By Mark VanOuse
A truly righteous man says, “I don’t need the law, I need The Lord.”
 But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers . . . (1 Timothy 1:8-9, NKJV)
Did you know that a truly righteous man will actually run from the law? Why? Because the law places the demand on his “righteousness” (which is no righteousness at all), not God’s righteousness. Philippians 3:9 makes the point quite clearly:
not having my own righteousness, which is from the law . . .
A truly righteous man recoils in disgust at the prospect of his own “righteousness” and so does God (Isaiah 64:6). Yet that is exactly what the law demands:
‘You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the LORD. (Lev 18:5, also Ne 9:29, Ez 20:11,13,21, Rom 10:5, Gal 3:12)
Notice the contrast between faith in God and His righteousness versus man and “his doing” in Galatians 3:12:
Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”
And yet, Habakkuk 2:4, Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11 and Hebrews 10:38 all clearly declare:
“The just [or righteous] shall live by faith.”
Do you see it? The only way to live a holy, righteous and godly life is to live it by faith in Christ. Period. He is the King of Righteousness (Heb 7:1-2), not you. One of the most important verses in the entire Bible is Romans 1:17:
For in it [the gospel] the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”
We see three important things here:
- Righteousness is of God. It comes from Him, not from anyone else, least of all, me. It is of Him, meaning God is the righteous One. True righteousness is part and parcel of God Himself and comes from Him alone.
- This righteousness of God is all of faith. It proceeds “from faith to faith”. This speaks of the totality of our Christian life. It starts by faith and continues by faith (see also Col 2:6-7)
- Here is a key principle: The way that the just, the righteous, live is by faith.
This is not by law. These two are contrary to one another. It is all of faith. Here’s why:
Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace (Romans 4:16)
Here is the bottom line:
If it is by law, then it is by my doing, my righteousness..
If it is by faith, then it is by grace and is all of God, His righteousnessand his doing.
And that’s why the righteous man runs from law.
He says, “I don’t need the law! I need the Lord!”
Mark D. VanOuse