And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. (Matt. 3:15 KJV)
The advent entrance by the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ introduced a new and drastic change into the order and standard of worship and service of God. That new and drastic change was so dramatic that the religious leaders of His time could not tolerate His doctrine nor His own people believed Him but; according to the Scriptures, “…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 KJV).
Jesus came to set up the Kingdom of God on the Earth about which John the Baptist came to herald His coming. The duo were God’s Agent to both introduce Man to the ultimate intent of God which erstwhile were covertly demonstrated by the shadow of what the people of God; represented as Israel had seen and know in the worship and observance of God’s Holy commandments until the set time in God’s Holy Calendar to introduce the TRUTH, about His grand plan to restore Man and reinstate His Kingdom on the Earth. This is the Mission commenced by the twosome introduced by John the Baptist executed by the Lord Jesus Name.
Their Mission was so detail specific with pungent dislike for error and evil that Jesus remarked and reproved John, “…it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.” This remark clearly identified the mission, passion and commission of a new order and a breed of God’s Holy people to whom it applies… to fulfil all righteousness. This is God’s holy intent about His people and requirement for His Kingdom; a people to whom it pertains … to fulfil all righteousness. It was upon this notice and model that John the Baptist, though it seemed right in his judgment to have had Jesus rather baptize him, proceeded to baptize Jesus to fulfill God’s righteous requirement and not be diminished out of it.
There is an important note and lesson introduced to us in this event: There is some Wisdom in the requirements, ordinances and demands of God including the leadings and promptings of His Spirit that elevates our walk with God thus culminating in our fulfilling “all righteousness” if we refrain from our sense of rightness, abstain from fragile dependence on mere attainment of basic requirement to actively depending on the leading of God’s Spirit per time. The Bible termed this order and lifestyle a type governed by the Law of Faith.
When we direct our lives and basis for righteousness by careful dependence and active reliance on the Holy Spirit, we not only attain the righteous and basic requirement of the coded law of God but also transcend that precipice to attaining the righteousness which is of God by Faith. This order and lifestyle grants us God’s confidence and trust to not just get by through dependence on coded Law but active dependence on His leading to fulfill all His requirements. Recall for instance how Peter’s strict adherence to the Law prevented him from the leading of the Spirit to arise, slay and eat but he reprimanded, “…Not so, Lord: for nothing common or unclean hath at any time entered into my mouth. But the voice answered me again from heaven, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.” (Acts 11:6-10 KJV)
About this new order, Paul puts this thus, “…may be found in Him [believing and relying on Him], not having any righteousness of my own derived from [my obedience to] the Law and its rituals, but [possessing] that [genuine righteousness] which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.” (Phil. 3:9 AMP)
“In the future there is reserved for me the [victor’s] crown of righteousness [for being right with God and doing right], which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that [great] day—and not to me only, but also to all those who have loved and longed for and welcomed His appearing.” (2 Tim. 4:8 AMP)
Reward is a crucial and central subject with God; a relic and relish. We must note and understand that God is grandiose and ostentatious about Reward. He’s fond of it and does it graciously. God takes the subject of Reward seriously; I perceive He “hurts” when we don’t see Him as a Rewarder. God loves to reward His people; as He takes into account the open and clear choice that Man has to do what Man chooses (on Earth) regardless of what He (God) says. He (God) is very aware that we are “free” to do what we like (on Earth) and the conscious notice that He cannot interfere with Man’s choice, He may only persuade or advise.
Man is a free moral entity, a governor in his terrain and domain. Though accountable to God, God according to the Bible has put all His works under Man to administrate and govern them. The Psalmist recorded, “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: (Psalm 8:3-6 NIV). Notice, God made Man, “…rulers over the works of your hands; …put everything under their feet” and the eminent fact about rulers; a Monarch or a Sovereign is “they rule”. It is the imminence of Man’s sovereign status that makes God’s regard for this status a Righteous act on God’s part. God has deference and respect for the sovereign status He bequeathed to Man of Man’s dominance of the Earth but will require of Man an account of that bequest at “His appearing”. This is the core and the precipice of God’s eminent Reward.
Crown of Righteousness is God’s Reward, Award, Prize or Compensation for Man’s faithful and fearful reliance on the ordinance, law, precepts, counsel, promptings, testimonies, leadings, inspiration, guidance, direction, etc. of God as Man directs and administrates his governance on the Earth. It must be understood that as sovereign as Man could be, he is to its furthest extent a sovereign “agent” of God on the Earth and God as the Principal will both require and request an account of Man’s stewardship at “His appearance”. The notice and knowledge of rendering account is the necessary caution on one part and motivation on the other to aid and modulate the use of the sovereign status so long it last, that we may receive the “crown of righteousness” when God comes to reward.
Beloved, it is God’s regard and respect (so to say) for Man’s selectable deference to the law of God despite the sovereignty of Man (on Earth) that makes God Righteous and Ostentatious about His reward to everyone who would take into account God’s rules or guidelines in his course and lifetime. ”Therefore, whether we are at home [on earth] or away from home [and with Him], it is our [constant] ambition to be pleasing to Him. 10 For we [believers will be called to account and] must all appear before the [a]judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be repaid for what has been done in the body, whether good or [b]bad [that is, each will be held responsible for his actions, purposes, goals, motives—the use or misuse of his time, opportunities and abilities]. (2 Cor. 5:9-10 AMP)