Written by Larry M. Jaynes:
Before the coming of Christ, righteousness was something earned by works of the Law and by observing and doing the commandments recorded throughout the Old Testament.
And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us.
Righteousness in Old Testament times gave men and women the ability to approach the Temple of God without fear, and to have an overall acknowledgment of peace and serenity with God. Back then, the people’s righteousness was received only by personal sacrifices IF they observed to do all the commandments of God. At best this was temporal for they were forever receiving and losing their righteousness because of the nature of sin itself. Nevertheless, in obeying those laws and commandments they could never receive the permanent inner righteousness that God wanted for them until His Redeemer came and died for the sins of the world.
The Old Testament with most of its directives was written to the children of Israel who were living in the anticipation of the coming Redeemer. Nevertheless, when Christ came, he began to teach men and women that there was something even greater than the temporal righteousness they were receiving. There was a divine righteousness coming that would be an indwelling spiritual right, freely given to every believer, based purely on their believing in their Savior rather than on the works of the Law. Jesus explains:
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Men and women without works of any kind would be filled with God’s own righteousness, quenching the spiritual thirst for spirituality and the true righteousness before God that man has been searching for – for centuries, because of Jesus Christ’s own sacrifice for the sins of the world. Today we simply need to believe on the Savior, who was and still is the end of the Law, to receive this new and exciting fulfilling righteousness.
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. (Romans 3:25-26 and Philippians 3:9)
When comparing Deuteronomy 6:25 (above) with Romans 10:4 we can easily discover that the former was earned by works and the latter is received by simply believing in Christ; the first was temporal while the latter is now eternal – the difference is like night and day. The doctrinal Epistle of Romans (given to the believers of today) reveals to men and women the glorious righteousness of God, given by believing in Jesus Christ. Our righteousness gives us the ability to always approach God and walk with Him in perfect peace and serenity without any fear of sin consciousness because as God walks with us today – we are righteous!