Dr. Gray Sr.
Romans 10:4 “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”
Nobody, who has one mark on his or her record, will go to Heaven. Do not miss that! If you lived a life having never sinned but one time, you would go to Hell when you died because of that one sin. God did not say the wages of a lot of sins is death. He didn’t say the wages of a few sins is death. He said the wages of sin, singular, is death. You must have perfect righteousness in order to go to Heaven.
If you are attempting to save yourself, let me tell you what you have to do. You would have to go back and start over and be born of a virgin. You would have to live for 33 years on earth, never having sinned one time. That’s what you would have to do in order for you to go to Heaven. You cannot do that. It is impossible for you to do that.
So, you need another alternative. The truth is you must have righteousness in order to go to Heaven. When you stand before God, there cannot be one single black mark against your name. Not one lie can be recorded there. Not one loss of temper can be recorded there. Not one word of hatred can be recorded there. Not one word of cursing can be there. Not one time of coveting something can be there. Not one moment of vengeance can be there on your record. The only ones who will walk inside the gates of pearl, on the streets of gold, are the ones who stand before God with not one single sin recorded against their name. Do not miss that. There is a Heaven and there is a Hell. When you stand before God, you will have to be perfect, or you will not go to Heaven when you die.
Righteousness Is Not The Absence
It takes righteousness to get you to Heaven, but righteousness is not the absence of unrighteousness. Those are the people trying to work to clear the record. Please understand that righteousness is not the absence of unrighteousness. It’s wonderful what God does to our sins. We put our trust and faith in Christ. He has paid for our sins and, thus, because He has paid for them, He can cleanse us from our sins.
So far, I have done nothing about my own sins. You see, I can’t do anything about them. Righteousness, again, is not the absence of unrighteousness. I must turn to Christ and let Him do something about my sins.
When I turn to Christ, He comes into my heart. The Bible says believe in your heart, not turn from sin in your heart. It says you have to believe in your heart. What does He do? He removes every sin from our record in Heaven. Jesus leaves the record totally clean. He justifies me, and it is if I had never sinned. That is the second thing He does.
Do you know what else He does? He forgets our sins. That does not mean I don’t sin. It means they have been paid for by Jesus’ shed blood and, as far as God is concerned, I have a perfectly clean record. That’s not all!
As God comes and erases your sins, there must be righteousness recorded in the blank space. You see, an absence of your sins is not righteousness. Absence of your sins is not enough. There must be righteousness, and righteousness is not the absence of sin
My Righteousness Won’t Do It
Isaiah 64:6 explains, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
God said my righteousness won’t do it. Every act I do is tainted. Quit running around questioning everybody else’s motives because, according to this verse, your motives are pretty rotten, yourself.
My righteousness won’t do it. So, everything I do is tainted. It can’t help but be, because of our flesh. There is no pure righteousness that I can do. There is no pure righteousness that you can do.
Christ Offers His Righteousness
To Man, If Man Will Believe Him To Pay For Man's Unrighteousness
In Genesis 15:6 we read, “And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.” It does not say he turned from sin in his heart. It does not say that he turned from sin in his life. Only One has the power to take care of your sin! Only One! You cannot do it! You have to trust the One that can come in and take care of that old man. When Abraham believed on the coming Messiah as his Saviour, God immediately erased all of Abraham’s sins, but that’s not enough. Righteousness must be recorded where unrighteousness has been erased. Thus, Abraham believed God and God put His righteousness on Abraham’s record. Man’s unrighteousness is taken away and God’s righteousness is put there, in it’s place.
So, when I was saved I believed on Christ. Christ not only erased all of my sin, He also said, “I’ll never remember them.” That is not all. He likewise said, “I am going to take My Son’s righteousness, My righteousness, and I’m going to put it on your record.”
In Romans 4:3 we are told, “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” The word “counted” is an accounting word. It was recorded. Salvation is not the absence of sin. It is having Jesus count His righteousness for your righteousness. That’s what God does.
In Galatians 3:6 the Bible tells us, “Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” The word “it” is the faith. It was accounted to him for righteousness. That means that the moment a person believes God, his faith causes the righteous acts of Jesus Christ to be recorded on his record.
For example, blessing little children is recorded on our record. For example, on my record in Heaven, because I trusted Christ, feeding the five thousand is recorded there. Raising the dead is recorded on my record in Heaven. Healing the sick is recorded on my record in Heaven. Going about doing good is recorded on my record in Heaven. That’s why I can be called a son of God. It is not just you feeling sorry for your sins and being so broken up that you feel a deep compunction, or remorse, in your heart. All of that is okay, because sometimes godly sorrow leads to repentance, but it is not the same thing as repentance. Sometimes you don’t have that deep, godly sorrow, but, when you face the fact that you are a sinner, and the fact that you are headed for Hell, and the fact that the wages of sin is death, you come to a place in your life where you have to say, who can take care of me? I don’t care if you cry or laugh. I don’t care how you react! If you trust the fact of Jesus Christ, you become saved. Your sins are cleansed. That’s not all. His righteousness is put on your record.
Thus, all the righteous acts that Jesus Christ performs are recorded on my record. They are recorded on your record. God not only wiped away my unrighteousness, but after I placed my faith in Christ, God counted that faith and Jesus’ righteousness was recorded under my name in Heaven.
Psalm 106:31, “And that was counted unto him for righteousness unto all generations for evermore.” So Abraham is not the only one in the Bible who believed God, trusted in the Messiah, and the Messiah’s righteousness was placed on his account.
Romans 4:5, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” I do not care if that is outward work or inward work. It does not make any difference. He said “that worketh not.” Who justifies the ungodly? The Lord Jesus Christ is the One Who does that! You cannot get rid of your sin. You cannot deal with your sin. You cannot turn from your sin. You cannot run from your sin. You cannot deal with it!
The works salvation people, the deeper-lifers, and those who believe they have to turn from their sins in their heart or in their life, they don not understand. “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”
To he who goeth not soul winning but believeth on Him, his faith is counted for righteousness. To he who doesn’t tithe but believeth on Him, his faith is counted for righteousness. To he who helps not the poor but believeth on Him, his faith is counted for righteousness.
Okay. I come to Christ and trust Him. What does He do? He forgives that sin. What’s He do? He forgets that sin. What does He do? He wipes that sin off. He justifies me, just as if I’d never sinned. My record is spotless and clean. However, that is not enough. The absence of unrighteousness keeps me from Hell, but the presence of righteousness takes me to Heaven. So, God takes all that’s on Jesus’ record and puts it on my record. When you look at my record in Heaven, it looks identical to Jesus’! We’re twins! That is why God cannot send you to Hell. That is why you cannot lose your salvation. If He sent you to Hell, He would have to send Jesus there.
The two ways to receive righteousness are by keeping the law, or by faith. In Romans 10:2 we read, “For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.” What does the verse mean? They have zeal to be saved, but they do not know how to become saved. Paul wants them saved in the worse way. They are not saved. He said, “Why are they not saved? They have zeal. They want to be saved, but they do not have knowledge and do not know how to be saved!” That is why it is important not to fool with God’s salvation plan. Don’t fool with it, because you don’t have the knowledge. You may have the zeal, but if nobody connects with the knowledge, then you’ll die and go to Hell.
What is the lack of knowledge? Verse 3 “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” If you and sin are going at it, then you are working your way to Heaven. However, when you throw up your hands and say, “I’m helpless. I cannot help it. There is nothing I can do. Dear God, I am going to have to trust Christ.” He is the One Who has the power to come in and deliver a knockout blow to sin!
If you have one thing to do with your salvation, it becomes works. I do not care if it is you turning from your sin in your heart. I do not care if it is turning from sin outside. You are working your way to Heaven. You have to trust Christ and Him alone. The righteousness of God is vital! You say to yourself, “I have to quit going on about to establish my own righteousness. I throw up my hands. I cannot deal with the sin, anymore. I can’t deal with it.” Then you come to God and say, “Jesus I am trusting You to deal with my sin, not only to wipe it out, but to give me Your record on my record.”
Verse 4 says “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” It is not the end of the law. The rest of the verse says for righteousness. That means when you quit trying to save yourself and quit trying to quit sin in order to get saved, and you come to the end of your own works and realize you can’t do it, but Jesus can, and you put your faith in Christ, not only are all your sins wiped away, not only does God never remember them, but God said, “When We open up your record, all I see is Jesus.” That is not the end of the law for righteousness.
Deeper-lifers are all mixed up because they think that faith does away with the law. However, the word “end” here can be defined it ceases to be what it was at that point. When you trust Christ to save you and quit trying to trust your good works and the law, whether baptism, confirmation, the Lord’s Supper, or sacraments, Christ is the end of the law for righteousness.
For example, Mrs. Gray and I went to junior high School together. Her last name was Weisheipl. She’s German. I knew her, but she didn’t know me. The first time I saw her I thought that she was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen in my life, but she didn’t know I even lived. She didn’t know that I existed. She was very popular and had all kinds of friends.
When we enrolled in high school, I tried to get to know her. She wasn’t interested in me. She was going with some idiot of a boy. She dumped this boy and she finally saw the light. We started going steady. Was that the end of Lee Ann Weisheipl? Oh, no. It was the end of Lee Ann Weisheipl as just a friend. Now it wasn’t just an acquaintance, but now we had moved to a deeper relationship. Now we were beginning to like each other. She finally saw the light!
If we were writing Bible here, we would say Bob was the end of Lee Ann Weisheipl for being just a friend. That is what God is saying to us. It is not the end of the law. It is the end of the law for what it was serving. Now we are moving on to something else. The law didn’t die when I was saved. It just simply changed in the relationship to my life. I’m still not supposed to kill anybody, steal, or covet.
The God in the Old Testament is still alive. What He didn’t like then, He doesn’t like now. If God didn’t like pants on Jewish women 4,000 years ago, then God doesn’t like pants on Gentile women 4,000 years later. God hasn’t changed what He likes and doesn’t like. When I trusted Christ that was the end of the law for righteousness, but not the end of the law for instruction.
In my junior year at Michigan State University, I bought a engagement ring. It was a very expensive ring. I think it was $100.00? I’m not sure. I went to Lee Ann’s parents and said I would like to ask for your daughters' hand in marriage. After that I went to my parents and said I would like permission to ask Lee Ann to marry me. So, the two families came together to discuss this.
I’m not sure how much money was exchanged, or who had to pay for what. All I know is the old boyfriend was out of the picture and I was in it! They decided it was alright if I asked her to marry me. When I became engaged, was that the end of Lee Ann Weisheipl? No. It was the end of being a boyfriend and girlfriend. Now she becomes my fiancée. It was the end of the relationship of being a friend.
The deeper-lifers have not a clue as to what the Bible is talking about. Jesus is the end of the law for righteousness. He is our righteousness, but we still have the law.
On June 25, 1965, guess what happened? Lee Ann and I were married. Was this the end of Lee Ann Weisheipl? No. It was not the end of her. It was the end of her as a fiancé. Now we have become husband and wife.
God is saying that Christ is the end of the law for righteousness, or the purpose of getting you saved, but He still has instruction through the law for us.
Quit listening to radio and TV preachers who are not your pastor. What you ought to do is realize our God has never changed. It’s still indecent for a woman to show her thighs. It is still indecent for female to wear that, which pertains to a male according to the Scriptures. It is still indecent for a female to walk around in a miniskirt with her blouse unbuttoned showing some nudity. Thank God our God never changes!
I came to God and said I want to go to Heaven. I do not want to go to Hell. What do I do? I tried to live right. I went to church, I did not steal, I did not cuss, and I hated sin, because I thought it would keep me from going to Heaven. I hated sin, because I was attempting to go to Heaven my way. I imagine I turned from sin more than anyone ever has! I tried everything, because I did not want to go to Hell.
However, it dawned on me one day that getting baptized would not do it. It dawned on me one day, joining a church wouldn’t do it. It dawned on me one day that hating sin and trying to live right would not do it. Salvation is not living a good life. It is trusting Christ, that He will take care of your sin and that His righteousness will be put on your record. That is what will get you to Heaven, but that is not the end of the law.
What is God saying to us? God is saying straighten up. Live right.
Why Do We Keep The Law?
The redeemed keep the Law because of gratitude and love for Christ. I am suggesting to you that we keep the law: not to go to Heaven, but out of gratitude. I am suggesting that we have our standards because of a love for Christ. I am suggesting that it exhibits your love for Christ. The Bible says you are not your own. The Bible says you are bought with a price.
If my wife decided to put on a pair of shorts and lay out in the front yard in a bikini, that would bring disrespect her husband. However, more important than that, it would bring disrespect on her God. We don’t have standards to prove we are better than anybody else, and we don’t have standards to prove we are better individuals or we are working our way to Heaven. We have standards because we say we love our God and desire for others to see that love. Our God paid our sin debt, died, dipped His soul into Hell, and was resurrected.
Do you know what my wife had the nerve to do after being married? She asked me to stay away from all my old girlfriends. I do not date other ladies out of respect for my wife, but more important out of respect for my Saviour.
God is saying, “Do it out of a respect for Me. Do it out of love for Me. Do it because you are showing to the world that your Saviour died for you.”
Because I do not want others to go to Hell.
Why do I keep the law because I don’t want others to go to Hell? Not only because I love God, not only because I have gratitude, but also because I do not want others to go to Hell.
Because I want God’s blessing and a happy life.
Why do I keep this law? I do it because of gratitude and love for Christ. That is why I do it.
Take a marriage where the husband does not do things for his wife because he loves her and has gratitude, but does it because she nags him. You will find that couple has a horrible relationship.
People who do not smoke, drink, cuss and carry on are happier than people who drink, cuss and carry on. Teenagers who cruise up and down the road, looking for some new gal are not happy people. They are miserable people and sad people. You are not happy when you are living like the devil. I want God’s blessing on my life.
We ought to take a strong stand and say this is not the end of the law. It is the end of the law for righteousness. Now it has changed relationship in my life, and I am not turning back.
I was raised in the American Baptist denomination. Between Sunday school and church, the pastor and the deacons would go out on the front porch and light one up. They were on fire for God! The teenagers used to go to the cars between Sunday school and church to imitate the adults, and they would light up cigarettes. Their parents could not say anything, because they were setting the bad example. I’ll never forget, they used to rag me because my mama wouldn’t let me go.
One day they razzed me and razzed me and I slipped out. When I opened the car door, the smoke rolled out so thickly that it looked like fog. Those kids were in there coughing but talking about what a wonderful time they were having! I got in and sat down; they passed the cigarette around the front, and they turned around and handed it over the seat. My hand went out to grab it. When it did, that back door opened up and this skinny hand came in and grabbed me by the head of my hair!
That was my mama’s hand! I recognized it immediately! She yanked me out of that car, dragged me across that cinder parking lot. She took her belt and whipped me all the way back to the church house! She dragged me around the corner going into the front door, stopped, threw me on the floor, turned around and looked at the pastor and deacons and she said, “Shame on you, shame on you, shame on you.” And commenced to put a switch to my behind! That is how my mama felt about standards. My mama would make a better preacher than most preachers filling today’s pulpits!
Rear your boys to understand and practice Biblical standards. Rear your girls to understand and practice Biblical standards. Do not be ashamed of living for God.
I thank God I am a Baptist. I thank God I belong to an independent Baptist church. I am glad I am not apart of any denomination I am glad I do not embrace their lack of standards. I am glad we have Bible standards. I am not changing!
Why do I obey the law? I do not obey the standards out of fear. I obey the standards out of gratitude and a love for Christ. I do not want anybody to go to Hell because of the way I live sometimes.
There is a correlation between standards, separation from the world and Holy Spirit fullness with power. I want God’s blessing and a happy life.
“Give me 100 preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God; such alone will shake the gates of hell.” -John Wesley