How Righteousness by Faith Works



Excerpted from:


My Vision on the Testator Forever Sacrifice & Righteousness by Faith


May 23, 2019

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The foundation of Christianity is Christ our righteousnessÖ {5T 725.2} {1888 112.1}


Isaiah 8:20

To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.


The story of Abraham and Isaac provides a good illustration of how righteousness by faith works: I will use Rom. 1-5 as well.


Jas 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.


The Holy Spirit gave Abraham faith by which he believed God. Abrahamís part was to believe, to accept what the Holy Spirit showed him, and he exercised faith in his belief when he attempted to offer up his beloved Son Isaac. Abrahamís faith and obedience based on faith in God, was imputed unto him for righteousness. It works the same with us. And I will use Romans 1:5 to illustrate this truth:


Rom 1:2   (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) 

Rom 1:3   Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; 

Rom 1:4   And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: 

Rom 1:5   By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: 

Rom 1:6   Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:


Ellen White defines grace as the Holy Spirit. In this case (above), it is the POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT given for obedience and righteousness by faith. We receive POWER to obey from the Holy Spirit, but since the POWER (EMPOWERMENT) is from the Holy Spirit, it is not by any power of our own, and for that reason IT IS IMPUTED to our account just as Abrahamís obedience was imputed to his account.


Imputed Righteousness: The Righteousness of Christ, Our Immediate Need--Many feel that their faults of character make it impossible for them to meet the standard that Christ has erected but all such ones have to do is to humble themselves at every step under the mighty hand of God. Christ does not estimate the man by the amount of work he does, but by the spirit in which the work is performed. When He sees men lifting the burdens, trying to carry them in lowliness of mind, with distrust of self, and with reliance upon Him, He adds to their work His perfection and sufficiency, and it is accepted of the Father. We are accepted in the Beloved. The sinner's defects are covered by the perfection and fullness of the Lord our righteousness. Those who with sincere will, with contrite heart, are putting forth humble efforts to live up to the requirements of God, are looked upon by the Father with pitying, tender love. He regards such as obedient children, and the righteousness of Christ is imputed to them. . . . O, may the Lord imbue me with His Holy Spirit constantly that I may present the attractions of Christ so as to engross the whole mind of those for whom I labor! O, that my brethren might appreciate the promises of God in all their breadth and fullness! Then they might be saved from themselves, from self-confidence, criticism, unbelief, and pharisaism. Then self-exaltation would not be increasing, but decreasing spiritual pride undone. {11MR 284.5}


This scenario (below) accords with Paulís assessment that we are saved through faith by Christís Holy Spiritís EMPOWERMENT to obey, so it is the Holy Spirit that gets the credit lest any man should boast. We get credit when our faith is IMPUTED to us as righteousness, RIGHTEOUSNESS BY FAITH. But the POWER is that of Christís Holy Spirit. Our part is to have faith in the Holy Spiritís POWER TO DO THE WORK. Jesus said of Himself that His Father doeth the works.


Jhn 5:20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.


Jhn 14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.


So Jesus was righteous by faith in His Fatherís POWER to do the works, so even Jesusí works were IMPUTED UNTO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS because His Father did the works in and through Him, by dwelling in Him, and He dwelling in the Father. This may come as a surprise to many.


It was by righteousness by faith


Eph 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 


Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God


Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. (How can man boast of works he cannot do of himself, but only by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit of Christ, our Father?)


Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. 


When we aspire to righteousness by buying gold tried in the fire, faith in and love for Christ, He abides in us and we in Him. He canít abide in a person who wills (chooses) to sin, but He will abide in any person who chooses not to sin by the empowerment of Christís indwelling Holy Spirit.


Another aspect of our part is to trust (believe), behold in order to believe (have and exercise faith).


     The law of God is made void, and God calls upon us to stand in defense of the truth. Satan is a powerful general. He had a long experience in the heavenly courts, and he knows how to mingle right sentiments and principles with evil. He knows how to misapply and wrest the Scriptures. Herein lies the power of his deception. Thus he deceives men, and seeks to obliterate the line of demarcation between believers and unbelievers. God calls for faithful Calebs, who will stand firmly and steadfastly at their post of duty. {RH, June 4, 1901 par. 15}


     Our work is aggressive. We need the heavenly anointing, that our spiritual eyesight may be clear. We are living in the last remnant of time. Truth is now to be sought for as hidden treasure. The commandments of men have taken the place of the commandments of God. The Lord calls upon His workmen to watch and work and pray. Precious truths are to be recovered from the human traditions under which men have buried them. God desires His people to show a constantly increasing interest in the things of eternity. He desires us to value more highly the favor of His friendship. Let us not become Satan's agents to belittle the solemn, important truth which we profess to believe. Let us not show an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God. {RH, June 4, 1901 par. 16}


     God did not give His only begotten Son to die on the cross of Calvary in order that man might have liberty to transgress His law. He did not pay such an expensive price to make His law null and void. The falsehood that Christ died to abrogate the law originated with the enemy of all good. By giving His life for the life of the world, Christ placed the immutability of the law of God beyond controversy. His death on the cross is an indisputable testimony that not one jot or tittle of the law shall ever fail. Hear the words of the Saviour, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven." The disobedient will never find entrance there. "But whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." {RH, June 4, 1901 par. 17}


     God weighs every man in the balances of the sanctuary. In one scale there is placed the perfect, unchangeable law, demanding continuous, unswerving obedience; if in the other there are years of forgetfulness, of selfishness, or rebellion and self-pleasing, God says, "Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting." But Christ has made it possible for us to keep the law. He lived on this earth a life of perfect obedience, that His righteousness might be imputed to us. To us is given the glorious assurance that though we have fallen through disobedience, we may, through the merits of the Son of God, hear the words, "Well done, good and faithful servant; . . . enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." {RH, June 4, 1901 par. 18}


The Righteousness by Which we are Sanctified IMPARTED IMPUTED TICKET TO HEAVEN


Righteousness within is testified to by righteousness without. He who is righteous within is not hard-hearted and unsympathetic, but day by day he grows into the image of Christ, going on from strength to strength. He who is being sanctified by the truth will be self-controlled, and will follow in the footsteps of Christ until grace is lost in glory. The righteousness by which we are justified is imputed; the righteousness by which we are sanctified is IMPARTED. The first is our title to heaven, the second is our fitness for heaven. ó The Review and Herald, June 4, 1895. {MYP 35.2}


If the righteousness by which we are justified is IMPUTED, and the righteousness by which we are sanctified is IMPARTED, what cause has any man to boast?


Righteousness within is testified to by righteousness without. He who is righteous within is not hard-hearted and unsympathetic, but day by day he grows into the image of Christ, going on from strength to strength. He who is being sanctified by the truth will be self-controlled, and will follow in the footsteps of Christ until grace is lost in glory. The righteousness by which we are justified is imputed; the righteousness by which we are sanctified is imparted. The first is our title to heaven, the second is our fitness for heaven. ó The Review and Herald, June 4, 1895. {MYP 35.2}


In the Name of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,


R. William Beaulieu