"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:" Romans 3:10.
What then is the righteousness of the Scripture, and who is the righteous man before God? The answer is direct. None but the Lord Jesus Christ. He, and he only, is set forth under this title; and he alone is the Righteousness of his people. It is high treason to talk of any other; and it is equally high treason to talk of any comparative statement between man and man concerning righteousness. The account from heaven is, "All have sinned, and come short of God's glory. The whole world is become guilty before God.
And by the deeds of the law can no flesh be justified before God." Hence, therefore, it undeniably follows that Christ is the only righteousness of his people; and he is what Scripture declares his name is, and shall be, JEHOVAH our Righteousness. (Jer. xxiii. 6.)
Now then the conclusion from this statement of Scripture is evidently this--if Jesus be the only righteousness of his people, either this is my righteousness, or I have none at all. Wholly sinful in myself, and wholly righteous in him I must be; or I have no part nor lot in this matter. If there be not in me a total renunciation of every thing the mistaken calculation of men calls righteousness, yea, more than this, if there be not a full and unreserved confession of universal sin and unworthiness in me, I cannot be wholly looking for acceptance to, and living wholly upon, the Lord Jesus Christ as the Lord my righteousness. And the gospel knows no mixture, no mingling the righteousness of the sinner with the righteousness of the Saviour. "A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump." Blessed and happy souls who, from a deep conviction of the total corruption and depravity of their own nature, are resting all their high hopes of acceptance and justification before God in the perfect and complete righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ; who behold him, and accept the authority of JEHO VAH for this well-grounded confidence of beholding him, and rest with full assurance of faith in him, as the Lord their righteousness; and to whose spirits the Holy Ghost bears witness that "he is made of God to them wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, that, according as it is written, he that glorieth let him glory in the Lord." (1 Cor. i. 30, 31.)
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”Matthew 7:21-23
These, whom the LORD identified as those HE did not know, each one confessed exactly wherein their trust lay. They identified their good works and acts of spirituality as that which they were confident would gain them favor with the LORD. The vast multitude of those who make some profession of faith seem to fall into this category. They believe that by performing these good works, preaching and prophesying, and casting out demons, they are doing the FATHER’s will. They are not ashamed to even bring these “works” before the LORD as if to impress HIM with their faithfulness or at least to expect that they should receive some recompense for having done these things..
Countless numbers (of such professors) over the last one hundred fifty years have imbibed a message which has told them that it lies within their power to believe and obey the truth of GOD. Thus it is not unusual to find them seeking a place of satisfaction in their profession of faith and bolstering their confidence by pointing out their acts of “righteousness”.
Yet that man who is taught of GOD knows that even the very best of any activity which he might ever perform in the LORD’s name is but filthy rags in the sight of HIM who is of purer eyes than to look upon sin. Not only that but if a man did every thing that he was commanded to do he would still be nothing but an unprofitable servant according to the LORD’s testimony “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.” (Luke 17:10)
That man who is taught of GOD has no confidence at all in any act which he might ever perform. Even that of confessing CHRIST or making a profession of that faith. Such a man can have no confidence in his own faith but must cry out, “help thou mine unbelief.” He can find no place of comfort in the methods and verbage of the “soul winners”. He is not interested in being led to make a decision. Rather he is constantly crying out for mercy and knowing that unless the LORD grants him faith to believe he shall surely and rightly perish. Thus he spends the course of his days hungering after even a morsel of food from the LORD’s storehouse and finding no help at all in the works of the flesh and the trappings of religion.