One topic that is of interest in every religion and every Spiritual system is righteousness. How do we become right with God? Traditional, Biblical Christianity answers this question very differently than Mormonism does. As you journey on your way to Biblical faith, it is important to understand the concept of righteousness.
On Our Own, We Are Unclean.
Jude 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy…
As a Mormon, you were taught that you had to present yourself righteous before God by obedience to all the laws and ordinances. However, the Bible says that Jesus is able to present us faultless. Nevertheless, none of us are righteous in ourselves. We do not have anything to present to God.
Isaiah 64:6 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
This verse does not paint a very optimistic picture of human nature. It tells us that even the best things that we do are not good enough. Not even the righteous things that people do stand before God. Nevertheless, there is hope in Jesus.
Because of Jesus Sacrifice, We Can Be Clothed in His Righteousness.
There is good news in the Gospel. God was perfect and kept every law. We were sinful and disobeyed the law. God wanted to reconcile us to Himself because sin had separated us from an eternity with Him. So He took our punishment and bore our sins on the cross. Because of His perfect work, He is able to declare us righteous. This righteousness we obtain is completely dependent on Jesus. It is His gift to us.
Colossians 1:22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.
God through Jesus Christ accomplished what was necessary to present us holy and faultless. It is all because of Jesus and the sacrifice that He made.
Romans 4:5 Now to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
All we have to do is believe. It is all about faith. Our faith is counted for righteousness because it is placed in Jesus and His perfect work.
This is not an abstract doctrine. It is important to us. It is our confidence and our blessed assurance that Jesus has paid our sin dept. It is our confidence that we belong to Him and are adopted children of God the moment we believe.
Isaiah 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
It is promised here in the Old Testament that Jesus is going to cover us with His robe of righteousness. So on one side we have our good deeds, which are like filthy rags, but on the other side Jesus clothes us with this pure, holy, and beautiful garment. This is a very encouraging and wonderful promise.
[Related: How to Know You’re Right with God]
[Related: Understanding Forgiveness After Mormonism]
There Will Be Struggles, but We Have Blessed Assurance through Jesus.
Satan will try to tempt us, but we have a great High Priest who pleads with the Father for us. He calls us His own. However, this does not make it right to sin. We do not desire to sin, and even though we do sin and fall short, we have the blessed assurance that Jesus paid the price for us and that through His work we will be presented faultless before the Father.
God gives us that beautiful robe of righteousness. Jesus did His work and now His new work is to present His completed work to the Father. Even if the devil makes you feel guilty, unworthy, or criticized, know with assurance where you stand and that Jesus’ righteousness applies to you.
[Related: How to Deal with Your Sin After Mormonism]
[Related: How to Live as a Christian]
[Related: Obedience to God After Mormonism]