“As it is written:
‘There is none righteous, no, not one;
There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God.
They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one.
Their throat is an open tomb;
With their tongues they have practiced deceit;
The poison of asps is under their lips;
Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.
Their feet are swift to shed blood;
Destruction and misery are in their ways;
And the way of peace they have not known.
There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.”
Human beings have nothing to boast with the flesh
Romans 3:10-12 states, “There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none that does good, no, not one.” We are all full of sins because of the flesh in front of God. Can one become righteous by oneself with the flesh? Can there be righteous fleshes by nature before God? A human being can never become righteous with the flesh. The flesh can never be righteous without being delivered from sins through Jesus Christ.
Those whose sins are blotted out have nothing to boast with their fleshes. We whose sins are blotted out also cannot but turn aside with our flesh and have no ability to do good. We cannot say we lead good lives except when we serve the Lord and do spiritual work. Just as Jesus said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6), the flesh only wants to satisfy its lust while the spirit desires to walk by the Spirit. The flesh can never be transformed into the spirit.
All human beings are born sinful, live under sin, die in vain and are eventually cast into the lake of fire in hell. They wouldn’t have had hope if God hadn’t sent His only begotten Son to the world to save them from all their sins. If there is any hope for us, it is just because God gave us a true hope. If it were not for God, we would have neither righteousness nor hope. It is true when we investigate the fate of every individual including you and me in the world.
Even though we are called as “the lords of all creation, we are destined to be born sinful, regardless of our wills, live in vain and go to hell. How transient we are! We usually identify human being’s ephemeral life with that a dayfly that is born and lives all its life in a day and dies and goes back to dust in vain. We have no hope without Jesus. The only necessary things human beings do in their lives is to be born, eat, drink, die and go to hell, however famous they may be or how great their exploits may have been. We live in vain and disappear in vain and are destined to receive the eternal judgment.
However, God gave us the law to give us the knowledge of sin and then freely made us righteous by His grace through the remission of sins in Jesus Christ. He sent His only begotten Son Jesus, who took all our sins and was crucified, to be a propitiation to those who believe in the baptism and the blood of Jesus. God set forth Jesus to be a propitiation for us and made us righteous.
How can those who have the remission of sins become righteous? Do we, who have the remission of sins, have the righteousness of the flesh? Do we have any side to boast before God? We have nothing to boast with the flesh. Because of God, the Lord, we are delighted and give thanks to Him, for we have the remission of sins, the confirmation of salvation and everlasting lives.
We who have the remission of sins are nothing without God. Does the flesh of a human being have something to boast? Is the flesh righteous at all? Do we have anything to boast in the 70-80 years of our lives? A human being has nothing righteous. What do we have to boast before God? The flesh really does not have anything to boast. The flesh has nothing to boast before God, not even 0.1%.
The only thing that we can boast is the righteousness of God
What we boast is that the Lord saved us from our sins, as it is written, “But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets.” The Lord is our eternal life and Savior. He made us righteous. We are righteous because Jesus perfectly saved us. We have nothing to boast with the flesh or with the deeds of the law. We are thankful and praise the Lord for being baptized and for washing away all the sins of the world to fulfill all righteousness.
We come to have the righteousness of faith. The Lord saved all the people in the world from their sins without leaving one person out. The salvation of God makes us happy and gives us hope. It gives us a new power. We have nothing to boast but the Lord. Far from boasting our righteousness before God, we are shameful. Many people try to offer their efforts to God with the pride of their deeds and their own righteousness, but their self-righteous egos are like dirty cloths. They may have something to boast to each other or to themselves, but nothing before God.
The Lord is the perfect Savior to us. ‘Jesus’ means ‘the Savior’ and He is said to be Christ too. This means that the Savior who came in the likeness of men was God. We call Him “Jesus Christ.” Jesus is our Savior and God. We give thanks to the Lord, praise Him, do righteous works before Him and have faithful lives because God completely saved us. Only believers in God can do righteous works.
We can work righteously without sin because the Lord took away all the sins of the world and became our Savior who saved us from all our sins. We cannot settle the problem of sin by ourselves. A human being can neither eliminate his/her sins nor keep God’s righteousness by doing good deeds with the flesh.
God blotted out all our sins and we received the righteousness from God. We are righteous. Can we keep our righteousness by sanctifying our flesh with virtuous deeds on our part? If one could do so, he/she would be an elder brother/sister to Jesus. Jesus could never be the Savior to such a person. We have an instinct for keeping our own righteousness with the ability of our flesh and emotions without realizing it. The flesh acts on instinct. We instinctively struggle not to be in danger when we meet danger, want to eat a lot when we see delicious food, and want to play when we see something interesting.
We instinctively want to keep the righteousness of God with the flesh because the flesh acts on instinct. However, we cannot. Our being saved is not through our own righteousness. We can never be saved by keeping the law well, doing good deeds with the flesh or by our dedicating ourselves to God. Our exploits are not included in the righteousness of God, not even 0.1%. We are made righteous by believing that God came to the world in the likeness of men and received baptism from John the Baptist before He was crucified to fulfill all righteousness, which perfectly saved us from our sins.
The Lord who saved us is the perfect Savior
The Lord fulfilled all righteousness by taking away all the sins that human beings commit before they die, became the perfect Savior to them, and made us righteous. God made us perfect by fulfilling all righteousness. God enabled us to work spiritually. We have the right to work spiritually before God because we received His righteousness, becoming sinless even though our flesh continues to work carnally. However, those whose sins are not blotted out yet cannot work spiritually. They are not qualified to do so.
We are qualified to do the spiritual things by God. Now we can do the things of the Spirit. We can do the righteous work of God apart from the things of the flesh. How perfect it is that God became our Savior! God, who created all things as well as human beings, is revealed to us as the Lord of salvation because He came to the world and fulfilled all righteousness. In His relations with us, God became our Lord and Savior who saved us.
Salvation would be imperfect if someone who is weak and has no ability saved us. There would be a probability of failure sometime. On the contrary, the One who saved us is not such a person. He is God and the Creator who created all things. John 1:3 states, “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” Who is Jesus? The Savior. Who is the Savior? He is God, the Creator. God perfectly saved us. Our salvation is perfect because He saved us. It lasts forever. However our salvation would be invalid if He was not the Creator, but rather, a person among creatures. It wouldn’t last long, and its righteousness is like a filthy rag. If one wears perfect leather clothes, they will never be worn out, even if one plays soccer or slides on a slide. But if they weren’t perfect clothes, they would become worn out at once.
The Lord who saved us from our sins is not imperfect. The Lord who saved us is God, who is perfect. The salvation of Jesus, who was baptized to bear all our sins, crucified, rose again from the dead and is sitting on the right hand of God, never becomes invalid, however weak believers’ flesh may be. This is the salvation that God gave us.
Our own righteousness should be broken for us to live by faith
In the Bible, those who were full of their own righteousness lived through various hardships because God wanted to break their righteousness through those hardships. There are many passages like “However, high places were not taken away” in the records about the kings. It means that a human being himself/herself is not perfect in the flesh, but he/she is made righteous by believing in the Lord.
My beloved saints, our God perfectly saved us, no matter weak we may be. We will die if we live only for our own righteousness. But the Lord God completely saved us from sins. He will rejoice over us if we live for the righteousness of the Lord, however weak we may be. Isaiah 53:5 states, “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities.” God took away our iniquities once and for all. We don’t need to be careful for fear that our righteousness should be broken.
Some people have personalities similar to glass-vessels. I know a sister who went to America. She was so noble; spoke carefully and never cursed, whenever I met her. She used to say, “Oh! Mr. bad man,” to a strikingly wicked man even though she received the remission of sins. She received the remission of sins by believing in the baptism of Jesus and His blood on the Cross, even though she was full of her own righteousness. However, after she received the remission of sins, she was still full of her own righteousness, so she was extremely careful in trying not to express herself for fear that her righteousness would be broken. There are many people who are like her. Does their righteousness last long? It will be broken soon.
Does your flesh have weaknesses even though you are saved? Yes. Do you live a perfectly good life? We can live perfectly after the remission of sins only when we walk with the Spirit. Only righteous works are qualified to be good in front of God. We are praiseworthy when we work and walk with the Spirit. We have nothing to be applauded with the flesh. Some people among the saints who have the remission of sins try to keep their righteousness for fear of it being broken.
However, the Lord does not rejoice over them. Human righteousness will be broken anyway. It would be better to be broken soon. It would be broken anyway after 10 or 20 years. Therefore, the outward man would be better off being broken now so that the inward man can live by faith. People try not to break their righteousness, even though it will break anyway.
The Lord became our Savior. How perfect our Savior is! The Lord God has become our Savior. He saved both you and me. Do you become a sinner again because of the infirmities of your flesh? No. God fulfilled all righteousness. Our righteousness is broken many times after we are born again of the water and the Spirit. Our evil is revealed many times as we follow the Lord. It is revealed while trying to hide itself, in the case of an introvert and it is revealed to other people in the case of an extrovert. When our righteousness is revealed, only our righteousness is broken while the righteousness of the Lord stands fast.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit
I want you to believe that the Lord God became our perfect Savior. Therefore, we must live by faith. God wants our own righteousness to be broken and He is pleased with it. John 3:6 states, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” The flesh cannot become the spirit. In Buddhism, there is “the doctrine of emancipation from worldly existence.” It insists that the flesh can become a spirit. The flesh can never become a spirit. No, it cannot. Who can do it? Come on. Nobody can do it.
Sung-chul, a very famous Korean monk in contemporary Buddhism, died some years ago. He sought after the truth by meditating while facing a wall for almost 2 decades. He neither lay down to sleep for a decade to achieve spiritual enlightenment. He even slept sitting for those 10 years, and he tried to have only a good mind, defeating evil thoughts, adultery, fornication, murder, theft, wickedness, pride, and foolishness that came up from within him. Many people thought that he was a living Buddha. However, he himself knew that he could not extinguish the lusts of his flesh at all, so he left a piece of a Nirvana poem when he was about to die, after cultivating his mind for almost 2 decades in the heart of mountains:
“For I have deceived many men and women during my lifetime, My sins are greater than the highest mountain. I will fall into the endless hell, And my lamentation will be divided into ten thousands ways. A piece of red sun goes down behind the blue mountains.”
All the religious people of the world admired his sublime personality and seemingly profound teachings. However, he himself actually said that he would go to hell.
The flesh can never be the spirit, but our souls become God’s children when we are born again by believing in His salvation. We just became the new creatures by the grace of God who resurrected us in His righteousness. A human being cannot be renewed by his/her own efforts.
Ministers, monks, and Catholic fathers who participate in prison ministry advise prisoners to live a virtuous life for the rest of their lives. However, the flesh never changes. God wants us to abandon our own righteousness and firmly believe that the Lord is our Savior. Believe in the baptism and the Cross of Jesus. Then, you will have the great faith in salvation.
Now God looks for believers
The Lord became a propitiation to us. He was baptized to take away all things that separated God the Father from human beings. He was crucified to pay the wages of our sin, was judged in our place, and saved us from all sins. God became a propitiation to us.
He says, “God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:25-26).
God came to the world and fulfilled all righteousness. Everybody in the world is sinless. Nobody goes to hell if he/she just believes in the perfect salvation of God. He/she goes to hell due to his/her unbelief. One can be saved if he/she forsakes his/her own righteousness and hypocrisy and accepts God as the Savior by believing in Jesus’ baptism and death on the Cross. We live in a state of no sin from God’s viewpoint because He took all the sins of the world onto Him and eliminated them.
I believe in God. So do you. He is the Savior. We have no sin. The Lord God perfectly saved us. The only problem left for us is how we spend the rest of our lives. How should we live? We should walk with the Spirit. We have no reason to worry about eliminating our sins. The words, “God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,” means that God does not condemn us for our sins. We have no sin and nothing to be judged because God already saved us from our sins by receiving baptism from John the Baptist to take them away and by being crucified. Therefore, God does not condemn us for our sins. He looks for those who believe this truth with the heart.
The Bible says that there is none righteous, but we are made righteous by the faith in God. God says, “There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one. Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit; The poison of asps is under their lips; Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; Destruction and misery are in their ways; And the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Romans 3:10-18).
God came to the world and took away all the sins of those who do every kind of evils while living this world and have no righteousness and became unprofitable in the Jordan River. Do you believe it?
Now, God looks for people who believe that He saved them from all their sins. The eyes of the lord are upon the righteous. He encourages us, the righteous. He takes care of us, is always with us, keeps us and works with us. God entrusted us with righteous works. Jesus will grieve more than we do if we grieve at the evils of our flesh. “Why do you grieve at your sins when I already saved you from all your sins.”
What we have to do now is to believe in God, walk with the Spirit and preach the gospel to harvest souls. Those are the things we have to do now. Do you believe this? Do not show off your own righteousness or try to establish it either, comparing your righteousness with others to show it off. Do not slander the person who is not righteous by him/herself. In fact, there is no righteous human being by nature.
We give thanks to the Lord who saved us through His baptism and the Cross
We have nothing to boast before God except His love, which saved us perfectly. All we have to do is to boast of God’s salvation, praise it, glorify Him, and preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We don’t need to worry about sin and going to hell. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). Never. Do you see it? One goes to hell if he/she does not unite with the fact that the Lord saved him/her with His righteous act. However, one does not need to worry about going to hell if he/she believes it.
The Lord God saved us from all sins with the baptism and the blood of Jesus. How thankful we are! “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also” (Romans 3:28-29).
God is not only the God of the Jews, but also the God of the Gentiles. He is God to all human beings. The Lord God saved us from our sins. In order to do so, He came to the world, was baptized to bear all our sins, and was crucified to be judged for all the sins. Therefore, He became the God and the Savior of all human beings. This is the conclusion of Romans chapter 3. The Apostle Paul believed this. We believe this too.
The Apostle Paul does not only talk about the weakness of the flesh, but also about the righteousness of God apart from the law. We cannot be saved by the deeds of the law. By what can we be delivered? By the faith in God’s salvation. The Lord God became a propitiation to us and passed over the sins that were previously committed. Therefore, unbelievers will be judged for the sin of being against the Holy Spirit. He doesn’t judge the sins that were committed by the weakness of the flesh because there is no sin in the world.
Therefore, we must believe in the Lord God. There is no condemnation or judgment to believers. God is the God of believers, so we must spend the rest of our lives by walking with the Spirit. We can always do the things of the Spirit because all our sins were forgiven already, even though our flesh wants to live lustfully. The Lord God is the God of both the Jews and the Gentiles. He is also the God of both of believers and unbelievers. This means that God wants all human beings to be saved from their sins. He can become the Savior of unbelievers. He has already become the God of believers.
I give thanks to the Lord God from the bottom of the heart. How miserable I would have been if the Lord God had not been, if He had not come to this world in the likeness of a human flesh, and if He had not been baptized in the Jordan River to take away all our sins. If He did not become our perfect Savior, we would be sinners again after receiving the remission of sins because we are weak until the day we die. I give thanks to the Lord God.