What is it that the Law can not do? There are two things that the Law is unable to do. Many of us know this one – “For the Law makes nothing perfect” – “therefore by the Law shall no flesh be justified.” The second thing the Law can not do goes hand in hand with the first and underscores the reason for the Law’s inability to make perfect or justify anyone. Paul put it this way: “For if there had been a Law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by Law.”
We can see from these two truths that it takes LIFE to produce RIGHTEOUSNESS. There was no life to be found in the Law, only rudimentary principles, ie the basic precepts of God’s order. What the Law could not do, God did by sending His own Son in the flesh. The Law had no life to give, so God sent His only begotten Son and IN HIM WAS LIFE and the LIFE was the light of men. This LIFE of God in Christ Jesus is “the Law of the SPIRIT OF LIFE” whereby all the righteous requirements in the Law are fully met by those who walk according to the SPIRIT - Whose mind is LIFE AND PEACE. LIFE produces RIGHEOUSNESS and PEACE is the FRUIT of RIGHTEOUSNESS. The mind of the Spirit is the very LIFE of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit speaks the words of Jesus which are SPIRIT AND LIFE to those who are LED BY HIM. Those led by the Spirit of Life are living by the WORDS OF LIFE.
This is how the righteousness of the Law is fully met in those who are living by the LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS. The LIFE of God is imparted through the indwelling SPIRIT of LIFE and the very words of SPIRIT and LIFE that are spoken to us by the Holy Spirit guide us into the way of life – the way of righteousness that leads to life.
Thus the scripture is fulfilled that Jesus declared was fulfilled in the hearing of those sitting in the synagogue of Capernaum “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your ears.” What scripture? - The promise spoken through Isaiah in chapter 61. This promise includes “…That you may become trees of righteousness, a planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.” We know what Jesus said about trees – “Make a tree good and the fruit will be good… a good tree can not bear bad fruit.” When the Lord plants a “tree of righteousness” what kind of fruit will it produce? - the fruit of righteousness!!!!
Those who have received the life of Jesus have become – as the Septuagint literally states – “a generation of righteousness” Those who have been born of the Spirit of Life in Christ have received HIS ability to bear the fruit of the Life of Christ, the fruit of righteousness which men see in the good works that cause them to glorify our Father in heaven. This is the authority/power all who receive Jesus have been given – “to all who received Him to them He gave power to become children of God.” This is the power all who receive the SPIRIT are given to enable them to become witnesses. God’s children have God’s nature of LIFE AND LIGHT, thus His life in them bears the fruit of His righteousness in their thoughts, their words, and their actions – these are His children of light! This is what makes us “the light of the world.”
This is the grace of God that brings salvation that has appeared to all men teaching us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and to live soberly, RIGHTEOUSLY, and godly in THIS PRESENT AGE. This is the righteousness of those who genuinely have been born of and who are presently abiding in Him. It is an empirical righteousness that manifests itself through the audible speech and visible actions of those who are abiding in the life of Christ. “he who DOES what is righteous - IS RIGHTEOUS - even as HE is….”