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Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary
It is very highly important and interesting to have clear apprehensions of the Scriptural meaning of the term righteous. What notions we annex to it is of little consequence if the word of God decides other wise. Certain it is, that in the world's dictionary the term righteous is very freely and commonly bestowed, and upon characters that call in question many of the Lord's declarations concerning sin, and the sinfulness of our fallen nature. It is highly important therefore to hear what the word of God saith on this point, and not lean upon the human opinion of vain men.
Now the Scriptures with one voice, and in the most unqualified and unaccommodating manner, declare that when the Lord looked "down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand and seek after God," the result of that enquiry was, that "they were all gone aside, and altogether become filthy, that there was none that did good, no not one." (Psalms 14:2-3) And the apostle Paul quotes this passage, and confirms it by enlargement. (See Romans 3:1-19)
It is in vain for any man to make an appeal against this decision. No comparative statement can, in the least, alter the case. No man, not a single man of the whole race of men sprung from Adam, can be an exception to this universal decree of God.
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. (Jeremiah 23:6)
Now then the conclusion from this statement of Scripture is evidently thisâ€”if Jesus be the only righteousness of his people, either this is my right eousness, 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 writ ten, he that glorieth let him glory in the Lord." (1 Corinthians 1:30-31)
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Hawker, Robert D.D. Entry for 'Righteousness'. Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance and Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/pmd/r/righteousness.html. London. 1828.