Two Kinds of Righteousness

Righteousness Comes from God, Based on Faith.

Should Christians try to keep the Ten Commandments? The question is crucial to us as believers in Christ and partakers of His New Covenant, because it gets at HOW we are to live holy lives. The New Testament teaches us that it is our flesh which tries to keep the Ten Commandments, but that if we focus on Christ and walk in the Spirit, we simply will not fulfill the desires of the flesh, desires which all violate the Ten Commandments which the flesh thinks it can obey. We will look at this in depth elsewhere.

The desire to be subject again to the Old Covenant commandments shows us the problem of walking in the flesh (my righteousness) instead of walking in the Spirit of God (Christ's righteousness life living out through me). Also, it throws our foregone assumptions against the clear teaching of God's Word. Are we willing to believe what He says, when it clashes with our personally held views?

Paul argued this in each of his letters to the young churches. By the end of his life, Paul wrote that he didn't want to have any of this righteousness which comes from obeying the Ten Commandments. You may think my statement is false, because the opposite teaching so permeates today's churches. Read it once more.

"That I may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith." (Philippians 3:9)

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Updated 5/21/2010