“Whose Righteousness”

Pastor David Moore

Old Testament reading: Psalm 112:1-10 (NIV)  

Praise the Lord.  

Blessed are those who fear the Lord, who find great delight in His commands.  

Their children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in their houses, and their righteousness endures forever. Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous. Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice.  

Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes. They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor, their righteousness endures forever; their horn will be lifted high in honor.  

The wicked will see and be vexed, they will gnash their teeth and waste away; the longings of the wicked will come to nothing.  

Theme: Pastor Moore uses academic scholarship, resumes, and our worldly accomplishments to help us understand what matters most. The understanding of the righteousness we have because of our relationship with Christ.  

New Testament reading: Philippians 3:3-9 (NIV)  

For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh–though I myself have reasons for such confidence.  If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.  But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider  everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.  

Righteousness is a word that is rarely heard outside the confines of the church. Paul in the passage today communicates that righteousness could only come from Jesus and that changed him completely. ~D.  Moore  

Righteousness is our most fundamental need, most fundamental problem, and at the same time, the greatest gift from God. ~D. Moore  

1)  Fundamental need: we want to be successful.  

2) Fundamental problem: self-righteous, self-centered of righteousness that comes from an outlook that has been changed in our lives by Christ.  

Paul re-evaluated what was valuable to him, what gave him value, what made him righteous when he discovered that Jesus was better than his birthright, education, position in society and all of the other  accomplishments he had depended on prior to Christ changing his life. ~D. Moore

Ways that are self-centered to control our lives:  

1) Non-religious – I am saying to live the way I think is best.  

2) Religious – I will follow all the rules, I will be better than all the rest. ~D. Moore  

Paul had to repent not just the bad things he had done, but to repent, or give up all of his  accomplishments, because a life with Christ was measurably better. We have to give everything up, the good and the bad if we are to truly follow Jesus. ~D. Moore  

Righteousness, we have to say, is our greatest gift. The thing I most rejoice in, the thing that is the most important, verse 9, “to be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law,  but that which is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.” A  follower of Jesus is someone who realizes that God gives us the perfect resume: the resume that will open the door to God, it is the one that God offers to us. Funny how that works, right? The interesting  thing to me is that Paul doesn’t make this idea super abstract, which he could. He doesn’t say, “I want God’s righteousness,” but what he says is, “I want to be found in Him.” What exactly does that mean?  ~D. Moore  

The beauty of the gospel, the Christian good news, is that God finds me in Christ, means God sees me in Christ. God comes (into, upon) me in Christ. He (God) discovers us in Christ, so that when God looks at you, He sees your best self because of Christ. ~D. Moore  

What makes you worthy of God’s presence is the righteousness of your Friend, your Savior Jesus.  Repenting of your sins and mistakes doesn’t make you a Christian, it makes you as someone who knows  you are in need of grace. We give all that identifies us with our worldly accomplishments up for what Jesus has done for us. It is Jesus who opens the door of eternal life. Our righteousness is because we have come under Jesus’ authority.  

2 Corinthians 5:21: For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.  

This week: Re-read the sermon, re-read the summary, and dwell on what righteousness is when defined with Christ. I hope for all you are found in Christ.
God bless.