Apologetics Index

Our Righteousness Can’t Do It

Every Christian must face this truth: Our righteousness can’t do it.

Our righteousness can't do it

We have access to more teaching and preaching than any other church in history — but our knowledge has outstripped our ability…

Every Christian must face this truth: Our righteousness can’t do it.

The body of Christ in the United States has had access to more teaching and preaching than any other church in history. Technology has made an over-abundance of Christian tapes, books and TV available to us. All of these are the blessing of God.

But for many of us our knowledge has outstripped our ability. If we are honest, most of us must admit that we’re not applying what we’ve learned. We’re not living up to God’s expectations. We’re striving too much. And our righteousness is falling short of the mark.

This book on grace applies to every Christian, but many of you are in an especially good place to receive it. Perhaps you have gradually realized that the majority of your attempts at righteousness are falling short of the mark, and perhaps you are feeling quite confused and condemned about it. Perhaps you came to this realization many years ago, and your zeal for the Lord gradually cooled; now you are a more or less nominal Christian because you have lost hope that you can have a victorious Christian life. Perhaps you have given up completely. You may think Gad gave up on you.

But something good is going to happen to you even if you don’t expect it. You have finally come to a place where the Lord can intervene powerfully in your life.

While the Lord had not caused you to fail, he has you to fail in order to reveal that your righteousness can never satisfy his requirements for righteousness. He usually shows this truth through a process familiar to every generation of God’s people. He allows you to struggle for years and years trying to be spiritual, trying to be holy, reading everybody’s exhortations and formulas, zealously applying new keys to true spirituality, or learning new principles about the deeper life of healing or prosperity. Then, after all those years of striving, you discover that many of the standard formulas don’t seem to work and. worse yet, your righteousness still has blemishes all over it.

Or, on the other hand, perhaps you are the sort of person who usually succeeds at your own righteousness. Then the Lord reveals your spiritual inadequacy in another fashion — for example, through a deep hunger for more holiness and power in your soul. You may recognize that, despite all your success, the true spirituality and abiding peace and lasting satisfaction you expected haven’t been realized. Where are they? You thought Christians were supposed to have them!

You have them sometimes, maybe in worship or praise, but they are all too fleeting. You have tried to obey the biblical injunction to be holy as your heavenly Father is holy, and you have usually tries to respond zealously to preaching that exhorted you to aim at perfection. But you are becoming discouraged and exhausted!

Face it: Your righteousness and spiritual activity can’t do it. God wants you to be totally convinced of this biblical and practical reality.

Why? Because the requirement of God is nothing less than his righteousness and his holiness. Always! The Lord expects and accepts nothing less than his own righteousness and holiness. The only peace that can ever satisfy your soul is peace with God.

The standard in the gospel is always God’s righteousness. But how do we obtain this? The Bible tells us:

But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even th4 righteousness of god through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is not distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grave through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:21-24).

God’s standard is always God’s righteousness, and that is where you must find your peace. Peace with God results not from trusting your own righteousness but from trusting only Christ. Have faith in him and the gift of his righteousness.

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1O).

Perhaps you are a new Christian, or perhaps up till now you have not the brick wall I have described in this article. Thank God, because if you learn grace now, you can avoid a lot of the pain and confusion the rest of us have suffered. Begin now to allow the Lord to show you how to live in his righteousness rather than your own.

Finally. Perhaps you have been plagued by some kind of addiction, or maybe you have done some horribly unacceptable or sinful things. Read on! It is those who are most desperate who most need this book.

Author and Copyright

This is an excerpt from “Grace Plus Nothing” — Paperback | Kindle — by Jeff Harkin.

Copyright, Jeff Harkin. All Rights Reserved. Sample chapters published at Apologetics Index by permission of the author. Do not copy and republish the text.

You are welcome to link to this page. View our Copyright and Linking Policy

Article details

Category: Grace and Mercy
Related topic(s):

First published (or major update) on Sunday, July 29, 2018.
Last updated on August 07, 2018.

Original content is © Copyright Apologetics Index. All Rights Reserved. For usage guidelines see link at the bottom.

Ad: Do you wish to visit the world's foremost religious and spiritual sites? Or do you simply want to experience wonderful places like Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona, the Grand Canyon, Mexico ... the world?

Apologetics Index: Research resources on religious movements, cults, sects, world religions and related issues

Our website includes some affiliate links. That means we get a small commission — at no additional cost to you — for each purchase you make. For instance, as an Amazon Associate Apologetics Index earns from qualifying purchases. Your support helps us provide this site free of charge. Naturally, as our Editorial Policy states, our content is never influenced by our advertisers or affiliates. Details.