Editorial – The Supreme Object of Life

In Proverbs 11:4, the wise man wrote that righteousness delivers from death. In Proverbs 12:28, he wrote that the way of righteousness is life and in its pathway there is no death. In Proverbs 21:21, he wrote that he who follows righteousness and mercy finds life. Isaiah wrote that the work of righteousness will be peace and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever (Isaiah 32:17).

But righteousness is something that we cannot generate. Righteousness is something that He [the Lord] gives to us. “My soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness” (Isaiah 61:10 NKJV).

There is no human being of the descendants of Adam and Eve who is righteous (Romans 3:10). If we become righteous, we must receive it from somebody else and that somebody else must not only be a righteous person but he must be able to do two things: He must first of all be able to take away our unrighteousness through forgiveness of confessed sin and then, having done that, He must be able to give righteousness to that forgiven person.

The bondage of sin involves being compelled to sin, even against a person’s will, because of three things: 1) the power of inherited and acquired evil propensities and habits (called the flesh in Scripture); 2) because of the compelling power and influence of the world around us; and 3) because of the direct influence and power of evil spirits on the human mind.

Jesus came to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to them that are bound (Isaiah 61:1). In Jesus you can find relief from your restlessness. He is the strong tower into whom you can run and be safe (Psalm 18:10). He is that true city of refuge into which a sinner can run and find relief and healing.

In 1888 E. J. Waggoner summarized this righteousness which every person must have who is saved, teaching that only a transcendent Christ who is completely and intrinsically One of the constituent Persons of the eternal Godhead in the highest and fullest sense could be our all-sufficient Creator, Lawgiver, Atoning Sacrifice, Redeemer, Judge, Advocate, Justifier, Sanctifier, Glorifier, and Coming King. He believed that only such a One could constitute the sole and completely adequate Source of the Righteousness imperative for sinful man to stand fully transformed and panoplied in the presence of God’s immaculate holiness. This is all because it is Christ’s own Divine Righteousness—the Righteousness He wrought out while in the flesh on earth—the Righteousness of God Himself and that He provides for us. It is found and received only in Him. And it becomes ours by faith.