Each time I study Matthew 22:1-14, I wonder why the king in the ‘parable of the marriage of the king’s son’ should direct his servants to bind and take away an invitee who was not wearing a wedding garment. Upon the king’s directive, his servants went out to the highways to gather all that were found, both bad and good including the man that was later cast away, to attend the wedding.
“Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment, and he saith unto him, friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 22:9-13
The wedding attendee cast out did not wear the wedding garment given freely to all attendees and looked odd in the midst of the people. Just as this man missed the marriage banquet, many people are missing great spiritual blessings in heavenly places as well as the good things of life because they are yet to submit themselves to the righteousness of God.
Righteousness, according to the Oxford Dictionary, is defined as “the quality of being morally right or justifiable.” The justification stems from conformity of one’s behavior to human standards enshrined in rules and regulations or constitution, in the context of a nation. From the biblical perspective, righteousness is the quality of being right in the eyes of God who is the ultimate Lawgiver. This kind of righteousness is based on God’s standard and it is a gift from God through His love.
I have heard some people say “I do not need Jesus Christ; I give alms to the needy and obey the laws of the land.” This could be as a result of ignorance of God’s righteousness. Establishing one’s righteousness or practicing self-righteousness is dangerous and offensive as Jesus narrated in the above parable. We all need to submit to God’s righteousness as no one can be justified by his own works. God is just and He is the Justifier that can make us have a right standing with Him.
In this discourse, I will define submission to God’s righteousness as consciously laying aside one’s established moral standards and walking in the character, attitude and conduct of God. In your own eyes, you cease to see that your ways are right.
How to Submit to God’s Righteousness
“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.” Romans 10:3
From this Bible verse, Paul observed that the people have established their self-righteousness and are so ignorant of God’s righteousness thereby not submitting to God’s righteousness. Are you among these people? You can submit to God’s righteousness without delay.
Acknowledge the Filthy Nature of Self-righteousness
Adam made every man and woman to have a sinful nature, while Jesus Christ makes any one that confesses Him as Lord and Savior righteous.
“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned…..Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” Romans 5:12,18
The Bible equates self-righteousness to filthy rags. One can imagine how filthy rags look like; dirty and stinking. Therefore, self-righteousness can never be compared to God’s righteousness which is the nature of God.
“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.” Isaiah 64:6
You need to examine your life to ascertain whether you are operating outside God’s righteousness and let go the filthy nature.
Receive Jesus Christ into Your Life
The Bible tells us that any one who receives Jesus Christ becomes a son or daughter of God, a new creature and the righteousness God.
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” John 1:12
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”2 Corinthians 5:21
You submit to the Lordship of Jesus when you confess Him as Lord and continue to walk with Him. It is after you confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior that the gift of God’s righteousness is released to you. Jesus took upon Him the sinful nature of man over 2000 years ago; it is just for you to believe it and God’s righteousness will be imputed to you.
Keep Seeking God’s Kingdom and His Righteousness
It is important to keep operating in the righteousness of God; walking in the character, attitude and conduct of God by meditating on His word daily and maintaining constant fellowship with Him in prayer and supplication.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33
Seeking God’s righteousness guarantees all-round peace, strength and blessings. It shall be well with you and you shall continually enjoy favor.
“Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.” Isaiah 3:10
“For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.” Psalms 5:12