Jesus Christ!
We need what the Word refers to as “the righteousness of God”. For example, “the righteousness of God” is like that which is described and recorded in Ro.1:16-17 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ – for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth…(17) For therein – is the righteousness of God revealed…”. Therefore, “the righteousness of God” is made known unto us by personal divine revelation through hearing “the gospel of Christ” which is “the power of God unto salvation.” [see: Ro.10:16-17] This is why Col.1:12 completely says: “Giving thanks unto the Father – which hath made us meet (or, qualified) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in Light..” And, Christ is, also, the Light – Praise His Holy Name!
So then, it is only by the will of God the Father that anyone has been made to be qualified, approved and “accepted in the Beloved”. [see: Eph.1:3-6]
Ro.10:2 refers all those who like the scribes and Pharisees – have a real zeal for God, but it is a zeal that is not in accordance with (lit.) a “full knowledge” of who God is!
And why is that? Jesus, Himself, explains why from Mt.11:25-27: “At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, (the scribes and Pharisees) and hast revealed them unto babes. (newly “born from above” infants!) (26) Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight. (27) All things are delivered unto me of my Father – and no man (lit.) fully knoweth the Son, but the Father – neither (lit.) fully knoweth any man the Father – save the Son – and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” Of course, all of this revelation experience is brought to pass by the Holy Spirit of God. We will try to delve deeper into this wonderful subject of the “everlasting gospel.” [see: Rev.14:6]
For Christ’s Glory Only! – John Carpenter