Alonzo T. Jones
The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald : October 5, 1897
“Now the righteousness of God without the law, is manifested; being witnessed by the law and the prophets. Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe; for there is no difference; for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past through the forbearance of God.
“To declare, I say, at this time, his righteousness, that he might be just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”
It is the righteousness of God, his own perfect and infinite righteousness that is made known and shown forth. Nothing but this righteousness will ever do anybody any good. It is his righteousness, precisely as it is in him, that will or can avail. No one must ever be content for a single moment without the certain and full possession of this righteousness.
It is manifested without the law. Yet it is exactly the righteousness which the law all the time demanded and does ever demand. The law cannot manifest it, because it is “weak through the flesh.” Therefore it must now be manifested without the law. Then when it is manifested, it being exactly what the law all the time had demanded, the law witnesses to it as being completely satisfactory. To every one who receives it, the law witnesses that all its own demands are fully met, that all its requirements are perfectly fulfilled.
And this righteousness of God, this perfect and infinite righteousness, was brought to the world and wrought out for men “by the faith of Jesus Christ.” And this righteousness of God, God’s own righteousness, in all its perfection and in all its infinitude, is manifested in a full and free gift unto all and upon all them that believe in Jesus. Bless his glorious name forever and ever.
You do believe in Jesus. You have believed in him a long time. Have you accepted in him this full and free gift of the perfect righteousness of God? Or have you been toiling and wearing out your spirit, soul, and body in the endeavor to do better? O weary, toiling soul, stop! Look to Jesus. Accept the perfect righteousness of God in the full, free gift in which it is given to you.
All your toiling to do better and to obey the law will do no good; for it is not your righteousness that is called for; it is God’s righteousness. It is not your righteousness that is demanded by the law; it is God’s. It is not your righteousness that will be accepted by the law; it is God’s righteousness alone that will be accepted. It matters not how hard you try, nor how much you do, the law will never witness to your righteousness; the law will witness only to the righteousness of God.
Then cease the fruitless endeavor to establish your own right doing. Accept the perfect righteousness of God, and rest. This righteousness belongs to you; for you believe in Jesus. Then accept this great free gift of God in all its fullness. Do not be afraid to claim it: you are entitled to it by the very fact of your believing in Jesus. And your faith is frustrated, it does not attain its true object, if you do not claim the righteousness of God, and thus abandon all idea of ever attaining to any of your own.
For you are “justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24). “With him is plenteous redemption” (Ps. 130:7). “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; for it is written: Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree” (Gal. 3:13). He was made a curse for you, and by that he has redeemed you from the curse. Will you make that transaction all vain for you by not accepting the redemption which he has wrought?
And he redeemed us by being made this curse for us, especially in order that we might be justified, especially in order that we might have the righteousness of God. Then it is perfectly plain that when we believe in Jesus, and do not accept the righteousness of God in all its perfection, in the full, free gift in which it is given, we do certainly frustrate the very object of our believing at all, and thus simply war against our own faith. O let all such way be abandoned forever, and let faith work freely to bring to us all that God has given and promised!
For God has set him “forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past” (Rom. 3:25). You do have faith in his blood. Then please accept the righteousness of God, which he is set forth purposely to declare. Not to accept this, when having faith in his blood, is to defeat the very purpose and work of faith. Let every soul that has named the name of Christ, accept his declaration of God’s righteousness; for it is declared fully and freely unto all and upon all them that believe, and there is no difference, thank the Lord. For as all have sinned, the redemption and the righteousness are declared freely to all.
And this righteousness of God is declared unto you and upon you for the remission of sins that are past. How many of your sins are past? —All of them, to be sure. As soon as sin is committed, it is past. Then the expression, “sins that are past,” covers every sin that ever has appeared in your life up to the moment at which you read this line. And at this moment Jesus declares unto you, God’s righteousness for the remission of all the sins up to this moment. O believe it, receive it, and rejoice in it forevermore. Because forevermore that blessed word stands the same, that he declares God’s righteousness unto you and upon you for the remission of sins that are past.
And do not fear, nor think for one moment, that it is not all right for you to claim all this. It is just right. It is all perfectly proper. For God set him forth “to declare I say at this time his righteousness, that he might be just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” God can be perfectly just and do all this for you. He has fixed the whole matter so that he can. Therefore do you believe it all, and take it all, and delight in it all “now,” “at this time,” and forevermore?