Righteousness and Grace Verses Works
By Dr. James Robertson
adjective righ·teous \ˈrī-chəs\
Simple Definition of righteous
: morally good : following religious or moral laws
: caused by something that you believe is not morally right or fair
Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary
(6) And he believed in Elohim and He reckoned it to him for righteousness.
(5) He saved us, not by works of righteousness which we have done but according to His compassion, through the washing of rebirth, and renewal by the Set-apart Spirit,
(6) which He poured out on us richly through Yahshua Messiah our Savior,
(7) that having been declared right by His favor we should become heirs according to the expectation of everlasting life.
(8) Trustworthy is the word, and in this regard I wish you to strongly affirm, that those who have believed in Yahweh should keep their minds on maintaining good works. This is good and profitable to men.
(9) But keep away from foolish questions, and genealogies, and strife and quarrels about the Torah, for they are unprofitable and useless.
Ephesians 2:4-10 But Elohim, who is rich in compassion, because of His great love with which He loved us, (5) even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Messiah – by favor you have been saved – (6) and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the Heavenlies in Messiah Yahshua, (7) in order to show in the coming ages the exceeding riches of His favor in kindness toward us in Messiah Yahshua. (8) For by favor you have been saved, through belief, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of Elohim, (9) it is not by works, so that no one should boast. (10) For we are His workmanship, created in Messiah Yahshua unto good works, which Elohim prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Isaiah 64:1-12, Oh, that You would tear the heavens open, come down, that mountains shall shake before Your El – (2) as when fire burns twigs, as fire makes water boil – to make Your Name known to Your adversaries, so that nations tremble before You. (3) When You did awesome matters, which we did not expect, You came down, mountains did shake before You! (4) Since the beginning of the ages they have not heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen any Elohim besides You, who acts for those who wait for Him. (5) You shall meet him who rejoices and does righteousness, who remembers You in Your ways. See, You were wroth when we sinned in them a long time. And should we be saved? (6) And all of us have become as one unclean, and all our righteousness’s are as soiled rags. And all of us fade like a leaf, and our crookedness’s, like the wind, have taken us away. (7) And there is no one who calls on Your Name, who stirs himself up to take hold of You; for You have hidden Your face from us, and have consumed us because of our crookedness’s. (8) And now, O Yahweh, You are our Father. We are the clay, and You our potter. And we are all the work of Your hand. (9) Do not be wroth, O Yahweh, nor remember crookedness forever. See, please look, all of us are Your people! (10) Your set-apart cities have become a wilderness, Tsiyon has become a wilderness, Yerushalayim a waste. (11) Our set-apart and comely House, where our fathers praised You, has been burned up with fire. And all that we treasured has become a ruin. (12) In view of all this, would You restrain Yourself, O Yahweh Would You keep silent and afflict us beyond measure?
At this point let me give you some history of the Christian Church. In 1517 Martin Luther broke away from the Roman Catholic Church because he didn’t believe the power of the Church to force conversions into the Christian faith, along with the crusades, buying out of purgatory and the sale of papal pardons. He also didn’t believe in the saved by works or as much money you could give to the church for salvation. This actually started the Protestant Reformation and the Protestant churches movement of salvation by grace through faith alone.
A few years later John Calvin came into the Reformation project to add his beliefs in; Total depravity, limited atonement, irresistible grace and perseverance of the elect. A powerful French theologian and pastor, John Calvin is one of the well known Protestants, whose name prominently figured during the Protestant Reformation. Famous for his involvement in Calvinism, a theological system that defines Christian theology, Calvin was raised in a Roman Catholic family. Though he had been trained as a humanistic lawyer, destiny had some other plans for him. He parted from the Roman Catholic Church in the 1520s, around which time his religious conversion also took place. From thence, till his death, he worked as a reformer. This started a war between the protestant Christian churches because their beliefs and teachings contradicted each other. According to William T. Change in his book, “Saved by Grace Lost by Works” that Yahshua’s prayer in John Chapter 17; “did not receive an positive answer” to the Protestant movement this started the ‘Salvation by Grace through faith alone.’ This belief in some denominations ruled out immersion or baptism, which ruled out Matthew chapter 28:
Matthew 28:16-20, And the eleven taught ones went away into Galil, to the mountain which Yahshua had appointed for them. (17) And when they saw Him, they bowed to Him, but some doubted. (18) And Yahshua came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. (19) “Therefore, go and make taught ones of all the nations, immersing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Set-apart Spirit, (20) teaching them to guard all that I have commanded you. And see, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” Amen.
Romans 3:22-31, and the righteousness of Elohim is through belief in Yahshua Messiah to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference, (23) for all have sinned and fall short of the esteem of Elohim, (24) being declared right, without paying, by His favor through the redemption which is in Messiah Yahshua, (25) whom Elohim set forth as an atonement, through belief in His blood, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His tolerance Elohim had passed over the sins that had taken place before, (26) to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He is righteous and declares righteous the one who has belief in Yahshua. (27) Where, then, is the boasting? It is shut out. By what Torah? Of works? No, but by the Torah of belief. (28) For we reckon that a man is declared right by belief without works of Torah. (29) Or is He the Elohim of the Yahudim only, and not also of the gentiles? Yea, of the gentiles also, (30) since it is one Elohim who shall declare right the circumcised by belief and the uncircumcised through belief. (31) Do we then nullify the Torah through the belief? Let it not be! On the contrary, we establish the Torah.
Romans 7:6-12, But now we have been released from the Torah, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in newness of Spirit and not in oldness of letter. (7) What, then, shall we say? Is the Torah sin? Let it not be! However, I did not know sin except through the Torah. For also the covetousness I knew not if the Torah had not said, “You shall not covet.” (8) But sin, having taken the occasion through the command, did work in me all sorts of covetousness. For apart from Torah sin is dead. (9) And I was alive apart from the Torah once, but when the command came, the sin revived, and I died. (10) And the command which was to result in life, this I found to result in death. (11) For sin, having taken the occasion through the command, deceived me, and through it killed me. (12) So that the Torah truly is set-apart, and the command set-apart, and righteous, and good.
Luke 11:46-54, And He said, “Woe to you also, you learned in the Torah, because you load men with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers. (47) “Woe to you, because you build the tombs of the prophets, and your fathers killed them. (48) “So you bear witness that you approve of the works of your fathers, because they indeed killed them, and you build their tombs. (49) “And because of this the wisdom of Elohim said, ‘I shall send them prophets and emissaries, and some of them they shall kill and persecute,’ (50) so that the blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world shall be required of this generation, (51) from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the altar and the Dwelling Place. Yea, I say to you, it shall be required of this generation. (52) “Woe to you learned in the Torah, because you took away the key of knowledge. You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered.” (53) And as He was saying this to them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to oppose Him fiercely, and to draw Him out on many subjects, (54) watching Him, and seeking to catch Him in whatever He says, so as to accuse Him.
At this time when the Pharisees and the Sadducees were ruling government as it were, did not teach Torah, but kept the people in the dark and posing burdens on the people. A lot like the main line Christian organizations do today. Like today even in our own government where they write laws to make things harder on the people but not on the government officials.
In Matthew 19:16, Yahshua was asked what must be done to inherit eternal life. His answer: “Matthew 19:16, And see, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good shall I do to have everlasting life?” Matthew 19:17-19 And He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except the One – Yahweh. But if you wish to enter into life, guard the commands.”Yahshua then listed several, including enough of the Ten Commandments to make clear which commandments He meant: (18), He said to Him, “Which?” And Yahshua said, “ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ (19) ‘Respect your father and your mother,’ and ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”
Today some people will tell you that keeping the commandments was fulfilled by Christ and obeying God’s law is therefore no longer required. But notice what Jesus Himself had to say about this idea: Matthew 5:17-28, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Torah or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to complete.
Many say that it wasn’t to complete but to fulfill
Some try to deny His plain, simple statement by interpreting the verse to mean the law was not abolished until Jesus came and fulfilled it. They then interpret “fulfill” as “bringing to an end,” “superseding” or some other synonym for “abolishing.” In essence they have Jesus saying, “I did not come to abolish the law, but to abolish it.”
Yahshua, on the other hand, said heaven and earth would disappear before the smallest part of the law would do so (Matthew 5:18). He said the law (Torah) would continue until everything is accomplished. Because the fulfillment of many biblical prophecies of Messiah’s second coming is yet to occur (the prophecies have not yet been accomplished), we know the law has not ceased to exist.
The truth of the matter is that Yahshua was speaking to people who believed in keeping all of the Ten Commandments. He reaffirmed the necessity for all who come to Him to do likewise. In Matthew chapters 5-7 Yahshua explained how Yahweh intended for the Ten Commandments to be kept. By giving this explanation and exemplifying it in His life, He was fulfilling a prophecy about Himself from Isaiah 42:21, It has delighted Yahweh, for the sake of His righteousness, to make the Torah great and esteemed.
The word fulfill in Matthew 5:17 means “fill up,” “make full,” “fill to the full” or “complete.” Yahshua came to magnify, or fill completely full, the meaning of Yahweh’s law. Yahshua’ teaching that a man who lusts after a woman has already committed adultery in his mind represented Yahshua’ magnification of all of the Ten Commandments. He explained the full meaning—the spiritual intent—of the commandments. He showed that He expects more than just a legalistic, letter-of-the-law approach; He also expects a submissive, yielded mind focused on love for Yahweh and love for our fellow man. Many will say that it was completed. If that is so, then there is no need for the second coming!
Yahshua further clarifies: (19) “Whoever, then, breaks one of the least of these commands, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the reign of the heavens; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the reign of the heavens. (Matthew 5:19).
Clearly, fulfill does not mean “abolish”!
Whoever then breaks one of the least of these command and TEACHES MEN SO, shall be called least in the reign of the heavens.
The main line Christian organizations teach this very thing. Most all pastors of churches teach that if you “accept Jesus as your Lord and savior then all of you sins are forgiven, past, present and future. If you teach as the pastors teach and preach then you will also be “called least in the reign of the heavens.”
Another common misunderstanding is that the New Testament Church came to believe that it is not necessary to follow the Messiah’s example of obeying the law. But His apostles, who were personally taught by Him, certainly did not agree with this idea.
The apostle John said: “1 John 2:3-7, And by this we know that we know Him, if we guard Yahweh’s commands. (4) The one who says, “I know Him,” and does not guard His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (5) But whoever guards His Word, truly the love of Yahweh has been perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. (6) The one who says he stays in Him ought himself also to walk, even as He walked. (7) Beloved, I write no fresh command to you, but an old command which you have had from the beginning. The old command is the Word which you heard from the beginning.
Even the apostle Paul, who is most often cited by those attempting to do away with Yahweh’s law, himself refuted this erroneous idea, saying, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate the Messiah” (1 Corinthians 11:1). Far from condemning the law, Paul said, “The law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good” (Romans 7:12) and, “I delight in the law of Yahweh” (Romans 7:22). Indeed, he said that “keeping the commandments of Yahweh is what matters” (1 Corinthians 7:19).
We must avoid reading our own ideas into the Bible. Quoting from the prophet Isaiah, our Savior warned against trusting our own ideas instead of the laws of Yahweh: “ ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ For laying aside the commandment of Yahweh, you hold the tradition of men … All too well you reject the commandment of Yahweh, that you may keep your tradition” (Mark 7:6-9).
We, too, must be sure we follow Yahshua HaMashiach’s example instead of our own ideas.
Elohim: Master, Judge, Majesty, Honor, the Righteous One, used instead of the Creator’s name Yud, Hei, Vav, Hei, YHVH; Yahweh. The Christian Bible translators change the use of YHVH and Elohim to God. Elohim (Hebrew: אֱלֹהִים) is a grammatically plural noun for "gods" or "deity" in Biblical Hebrew. In the modern it is often times referred to in the singular despite the -im ending that denotes plural masculine nouns in Hebrew.
Yahweh: Holy One’s name, the Creator.
Yahshua: Name meaning ‘Yah’ the name of the Creator; ‘Shua’ Salvation. Yahweh is Salvation. The name given to the Messiah by Yahweh. Christian translation changed the name of the son of Yahweh to Jesus Christ.