The Righteousness of God
That is Revealed in the
< Romans 1:16-17 >
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the
power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew
first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God
is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, 'The just shall
live by faith.'"
We must receive the righteousness
Paul the Apostle was not ashamed of
the gospel of Christ. He stately testified the gospel. However,
one of the reasons many people weep though they believe in Jesus
is because of their sins. It is also due to their ignorance in acknowledging
the righteousness of God. We can be saved by believing in God's
righteousness and by giving up our own righteousness.
Why was Paul the Apostle not ashamed
of the gospel? First of all, it was because the righteousness of
God was revealed in it.
The gospel, 'euaggelion' in
Greek, means 'good news'. When Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem,
God's angel appeared and told the shepherds who were keeping watch
over their flock at night, "Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace, good will toward men!" (Luke 2:14)
It was good news-'peace, good will toward men.' The gospel
of the Lord saved us from all sins and washed away the sins of the
world. Jesus washed away all our sins. He, Himself, washed away
all the sins of those who squirmed like maggots in dunghills and
who sinned in the mud.
Firstly, Paul the Apostle said that
the righteousness of God was revealed in the gospel. God's righteousness
was revealed in the gospel that blotted out all our sins. The righteousness
of God allowed us to become the saints and the righteous. It also
permitted us to obtain eternal lives and be sinless.
What is the righteousness of human
beings? We people like to show ourselves off before God when we
have something to brag about. Piling one's own pride by doing good
deeds portrays human righteousness. However, Jesus' righteous act
that saved us from all our sins allowed God's righteousness to be
revealed in the gospel. This is the righteousness of God.
These days, most Christians preach
the gospel without knowing the gospel of the righteousness of God.
They say, "Believe in Jesus and you will be saved and become
rich." However, these are not the teachings of the gospel of
God's righteousness. The gospel seems to be more popular than anything,
but most people are ignorant and do not understand the gospel. It
is similar to the fact that the Bible is a bestseller, but people
still don't know its contents actually. The most precious and beneficial
thing in this world is the gospel, which God has given us.
"For in it the righteousness
of God is revealed from faith to faith." The gospel of
God is like an oasis in the desert. Jesus came to those sinners
who had committed many sins and washed all of their sins away. However,
people have rejected the gift of His righteousness, which has washed
away the sins of the world, while trying to establish their own
righteousness. People who put up their own efforts (service, dedication,
zeal, offering, prayer of repentance, fasting prayer, keeping the
Lord's day, translating God's word into practice and so on), and
refuse God's gift, are those who reject His righteousness. One can
receive the righteousness of God only when one's own righteousness
is given up.
They sewed fig-leaves together,
and made themselves clothing
In Genesis 3:21, it is written, "Also
for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed
The first man, Adam, sinned against
God by falling into the trickery of Satan. What Adam and Eve did
right after they sinned was to sew fig leaves together and make
themselves clothing. The garments made of sewed fig leaves forms
a striking contrast to the tunics made of skins. It was the difference
between 'the righteousness of man' and 'the righteousness of God.'
Genesis 3:7 said, "They sewed fig leaves together and made
themselves coverings." Have you ever plaited radish leaves?
We Koreans cut off radish leaves from radishes and plait them together
with rice-straws to dry them. We cook bean paste stew with them
in the winter. It is very delicious!
Adam and Eve plaited fig leaves together
and made garments after they had sinned. This sort of acts-good
deeds, self-trial and self-sacrifice-constitute human righteousness.
It is self-righteousness, not the righteousness of God. The fact
that they made their own garments with fig leaves shows the sin
of pride by trying to hide their sins with their good deeds before
God. Plaiting one's righteousness-one's devotions, self-offerings,
self-trials, services, and prayers of repentance into a garment,
and covering the sins in one's mind with it is 'idolatry,' which
accrues one's pride before God.
Can we hide our sins in our hearts
before God by sewing fig leaves together to make garments? Can we
hide our sins by our good deeds? Never. The leaves would begin to
fall in a day, and after 3 days, all the leaves would fall finally.
Garments made of vegetables don't last long. People who sew fig
leaves together and make garments, namely, those who try to be righteous
by serving God well with their own deeds, cannot enter into the
Kingdom of Heaven. We cannot receive the forgiveness of sins by
the righteousness of our own deeds.
When Adam and Eve tried to hide their
sins by making garments with fig-leaves, God called Adam, "Where
are you, Adam?" While hiding himself among the trees of the
garden, he said, "I was afraid, because I was naked; and I
hid myself." A person who has sin tries to hide among the trees.
Trees frequently imply men in the Bible. He/she who has sin in the
heart tries to hide himself/herself among people. He/she likes to
take a seat in the middle, not sitting too far back or in the front
of the church where many people gather together. Why? Because he/she
wants to hide himself/herself among people.
However, he/she cannot hide his/her
sins before God. He/she must be forgiven of his/her sins by giving
up his/her own righteousness and by believing in the righteousness
of the Lord. Those who have vague faiths and who don't believe in
the truth also want to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, hiding
themselves among the same kind of people, but they will end up in
hell with those who try to hide their sins with their good deeds.
Sinners before God have to be revealed as sinners and give themselves
up to God.
God told Adam, who made garments with
fig leaves, "Why did you take the fruit? Who made you eat?"
"Oh, God, The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me
of the tree, and I ate." "Eve, why did you do so?"
"The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat." So the Lord
God said to the serpent, "Because you did such a thing, you
are cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field:
on your belly shall you go, and dust shall you eat all the days
of your life." That is why serpents slither on their bellies.
Again God told Adam and Eve, "You also committed sin. You who
were beguiled to sin and the ringleaders who made you sin are the
same sinners." Nowadays, false prophets also preach their pseudo-gospels,
saying, "Receive the fire!" People who are deceived by
them will be treated in the same manner as the false prophets and
go to hell.
The Lord made tunics of skin
for Adam and his wife
The Lord thought, "I will not
leave Adam and Eve, who sinned by being beguiled by Satan, as they
are. I had originally made up my mind to create men in My image
and make them into My sons, so I will save them to accomplish My
plan." This plan was in God. Therefore, God passed over their
sins to an animal, killed the animal, skinned it and made tunics
from its skin and clothed Adam and Eve with the tunics. He made
it the symbol of our salvation. In fact, the plant garments made
of fig leaves could not last even a day, and it had to be repaired
over and over again. God clothed Adam and Eve with eternal life,
saying, "You, Adam and Eve, come on, I newly made tunics of
skin from an animal, be clothed in it. It's the skin of an animal
that died for you." The Lord clothed Adam and Eve with tunics
of skin blessed with God's righteousness in order to give Adam and
Eve new lives. The Lord God made tunics from skin for Adam and his
wife and clothed them, just like God clothed believers with the
salvation of His righteousness.
However, the salvation of humankind
that was apart from the salvation of God was the plant garment made
of fig leaves. God clothed us in tunics of skin, which is the righteousness
of God. The Lord clothed the remission of sins with the righteousness
of God by giving us His flesh and blood. He took away all our sins
with His baptism and crucifixion in order to receive all judgment
in our place. God lets us have the forgiveness of sins when we believe
in the righteousness of God through the gospel of the baptism and
blood of Jesus. It is the gospel that saves sinners from their sins.
There are many people who try to establish
their own righteousness, rejecting the righteousness of God in the
world. They must discard their own righteousness. In Romans 10:1-4
it is written, "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to
God for Israel is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness
that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For
they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish
their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness
of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone
The Israelites insisted on their legalism
in order to establish their own righteousness, while ignoring the
righteousness of God. God gave men the law to make them aware of
sin. People have the knowledge of sin through the Ten Commandments
and have the forgiveness of sin by believing in the righteousness
of His salvation, which saves them from their sins through the sacrificial
system of the tabernacle. Therefore, the sin offering of the tabernacle
implies that Jesus is an exact representation of God in the New
Testament. However, the Israelites didn't know this righteousness
Why was Jesus baptized?
Why was Jesus baptized? John the Baptist
baptized Jesus in order to wash away all the sins of this world.
Jesus told John the Baptist just before He was baptized, "Permit
it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness."(Matthew
3:15) This is the reason Jesus was baptized. He was baptized
so that He could wash away all the sins of mankind. He took away
the sins of this world by being baptized. "Behold the Lamb
of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29)
He took away all sins and was crucified to atone the sins. However,
the Israelites didn't believe that Jesus became the perfect Savior
Israelites have not submitted themselves
to the righteousness of God, but Jesus is the end of the law for
righteousness to everyone who believes. The end of the law means
that Jesus washed away all sins of the world. Christ was judged
as the curse of the law for all believers to be sanctified. He ended
the curse of the law. Jesus redeemed all people from their sins.
Jesus was baptized to wash away the sins of all mankind. He took
away all the sins of the world by delivering His flesh up to John
to be baptized and by passing all the sins of the world to His flesh.
He thereby saved all people from their sins. He ended the judgment
of the curse of the law by taking away the sins of this world through
His baptism and crucifixion. He perfectly saved us from the judgment
and the curse of the law.
It was the end of the law and the
beginning of the righteousness of God's salvation. Jesus adequately
took away the sins of the world by being baptized by John the Baptist
and went to the Cross. How is it possible that one has sin in one's
heart, even if one truly believes in the righteousness of Jesus'
salvation? "For therein is the righteousness of God revealed
from faith to faith." The baptism and the blood of Jesus
have been the righteousness of God. To believe in the righteousness
of God is to believe in Jesus' baptism and blood.
The righteousness of God was legitimately
fulfilled by Jesus' baptism. I want you to believe in it. You will
then be saved from all your sins. The righteousness was given for
sinners to become sinless through Jesus' baptism. Moreover, the
righteousness of God's judgment was Jesus' crucifixion. "Christ
is the end of the law." The judgment of God will come to those
who have not yet been judged as long as the law exists. The law
of God reveals sin and proves that the wages of sin is death, a
curse and hell itself. Therefore, Jesus' baptism and blood on the
Cross ended the curse of the law. Jesus took away all our sins and
has ended the law to fulfill all righteousness.
The foolish took their lamps
but took no oil with them
Let's look at Matthew 25:1-13. Here
is the parable of ten virgins who waited for their bridegroom, the
Advent of our Lord. Let's see what the righteousness of God is through
"Then the kingdom of heaven
shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out
to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were
foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil
with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
And at midnight a cry was heard: 'Behold, the bridegroom is coming;
go out to meet him!' Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their
lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil,
for our lamps are going out.' But the wise answered, saying, 'No,
lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to
those who sell, and buy for yourselves.' And while they went to
buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with
him to the wedding; and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins
came also, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open to us!' But he answered and
said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.' Watch therefore,
for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man
is coming" (Matthew 25:1-13).
It is written that the Kingdom of
Heaven is similar to the ten virgins who took their lamps and went
forth to meet the bridegroom. Who enters into the Kingdom of Heaven?
Who did enter into the Kingdom of Heaven among the ten virgins?
Why were some virgins not able to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, although
they believed in Jesus? The Lord tells us about this through the
above passages. Five of the ten virgins were foolish and the other
five were wise. The foolish took their lamps yet took no oil with
them. Lamps stand for 'churches'. The fact that they took their
lamps but took no oil with them represents those who go to church
without the Holy Spirit (the oil implies the Holy Spirit in the
What did the foolish do? They took
their lamps, but no oil. A man who has not been born again, even
though he believes in Jesus, may devotedly attend church. Everybody
says, "My church is truly orthodox." Every Christian in
this world says so. They're very proud of the founding fathers and
some characters in their denominations. Those who were foolish took
their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in
their vessels with their lamps.
What is a human being? A human being
is a vessel before God. He/she is dust. A man is made of dust. So
humankind is a vessel, which can contain God. The wise took their
lamps with oil in their vessels.
The foolish virgins who have
only lamps without oil burn their emotions
The Bible tells us that there are
foolish virgins among people who believe in Jesus. They take their
lamps, but no oil. This means that they have not been born again.
Does a wick without oil last long? What we must know here is that
a lamp without oil is quickly burned out, no matter how good its
wick might be. Believers who have not been born again yet have hot
passions of love toward the Lord at first. This lasts for just about
4 or 5 years. Later, the passionate love for the Lord gets extinguished.
They must realize that they don't have the remission of sin.
Those who have not been born again,
or are without oil (the Holy Spirit), say things such as: "I
used to have good faith a long time ago. I was good at first, but
now I'm not. You will become like me soon." They are false
prophets and false saints who lead religious lives without being
born again. They must have the faith of salvation because their
faiths are not based on oil (the Holy Spirit). Their faiths are
only based on their emotions. They must obtain salvation by believing
in the water and the blood of Jesus Christ and receive the oil of
God as a gift. The wick stands for the human heart.
Virgins wait for the bridegroom in
the above passages. Here, we must well understand the cultural background
of Israelites. They have marriage ceremonies at night and it begins
when the bridegroom comes. So, the bride must wait for her bridegroom.
This is what the marriage ceremony of the Israelites was like.
"While the bridegroom delayed,
they all slumbered and slept." There was a cry, "Behold,
the bridegroom comes!" Then, the brides arose and made much
ado to fix their countenances. When the ten virgins were waiting
for the bridegroom, the bridegroom came with a cry, "Behold,
the bridegroom comes." "Then all those virgins arose,
and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, 'Give
us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.'" The
foolish were always stupid. They should have prepared the oil before
the bridegroom came. No matter how weak the wick of the lamp was,
Lamp with oil would not extinguish.
The foolish virgins who had lamps
without oil burned only the wicks. This means that only their hearts
burned. "I have to be born again, lead a life of a born again
person, and have to be filled with the Holy Spirit." They burn
out their hearts earnestly like this. At the time of our childhood,
kerosene lamps used to light up the rooms at night. If we let the
lamp burn a strip of paper, it would burn out in the twinkling of
an eye. The fire would be over a foot tall and very bright, but
it would extinguish immediately.
Foolish virgins who go to hell are
those who burn their own hearts (emotions) without oil and whose
fires of faith extinguish when they actually have to meet the Lord.
They don't have the Holy Spirit in them. They think they believe
rightly, even though they don't have the Holy Spirit. "Come,
Thou burning Spirit, Come" They are in a great bustle. Then,
women indulge in dancing (they call it the Holy Spirit-dance), fluttering
their breasts, saying, "Come on, please come on." They
are foolish and crazy. We must be foolish if we still have sin before
the Savior. We would be like foolish virgins if we had sin in our
hearts, even though we believe in Jesus. Never be a foolish virgin.
How can the Lord marry a
bride who possesses sin?
The Lord is holy God. The bridegroom
is God and the Son of God who has no sin. God is our bridegroom.
However, how can you try to meet God while possessing sin? Do you
want to meet God with sin in your heart? This would be a very stupid
and foolish thing to do.
Jesus, our bridegroom, came to the
world and made brides to be sanctified. He turned His brides into
righteous people by washing away all their sins through His baptism.
He chose them as His brides in Him. When the time was full, five
of them said, "Please come on." However, five of them
were still standing in the dark. How can they have marriage ceremonies
when their faces are dark? The bridegroom came and said, "How
have you been?" The faces of the latter five brides were darkened
because of their sins. They were in deep grief because their sins
were attached here and there inside their hearts.
How can the Lord marry a bride who
weeps because of her sins? "Thank you, Lord, for sanctifying
me like this." This kind of person would be happy with his/her
spiritual bridegroom, even though he/she is weak, because the bridegroom
loves him/her and washed away all his/her weaknesses and sins. The
bridegroom usually leads his bride to apply make-up, sending clothes
and all the best perfumes and cosmetics. Then, the bride is dressed
up with all those things so that she is ready to meet the bridegroom.
Our Lord was sent to the world as
the bridegroom to guide us so we could meet Him as His brides. He
gave us His flesh for the remission of sin at the Jordan River.
"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld
His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full
of grace and truth"(John 1:14). The Lord Himself took away
all our sins so that we would have the fullness of grace, truth
and the forgiveness of sin by believing in the Lord. The bridegroom
took away all His brides' sins at the Jordan River. The Lord saved
His brides from their sins by being judged in their place on the
Can we buy the Holy Spirit
with money and trials?
However, the foolish virgins asked
the wise to share oil with them, for their lamps were burnt out,
when the bridegroom was near. Can we share the Holy Spirit? Can
we buy the Holy Spirit with money? Can we buy the forgiveness of
sin with good deeds, trial or money? The wise told them to buy the
Holy Spirit from revival service preachers. The foolish thought
that they already bought it from them. They thought they could buy
the oil with money. They zealously led religious lives, thinking
that large offerings and services, attending orthodox churches and
praying repeatedly would give them something.
But no matter what, nobody can buy
the remission of sin, which the Lord has given, with anything from
the earth. The foolish try to burn their emotions until they come
to stand before the Lord. One of the five foolish virgins began
a religious life saying, "I will follow You, I will also go
up a mountain for prayers and prayers of repentance. Let's go to
serve Him, let's go abroad to preach the gospel."
The bridegroom came at last with a
great fanfare. The foolish went to buy oil when the bridegroom had
come, but the virgins who had the forgiveness of sin and had prepared
oil (the Holy Spirit) went into the marriage feast. The bridegroom
met the brides after He prepared everything. Then He locked the
door. Jesus didn't just randomly choose five virgins. The number
'five' means 'grace' in the Bible. The five virgins stand for those
who have the remission of sin by grace and believe in His grace
and righteous deeds. They recognize the things the bridegroom has
done for them and believe in the righteousness of the Lord, which
makes them righteous. However, the other virgins eventually came
and said, "Lord, Lord, open to us." But He answered, "Assuredly,
I say to you, I do not know you."
We can receive the gift of
the Holy Spirit only when our sins are blotted out
Those who don't prepare oil cannot
meet the Lord. The Lord will take only those who believed in God's
righteousness and waited for the Kingdom of Heaven and those who
actually had the remission of sin in their hearts, to the Kingdom
of Heaven. The Lord told the words of promise. "Repent,
and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ
for the remission of sins." Then, what happens after the
remission of our sins? The Bible says, "You shall receive
the gift of the Holy Spirit"(Acts 2:38). If you receive
the gospel of the righteousness of God, the sins in your heart will
actually be blotted out and the Holy Spirit will come to you. We
cannot physically feel the Holy Spirit of God. Nevertheless, the
Holy Spirit exists. We can say that we have no sin because we have
the Holy Spirit and the word of God in our hearts. It truly exists.
One who receives the righteousness of the Lord becomes a righteous
man, although he is weak. However, one who doesn't have the righteousness
of the Lord remains a sinner.
For therein is the righteousness
of God revealed
The Lord came by water and blood.
He saved us from our sins with His baptism. He took away all our
sins when He was baptized and received the vicarious punishment
for all our sins by shedding His blood. What do the Apostles John,
Peter and Paul say about this? They altogether talk about Jesus'
flesh and blood. They talk about Jesus' baptism and His blood on
the Cross. Matthew 3:13-17 exactly describes Jesus' baptism. Jesus
was baptized to make sinners sinless and to wash away all the sins
of the world at the Jordan River.
Let's take a look at 1 Peter 3:21.
Peter testified that the antitype of salvation was His baptism.
"There is also an antitype which now saves us-baptism (not
the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good
conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels
and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him"
(1 Peter 3:21-22).
It is written, "There is also
an antitype which now saves us-baptism through the resurrection
of Jesus Christ." Jesus' baptism, which took away all our
sins by His flesh, has been the proof of our salvation. The fact
that He shed blood on the Cross is proof to the fact that we had
been judged for our sins. Do you see what I am saying? Therefore,
the Bible states that Jesus is the One who came by water, blood
and the Holy Spirit (1 John 5:6-9). Jesus was sent to the world
in human flesh and took away all our sins in the same way Aaron
the High Priest laid his hands on the offerings to pass over the
sins of his people.
Water is the antitype that saves us;
baptism. It is written that it is not the removal of the filthy
flesh. This doesn't mean that we don't sin after we obtain the remission
of sin. We receive the forgiveness of sin by believing in the baptism
of Jesus. Then, don't we sin with the flesh? Yes, we do. Many people
misunderstand the remission of sin and say such things as, "If
you have no sin in your heart, you won't sin again." This is
a misunderstanding. The Bible says, "There is not a just
man on earth who does good and does not sin" (Ecclesiastes
7:20). The flesh is still weak. It is weak until it dies. It
commits sins until it dies. "Not the removal of the filth
of the flesh, but the answer of agood conscience toward God."
Our consciences change into the good consciences toward God through
our faiths in the baptism and the blood of Jesus. Our consciences
can call God our Lord and Savior by our faiths in the fact that
the Lord took away all our sins by His baptism.
The spiritual nourishment
for our hearts is the baptism and the blood of Jesus
Nourishment for the heart is the baptism
and the blood of Jesus. Nourishment for the heart and the antitype
that washed away our sins is the baptism of Jesus. Thus, Peter the
Apostle said that baptism is the antitype, which saved us.
Let's look at 1 Peter 1:22-23. "Since
you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit
in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with
a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but
incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever."
We have been born again and received
the remission of all sins by believing in Jesus' baptism and His
blood. We are born again by believing in the written word of the
Lord. We have been born again 'through the word of God, which
lives and abides forever.' Hallelujah! Being born again happens
through the word that lives and abides forever. The word of God
is the canon, which refer to a measuring rod. It's the benchmark
for salvation. The measuring rod for the salvation of God never
John the Baptist said in John 1:29,
"Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"
The Lamb of God who was baptized at the Jordan River is the real
bread of life, which saved us by His flesh and blood.
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We are sanctified and saved by believing
in the word of God. The Bible says, "So then faith comes
by hearing, and hearing by the word of God," and "For
in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith;
as it is written, 'The just shall live by faith'" (Romans 10:17,
1:17). We can become just by believing in the gospel.
Have you been sanctified? -Amen.-
Don't you have any sins? It's the gospel, the good news, 'euaggelion'
in Greek. What is the righteousness of God? It's the fact that
the Lord blotted out all our sins by giving His flesh and blood
to us. The righteousness of God allowed us to be sanctified. The
righteousness of God is that Jesus, who was sinless, took away the
sins of the world and was crucified for the sinners. It is the water,
the baptism of Jesus that cleansed all the sins of the world. The
righteousness of God has been given through the fact that Jesus
took away the sins of the world by His baptism and the Crucifixion.
The righteousness of God consists of His baptism and death, and
the Cross is the antitype of our judgment. This is God's righteousness
that was revealed in the gospel.