Doctrines of Salvation Study
Lesson #1 Righteousness
We begin our study of Doctrines connected with Salvation by looking at the word righteousness. We will use the word righteous instead of saved because the word saved can make it hard for us to understand how God dealt differently with people during different time periods of the word of God.
Think about it like this. Most people hear the word saved or salvation and think of what they have today. But before the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, no one was born again, spiritually circumcised, or baptized into the Body of Christ. Therefore, when they hear the word saved by faith and works in the Old Testament, they think saved just as you and I are today but by works. The truth is works is connected with their righteousness, but they do not have what you and I have today regarding salvation.
How can a man be righteous?
In Job 15:14 we see the question asked how can a man that is born of a woman be righteous? This is a great question. To answer this question, we will look start in the Old Testament and work our way through to present day.
Righteousness before the Law:
In the Old Testament before the Law, man was considered righteous by God when he did by faith what God told him to do. We will look at three examples of this.
1) Cain and Abel (Genesis 4:1-7 ; Hebrews 11:4 ; 1 John 3:12)
- Abel offered a more excellent sacrifice than Cain and obtained witness that he was righteous.
- In 1 John we also see that Abel’s works were righteous and his brothers were not.
2) Noah (Genesis 6:8-9 ; Hebrews 11:7)
- Noah by faith built an ark and was made heir of righteousness and in Genesis we see that he was walking with God before he built the ark.
3) Abraham (Genesis 15:6)
- Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness. But he was justified years later by offering up his son Isaac (James 2:21-24).
Under the Law:
Under the Law a man was still considered righteous when he did by faith what God said. Note Deuteronomy 6:24-25. A good example of this time period is Zacharias and Elizabeth (Luke 1:5-6). This righteousness could be lost or gained by simply doing the Law (Ezekiel 3:19-21, 33:13-20).
After the Resurrection of Jesus Christ:
It is interesting that in Romans 3:9-10 Paul says that there is none righteous no not one. But we have clearly seen how that many people are said to be righteous for example, Abel, Noah, Abraham, Zacharias, and Elizabeth. So, what does Paul mean when he says that no one is righteous.
The answer shows us the difference between being righteous in the Church Age (Acts 2 – present day) verses the time before this. Before the resurrection of Jesus, they were righteous, but it was a personal righteousness (Note the pronouns in Deuteronomy 6:25, Psalm 7:8, and Ezekiel 33:13).
After Jesus came, who is the righteous of God manifested (Romans 3:21-28). It is his righteousness that we must have now. Paul explains this difference in Philippians 3:4-9.
Therefore, during the Church Age, we are righteous by faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. It has nothing to do with our works because it is not personal righteousness but the righteousness of Jesus Christ that we get by faith.
Doctrines of Salvation Study
Lesson #1 Righteousness (Handout)
1) What is the significant question that is asked in Job 15:14?
2) Give three examples of man being righteous before the Law?
3) How was a man considered righteous under the Law? Give a verse and an example.
4) What is the problem with Romans 3:9-10?
5) What is the solution to the problem stated above?
6) How is a man considered righteous in the Church Age?