Title: Doctrine of the Angelic Conflict, part 23 - The essence of God - Righteousness. 2Sa 22; HEB 12:11; ROM 6:12-23; 2CO 11:15.
F. Righteousness: God is infinitely perfect in both His person and character and absolute good. He cannot sin nor have anything to do with sin except to judge it.
2SA 22:1 And David spoke the words of this song to the Lord in the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.
2SA 22:2 And he said,
"The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
2SA 22:3 My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; My savior, Thou dost save me from violence.
2SA 22:4 "I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; And I am saved from my enemies.
2SA 22:5 "For the waves of death encompassed me; The torrents of destruction overwhelmed me;
2SA 22:6 The cords of Sheol surrounded me; The snares of death confronted me.
2SA 22:7 "In my distress I called upon the Lord, Yes, I cried to my God; And from His temple He heard my voice, And my cry for help came into His ears.
2SA 22:8 "Then the earth shook and quaked, The foundations of heaven were trembling And were shaken, because He was angry.
2SA 22:9 "Smoke went up out of His nostrils, And fire from His mouth devoured; Coals were kindled by it.
2SA 22:10 "He bowed the heavens also, and came down With thick darkness under His feet.
2SA 22:11 "And He rode on a cherub and flew; And He appeared on the wings of the wind.
2SA 22:12 "And He made darkness canopies around Him, A mass of waters, thick clouds of the sky.
2SA 22:13 "From the brightness before Him Coals of fire were kindled.
2SA 22:14 "The Lord thundered from heaven, And the Most High uttered His voice.
2SA 22:15 "And He sent out arrows, and scattered them, Lightning, and routed them.
2SA 22:16 "Then the channels of the sea appeared, The foundations of the world were laid bare, By the rebuke of the Lord, At the blast of the breath of His nostrils.
2SA 22:17 "He sent from on high, He took me; He drew me out of many waters.
2SA 22:18 "He delivered me from my strong enemy, From those who hated me, for they were too strong for me.
2SA 22:19 "They confronted me in the day of my calamity, But the Lord was my support.
2SA 22:20 "He also brought me forth into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me.
2SA 22:21 "The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness; According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me.
2SA 22:22 "For I have kept the ways of the Lord, And have not acted wickedly against my God.
2SA 22:23 "For all His ordinances were before me; And as for His statutes, I did not depart from them.
2SA 22:24 "I was also blameless toward Him, And I kept myself from my iniquity.
2SA 22:25 "Therefore the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness, According to my cleanness before His eyes.
2SA 22:26 "With the kind Thou dost show Thyself kind, With the blameless Thou dost show Thyself blameless;
2SA 22:27 With the pure Thou dost show Thyself pure, And with the perverted Thou dost show Thyself astute.
2SA 22:28 "And Thou dost save an afflicted people; But Thine eyes are on the haughty whom Thou dost abase.
2SA 22:29 "For Thou art my lamp, O Lord; And the Lord illumines my darkness.
2SA 22:30 "For by Thee I can run upon a troop; By my God I can leap over a wall.
2SA 22:31 "As for God, His way is blameless; The word of the Lord is tested; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.
2SA 22:32 "For who is God, besides the Lord? And who is a rock, besides our God?
2SA 22:33 "God is my strong fortress; And He sets the blameless in His way.
2SA 22:34 "He makes my feet like hinds' feet, And sets me on my high places.
2SA 22:35 "He trains my hands for battle, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
2SA 22:36 "Thou hast also given me the shield of Thy salvation, And Thy help makes me great.
2SA 22:37 "Thou dost enlarge my steps under me, And my feet have not slipped.
2SA 22:38 "I pursued my enemies and destroyed them, And I did not turn back until they were consumed.
2SA 22:39 "And I have devoured them and shattered them, so that they did not rise; And they fell under my feet.
2SA 22:40 "For Thou hast girded me with strength for battle; Thou hast subdued under me those who rose up against me.
2SA 22:41 "Thou hast also made my enemies turn their backs to me, And I destroyed those who hated me.
2SA 22:42 "They looked, but there was none to save; Even to the Lord, but He did not answer them.
2SA 22:43 "Then I pulverized them as the dust of the earth, I crushed and stamped them as the mire of the streets.
2SA 22:44 "Thou hast also delivered me from the contentions of my people; Thou hast kept me as head of the nations; A people whom I have not known serve me.
2SA 22:45 "Foreigners pretend obedience to me; As soon as they hear, they obey me.
2SA 22:46 "Foreigners lose heart, And come trembling out of their fortresses.
2SA 22:47 "The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock; And exalted be God, the rock of my salvation,
2SA 22:48 The God who executes vengeance for me, And brings down peoples under me,
2SA 22:49 Who also brings me out from my enemies; Thou dost even lift me above those who rise up against me; Thou dost rescue me from the violent man.
2SA 22:50 "Therefore I will give thanks to Thee, O Lord, among the nations, And I will sing praises to Thy name.
2SA 22:51 "He is a tower of deliverance to His king, And shows lovingkindness to His anointed, To David and his descendants forever."
We see in all three passages, Psa 7, 11, and 2Sa 22 that +R is wonderful to some and terrifying to others. It is not God that changes, but mankind. The sun melts the wax and hardens the clay. It’s what the sun shines on that makes the difference.
Unlearned people have stated that God was angry in the OT and gracious in the NT. God does not change. The creature changes but God does not. He is outside of all cause and effect progressive change.
God disciplined His people in the OT and for the same reason, restoration and course adjustment, He does so in the NT.
HEB 12:5 and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, "My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
Nor faint when you are reproved by Him;
HEB 12:6 For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines,
And He scourges every son whom He receives."
HEB 12:7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
HEB 12:8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
HEB 12:9 Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?
God’s discipline is necessary because we all go astray from time to time or we refuse to learn and understand the doctrine the easy way, which is by faith.
HEB 12:10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness [God demands experiential righteousness].
HEB 12:11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
Peaceful refers to prosperity of the soul due to a lack of MAS’s and confidence that the future holds realizing a fulfilled personal destiny or election.
In the OT discipline was usually on the nation and the specifics of what God was going to do was illustrated. Those things were written for our instruction, and in the NT the ways in which God will discipline are implied as things that do not work together for good, yet discipline on His children who go astray into the cosmos is very real in this dispensation.
So why does God bother working so much toward the believer who is either unrighteous or righteous, in blessing or in discipline? Why bother? We’re fallen and we’ve been redeemed and we possess eternal life which we cannot lose no matter what we do, so why bother with us so much? I mean, heaven is full of equality, right? Heaven is the final fulfilment of the great liberalprogressive agenda where everyone is equal - all possessing equal status and privileges and material, right? No.
There is no equality in heaven. God has blessed every believer in eternity past with blessings that stagger the imagination for both time and eternity, EPH 1:3-4. Yet believers forfeit these blessings when they live a life that is in opposition to God’s personality and plan. God is glorified to the maximum when He can convey these blessings to the mature believer who has the capacity for them, and this is His desire and good pleasure. Satan promotes equality because it appeals to arrogance.
Also, why does God bother so much with the unbeliever in attempting to bring him to repentance? If they reject Christ just annihilate them, which some cults do teach.
The soul is everlasting as indicated by the fact that no other creatures besides angels and men are evaluated as to moral character, virtue, divine establishment living, and most of all are judged concerning their decision for or against Christ.
The soul of man, being in the image of God is either righteous or unrighteous and it is everlasting. God does not wish that any perish but for all to come to repentance or a change of mind concerning the person of Christ. Since eternal fire is the destiny of any soul that rejects Christ, Matt 25:41, then it must be true that souls in the image of God are everlasting and cannot be annihilated.
The Holy Scripture is abundantly clear that the fallen creature and thus unrighteous creature can do nothing to make himself righteous. This is by far the greatest problem in the universe. God did what His omniscience determined had to be done so that the creature could have a choice to become righteous through faith in Christ. God worked to make the choice non-meritorious as to where men and angels would spend eternity future.
Also, God made the choice to live in righteousness to be non-meritorious being based on the word of God and the filling of the Holy Spirit.
Nothing is needed besides the choice to live in his predestination and realize the fulfilment of his election in Christ.
As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.
Therefore, the righteousness of God has made demands on the souls of men and God has so worked in His infinite genius to make the fulfilment of these demands to be based on grace and not any human merit.
ROM 6:12 Therefore do not let sin [singular = OSN] reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts,
ROM 6:13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
ROM 6:14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace [confession, doctrine, no condemnation or guilt, the sinner can execute a perfect plan].
ROM 6:15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! [wrong application of grace]
ROM 6:16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death [temporal death from grieving and quenching the HS - no fellowship with God; a branch not abiding in the vine], or of obedience resulting in righteousness?
ROM 6:17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin [OSN - status of the unbeliever], you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,
ROM 6:18 and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
ROM 6:19 I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.
The soul and the body are neutral. They can be used for righteousness or unrighteousness. The body cannot be used for righteousness unless the soul is in the status of righteousness.
“sanctification” - a`giasmo,j[hagiasmos] = holiness, experiential sanctification, being set apart from opposition to God (OSN, cosmos, KOD schemes), being separated unto God and the course of life befitting those so separated.
In His own righteousness, God demands this of the believer. This holy character, commuted by God, is built up little by little through continued obedience to doctrine.
The believer can in no way become an expert witness for the prosecution, enjoying the benefits of that witness otherwise.
ROM 6:20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness [experiential +R; God does not demand that the unbeliever live righteously but that he become positionally +R through faith in Christ].
ROM 6:21 Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death.
ROM 6:22 But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.
ROM 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Satan’s greatest invention, religion, is His attempt to destroy man’s fulfilment of God’s righteous demands. He has been a murderer from the beginning.
And ironically, legalism is advertised as righteous living.
2CO 11:13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.
2CO 11:14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
2CO 11:15 Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their deeds.
Human self righteousness is from the flesh which results in temporal death, no fellowship with God, opposition to God, and therefore divine discipline which can result in the sin unto death if course corrections are not made.
"You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies.
Hence, it is so very important that the righteousness of God be taught clearly and systematically from the scripture, for satan’s schemes are designed to destroy man in the eternal fire and somehow spare himself, though it is impossible for him.