"LET THERE BE LIGHT" Ministries
THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF CHRIST
About 3 years before King David died, he made the following statement:
“The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness: according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all his judgments were before me: and as for his statutes, I did not depart from them. I was also upright before him, and have kept myself from mine iniquity. Therefore the Lord hath recompensed me according to my righteousness; according to my cleanness in his eye sight.” 2 Samuel 22:21-25.
Now this was written by David some 16 years after he had committed adultery with Bathsheba, had then killed Uriah her husband, and then married Bathsheba to try and hide the fact that she was pregnant with his child! (You can read this sad incident in 2 Samuel chapter 11). Since this was true, then how could David have said in truth that he was righteous, had kept the ways of the Lord and not departed from Him, as if he had never sinned with Bathsheba at all? Did he forget about these great sins of his? No.
David thought that he had carefully covered up his track of sins so that no one knew he had done wrong. But God knew, and He sent Nathan to clearly point out to David his sins. When David’s sins were plainly exposed, did he get mad? Did he try to turn the attention away from himself and onto Nathan by attacking Nathan’s character? No.
David was convicted of his wrongs, he recognized that he had greatly sinned, and instead of trying to hide his wrong deeds, he acknowledged them and then thoroughly repented of these sins. In fact all of Psalms 51, including the passage where he asked God to create in him a clean heart and renew a right spirit in him and not to cast him away, was written by David from a truly humble and repentant heart for his sin with Bathsheba.
After David had fully acknowledged and repented, God sent him word that He had fully forgiven him, and said: “The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.” 2 Samuel 12:13.
So how could David say that the Lord had rewarded him according to my righteousness and the cleanness of my hands, even though he had greatly sinned in the past? Because God had forgiven him, and had “put away” his sins. The Hebrew word for “put away” is #5674 in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, and its primary meaning is “to cover”. So because of David’s confession and sincere repentance, his sins were covered. But covered with what?
“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness…” Isaiah 61:10.
Because David acknowledged and sincerely repented of his sins, they were all forgiven, and a robe of righteousness was given to cover him and make it as if he had never sinned! But whose righteousness was David covered with?
“...their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.” Isaiah 54:17.
So the robe of righteousness that David was covered with was the righteousness of the Lord. And when was David covered with this robe? Was it when he had sinned? No. He was only covered with this robe of the Lord’s righteousness after he had confessed and repented of his sins.
While David was unrepentant, while he was living in sin, while he felt satisfied with his lifestyle, he was clothed with the garments of unrighteousness. But after David had acknowledged and fully repented of his sins, then he was covered with the pure garment of the Lord’s righteousness. Hence, this robe of righteousness is not given to anyone to cover them while in their sins, but to only cover those who are truly repentant of their sins.
Once covered with this precious robe, it was as if David had never sinned! And David was indeed righteous, not because he had never sinned, but even though he had sinned, yet because he had acknowledged and sincerely repented of these sins, God had fully forgiven him, and the Lord had given him His righteousness as a covering — making it as if David had never sinned in the first place! It was like the Lord had wiped David’s record slate clean, and given him a second chance — hopefully to avoid repeating the same sins this time. Now how many of us have wished for a second chance?
But is David the only person that can have all of their sins forgiven and be clothed with the Lord’s righteousness, making His righteousness their own?
“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth....and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Jeremiah 23:5-6.
So how many can, like David, have all of their sins forgiven and be clothed with the Lord’s righteousness? Was His name to be called “The Lord just of David’s Righteousness”? No, his name was “The Lord OUR Righteousness”! Therefore all who have sinned, if they will follow the same steps that David followed, can have the Lord’s righteousness as their own! And what were the steps David took? Once he became convicted of his sins, he confessed that he had sinned, and then fully and sincerely repented of them. Then his sins were forgiven, he was clothed with the Lord’s righteousness, and made as if he had never committed sin. As this would also include us today, then we can also become clothed with the Lord’s righteousness and be as if we had not sinned! We also can have our record slate wiped clean and get that second chance — just like David!
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9.
So if we today would acknowledge our sins and repent of them all to God, then we can indeed be cleansed from all unrighteousness, and become as if we had never sinned, having this precious covering of righteousness given to us! And where does this robe of righteousness come from? It comes from the Lord — it is His righteousness that covers us.
But without this precious and pure robe of the Lord’s righteousness covering us, we are covered with something less than pure, something that has been contaminated with our sins. With these soiled and dirty garments on us, any thing that we do — even any good that we might accomplish, is contaminated because it is done with these filthy clothes on us. The Bible strikingly portrays this as follows:
“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee…” Isaiah 64:6-7.
So our sins have stained and made our clothes filthy! But there is a way to become cleansed: and that is to repent. When our sins are pointed out, and we become convicted that we have done wrong, then we have a choice to make: to either remain content to continue living in our sins and clothed with our filthy stained garments, or to become unsatisfied with our sinful life and then stir ourselves up to call upon the Lord, confess and repent of our sins, and take hold of Him so that we can be forgiven. After being forgiven, our sinful stained clothes can be removed, and we can be clothed with the pure garments of the Lord’s righteousness. And once we take hold of the Lord and His righteousness and this change of garments occurs with us, instead of feeling discontented and unsatisfied with our life, we will finally be at peace and rest.
We are told: “Let him take hold of my strength (Strong’s, #4581 meaning the Rock - Christ Jesus), that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me....By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged…” Isaiah 27:5, 9.
“...we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…” Romans 5:1.
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28.
This wonderful process of having your filthy garments that are stained with all your sins removed from you, and then having the spotless robe of the Lord’s righteousneess placed upon you, is beautifully and touchingly portrayed in the Bible.
“And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan...is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed in filthy garments, and stood before the angel. And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with a change of raiment. And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothe him with garments.” Zechariah 3:1-5.
You will notice that Satan is not happy that this wonderful change can take place in your and my life. He stands right by our side and tries everything he can, suggests to us every excuse he can think of, to try and prevent us from being convicted of our sins, from then making true confession and repentance for every one of these sins, so that this wonderful change from sin to righteousness cannot take place in us.
But to all who are truly repentant and sorry for all their sins, and who stir themselves up to take hold of the Lord and His righteousness, what does God state to Satan? “The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan.” What’s amazing is that God apparently points to us during this cleansing process of having all our sins forgiven and being clothed with this robe of righteousness, and then declares to Satan: “Is not this (person named Susie, or John, etc.) a brand plucked out of the fire?”
So it is the Lord’s righteousness that covers you! It is His righteousness that makes you as if you had never sinned! It is His righteousness that allows you to be “plucked out of the fire” and given this second chance! It is not your own righteousness, but the Lord’s righteousness. So if someone asks you what has made this great change in your life, what will you say to them?
“Surely, shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength...In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.” Isaiah 45:24-25.
Thus in the Lord you have righteousness: in the Lord you shall be justified. But what does being justified mean? The Hebrew word “justified” means “to make right or to cleanse, to clear self” (Strong’s, #6663). So after you have confessed and repented of your sins, then the Lord justifies you, or cleanses you from all your sins, placing His righteousness on you and making you righteous in Him — as if you had never sinned. This would then clear you from the condemnation of sin — which is death, and enable you to obtain salvation and eternal life. That’s why this robe of righteousness is also likened to a garment of salvation! And just like David, you will not die because of the sins you have committed — no matter how big or great they are, because the Lord mercifully forgave you, justified you, and gave you His righteousness. So you have really passed from death unto life, and all because of and through Jesus Christ alone.
May you also choose to repent of all your sins, to then be forgiven by God and clothed in the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, so that you too can say to others “in the Lord have I righteousness and strength!”