The root of righteousness

10 08 2012

A sinful soul possesses no inherent power to live righteously. There are no natural virtues. All graciousness of character, wherever found, is the outgrowth of life which Christ alone imparts.

Claiming to be the Power from which all righteousness proceeds, Christ declares to sinful men, “Apart from me,” that is separated from me, “ye can do nothing.” His words are to be taken in the most absolute sense. Apart from Him, the living Vine, no one possesses a particle of fruit-bearing power. Apart from Him no one can produce, in any measure, the fruits of righteousness. Every holy life is a branch in the True Vine, and is fed from His out-flowing sap. He is the power in man that incites to righteousness, the power that makes for righteousness, the power that makes righteousness. Humanity is as dependent upon Him for spiritual life, as the branch is dependent upon the tree, the tree upon the soil, the river upon the fountain, the animal upon the air and the planet upon the sun.

The best that man can possibly produce by himself is an outward, mechanical righteousness – ­ a righteousness worthless as “filthy rags;” but a vital, spiritual righteousness ­ a righteousness acceptable to God, is possible to him only as his spirit is penetrated and pervaded by the Spirit of Christ.

Those who become partakers of His Spirit become “partakers of His holiness.” They are inspired to seek after, and empowered to attain, that ideal righteousness embodied in His life. From the inflow of His love into their hearts results the outflow of His righteousness in their lives. Yielding themselves up to the holy impulses which come from Him, “moving them on to noble ends, “they are “made the righteousness of God in Him.”

The blissful effect of the realization by the believer of the indwelling Christ as the inward law and power of righteousness is thus stated by Paul,

“If Christ is in you, the body is dead, because of sin; but the spirit is life, because of righteousness.” (Rom. 8:10)

Of His presence as of His righteousness there shall be no end. The righteousness which He has brought in for us, and which He is working out in us, is an “everlasting righteousness,”



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