TO BE RIGHTEOUS IN THE CHRIST YESHUA
The Lord Yeshua-Christos is truly God’s righteousness unto man. Those who are called unto The Christ are called unto His righteousness. There is then a need for one to understand how did The Savior become God’s righteousness, and how can one be righteous like Him?
How does the Old Testament define righteousness?
15 ‘You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor.
Righteousness in this context showed how God wanted His early people to be impartial in dealing with their neighbors. Righteousness then reflects a sense of justice – it simply means being impartial or fair. So, as righteousness simply means fairness, to be righteous means to be fair. Is not God exactly that, fair and righteous with His Covenant unto man?
THE CHRIST IS CALLED IN RIGHTEOUSNESS
How does God’s righteousness relate with His Son, The Lord Yeshua? Can the definition of being righteous as being impartial and fair be supported as fact? If so, how?
First, let us confirm some of the prophetical verses that point to The Christ as God’s righteousness with man:
6 In His days Judah will be saved,
And Israel will dwell safely;
Now this is His name by which He will be called:
THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
15 ‘In those days and at that time
I will cause to grow up to David
A Branch of righteousness;
He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.
Behold, a king will reign in righteousness,
And princes will rule with justice.
These verses undoubtedly refer to The Christ as the ‘Lord our Righteousness who executes judgment and reigns in righteousness in the earth’. Let us notice how the Prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah both point to the righteousness of the prophesied Christ in reference to His judgment, salvation and reign as He will do all of these responsibilities with impartiality or fairness.
What further proves that The Savior’s righteousness is related with His responsibilities to reign, judge and save? How does God utilize His Son’s righteousness for man’s salvation?
6 “I, the Lord, have called You in righteousness,
And will hold Your hand;
I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people,
As a light to the Gentiles…
The Almighty God called His Son in righteousness and was given as His Covenant with man. For what purpose?
(Isaiah 42:1, 21)
“Behold! My Servant whom I uphold,
My Elect One in whom My soul delights!
I have put My Spirit upon Him;
He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles…
21 The Lord is well pleased for His righteousness’ sake;
He will exalt the law and make it honorable.
The Christ was commissioned by God through His very own Spirit and called Him in righteousness in order to bring justice to man. How did He do this? By exalting or completely fulfilling the law even to the point of death, and thus making it honorable. Let us take note that only The Christ, being God’s Elect Servant’, is expected to exalt or completely exalt the law in order to bring justice unto man.
What further supports that the righteousness of The Christ simply refers to His impartiality in bringing forth justice unto man?
18 “Hear, you deaf;
And look, you blind, that you may see.
19 Who is blind but My servant,
Or deaf as My messenger whom I send?
Who is blind as he who is perfect,
And blind as the Lord’s servant?
20 Seeing many things, but you do not observe;
Opening the ears, but he does not hear.”
Within the same chapter as the previous two citations, the Prophet Isaiah prophesied concerning the perfect Servant of God who is blind and deaf. Did Isaiah prophesy in reference to the perfect Servant’s physical blindness and deafness? No, he did not. In fact, the prophesied Servant sees many things – as well as His ears are open, meaning He can actually see and hear. How then could He be both blind and deaf in the prophecy? The prophecy was stated in a metaphor in such that although He sees many things and His ears are opened He refuses to observe nor hear those things. Why does He not observe and hear the things or the deeds and actions of the people? Because He is righteous, impartial and fair as He fulfills His divine tasks. The only way He can do so is by possessing a non-judgmental mindset towards man who is weak and prone to hopelessness.
THE RIGHTEOUS CHRIST IS NON-JUDGMENTAL BECAUSE HE IS LOVE
How were the prophecies about the righteous, impartial, fair and non-judgmental Servant of God fulfilled in The Christ Yeshua?
15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one.
47 And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.
The Christ Yeshua has not judged any one – not in the past neither will He in the future. Although the authority to judge was given unto Him (Jn. 5:22, 27), He has delegated this task to His Word. His words (Word as a collective sum) that He left in the world have become a separate entity - the Holy Spirit and Power that will perform His functions on His behalf while He is still in heaven with The Father. And on the day of judgment, when He has already saved the people who are His, it will be the same Power who will judge the rest of the world.
(For a related reading please read our article on the Holy Spirit: https://www.spiritualhouse.info/the-holy-spirit-is-the-divine-word)
Not only was The Savior non-judgmental, He also taught against being judgmental and requires the same from His disciples:
(Luke 6:37, 40)
37 “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven… 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.
That The Savior Yeshua forbade everyone to judge is an evangelical fact and is one of His fundamental teachings. How is it that The Savior is not judgmental? It is because His teachings reflect God’s commandments that revolve around love:
37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment.39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.
The Lord Yeshua condensed the Ten Commandments into two commandments and then reissued them. He lived these commandments all through death and resurrection. Because of love He has not become judgmental on mankind, and by being loving and non-judgmental He saves mankind.
Note: Judging or condemning in the context of The Christ is believing that someone who has done wrong has done it because he or she is evil and therefore is not worthy of God’s salvation. This is different from merely stating facts. For example, if one saw someone rob a bank and witnessed against him to the authorities, he is simply stating what he has witnessed. However, when he starts believing that the person who robbed the bank is an evil person for doing such and will surely go to hell, then he is already judging or condemning that person. For how could he know the robber’s reason that pushed him to do such an unlawful act? What if he has to rob a bank as a last resort so that he can have his dying child or loved one be cared for in the hospital? The fact that no one can see what is in any one’s heart is enough reason for The Savior to bar us from judging or condemning. After all, if He who has the authority to judge chose not to judge, why should we who are just beneficiaries of His grace?
THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF CHRIST IS GOD’S LOVE
As prophesied by Isaiah, The Christ was called in righteousness and was given as a Covenant to man. What is a deeper understanding of this specific prophecy? First of all, how was God’s Son given as a Covenant to man? First let us understand what is a covenant in biblical perspective?
(The Book of Covenants, Brent Adkisson, WestBow Press, 2017, page 2)
So, what is a covenant?
The Hebrew word berith, translated “covenant,” and the Greek word diatheke, translated “covenant” or “testament,” in most versions of the Bible, are legal terms that denote a formal and legally binding relational contract – the legal conveyance of a promise or the declaration of benefits to be given by one party to another, with or without conditions attached. The key difference between a contract and a covenant is that a contract is negotiated between two parties until both are in agreement with its terms and desired outcomes, while a covenant is designed by one party and then offered to another party who has no negotiating power; this second party must choose to accept or reject that covenant in its entirety. All relational covenants in the Bible between God and humanity are initiated by God and are a sovereign act of His grace.
If natural justice, fairness or righteousness is to be observed, then man who has no negotiating power before God deserves His judgment and punishment on the day of judgment. However, The Almighty God found a way to recalibrate what is fair and righteous in His dealing with man. He lowered His expectation of man and gave His Son to be His Covenant with him so that only His Son will do everything for him (Jn. 4:36-38), and all man has to do is either to receive the Covenant in whole through faith, or reject Him (Jn. 3:14-18). In this gracious act of God, He was able to make His Son His new measurement for righteousness. What should we understand from this truth? That The Christ’s status of being God’s righteousness only reflects God’s untainted love unto mankind.
How then can man receive God’s Covenant in whole? By possessing the fairness or impartiality and love of The Savior Yeshua. This is the mindset of The Christ that His disciples must be ‘perfectly trained for’ in order to become like his teacher, The Christ Yeshua (Lk. 6:37).
PARABLE OF THE NEW WINE AND NEW WINESKINS
(Luke 5:33, 36-39)
Then they said to Him, “Why do the disciples of John fast often and make prayers, and likewise those of the Pharisees, but Yours eat and drink?” ... Then He spoke a parable to them: “No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.’
In this parable, The Lord Yeshua presented that a new garment should not be used to patch a tear from an old clothing, nor new wine be stored into old wineskins. Doing such would not be very effective as the unshrunk garment will only make a tear. In the same way, the new wine must not be put into old wineskins as it still continues to ferment and expand, will burst the old wineskins and the wine be spilled. For the new wine to be enjoyed it has to be stored into new wineskins.
The New Wine is The Christ – His love and non-judgmental teachings. The wineskins represent people’s way of accepting the truth of Christ – whether man has the old or new wineskin in relation with his acceptance of Christ depends on his outlook. Paul, the New Testament writer, presented it this way:
2 Tim 2:20-21 - But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. 21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.
A wineskin is a vessel, and as Paul confirmed, one can become a vessel for Christ’s honor. In the context of the parable above, a new wineskin is a vessel of Christ's mindset and teachings. In order for one to benefit from the righteous or non-judgmental (impartial/fair) teachings of Christ and His love, he must be renewed as a vessel or wineskin. How so? This is how one becomes a ‘perfectly trained’ disciple who is much like his Teacher:
31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.
39 And Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.”
40 Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, “Are we blind also?”
41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.
A perfectly trained disciple becomes righteous like his Teacher (The Christ) not only because he abides in His words and in His love but also because he is made blind with His blindness. This blindness of The Savior (Isa. 42:18-21) is His non-judgmental love as this is God’s unequivocal love unto mankind. By becoming the new wineskin or vessel of the New Wine who is Christ, one becomes His true disciple in His righteousness who ‘have no sin’ before God and not through his personal struggle to perfectly obey the commandments of Moses in the Old Testament.
CONCLUSION: DISCIPLES ARE RIGHTEOUS IN CHRIST
The Almighty God’s loving act of giving His Son as His Covenant unto man only reflects His righteousness, justice or fairness with man. With regards to His Son Yeshua-Christos, He emboldens the righteousness of His Father with His impartial and non-judgmental (blindness) dealing with all the people.
For one to become a disciple of Christ he or she must live the love of Christ, free from being judgmental toward others. By doing so, one becomes righteous (impartial or fair) just like his Teacher. This is the true sense of righteousness. Fact is, in the end The Savior will save those who are FAIR, RIGHTEOUS or JUST:
49 So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just. ..