There are many theological words which most people — even most Christian people — do not under-stand. Among these is the Bible word “righteousness.” Actually, though, this word is very simple and we ought to understand about God’s righteousness even before we learn of His love.
In Romans 7 the Apostle Paul writes of the frustration he had as a Christian. He found that this frustration was due to the ongoing conflict between the “Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” and its righteous nature within the believer’s spirit (cf. Romans 6-8), and the still ever-present “Sin (nature) in the flesh” (Rom 8:3b), which seems to overwhelm the believer’s good and righteous intentions.
Have you ever noticed that God does not hold the great men of Scripture up to us because of their personal goodness?
Almost invariably their records are marred by failure and sin, but God would have us to look at their faith, to see… what their faith did for them.
Even those who lived relatively good lives are not held up to us for their personal worth, because God knows their imperfections and failings. Thus Paul has us consider Abraham’s rote to righteousness.
Paul’s great Epistle to the Romans has much to say about “the righteousness of God”; in fact, this is the theme of the Book of Romans. Sad to say, however, the Bible is so little read and studied of late that many people do not even know what the word “righteousness” means.
Actually, every man, woman and child should know about the righteousness of God — or, to simplify the word — the rightness of God. It is most important to understand that God does always and only that which is right. He can do nothing and will do nothing that is not right.
Every Christian knows by their own daily experience that the Lord does not take possession of believers and cause them to live lives pleasing to Him. Many would wish God would make them live righteously. The truth is that we have a part in this.
The Bible declares how God loved us in spite of our sins and how He gave His blessed Son to die on Calvary's Cross to clear our title to heaven. Sadly, instead of taking Him at His Word, thousands turn away from His gracious offer, "going about to establish their own (self) righteousness" (Rom.10:3).
Paul wrote "be not drunk with wine" but rather "be filled with the Spirit" (Eph 5:18). In contrast to a person may be "under the influence" of alcohol, Paul encourages believers to be "under the direct influence" of the indwelling "Spirit of Christ" and "redeem the time" (v16). This we do as a matter of choice, to yield or not yield to His Spirit moving within us.
The 2nd of the (4) four new items in Jesus, parables of the wineskins and garments is the "new garment."
From His resurrection onward, Jesus is the finished "new cloth," to be our "whitened garment." Jesus is now available to all men, to be the purified whitened garment of righteousness to clothe all who will believe.
The 2nd new item we are discussing is the "new garment" of Luke 5:36.
Faith is one of the most precious treasures any person can possibly possess. It is a shame that so few understand what the Bible teaches about faith.
Faith is often confused with presumption, optimism, determination, superstition and imagination. Actually it is simply believing. This is why we read in Rom. 4:5:
“But to him that worketh not, but (rather) believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”
Related to our rest "in Christ," there are four (4) new things we need to understand in Jesus' parables of the "garments" of Luke 5 and "wineskins" of Matt 9. First we will here discuss the "new cloth."