Series 1 - Lesson 2 - Annotation 20
What is the difference between real spiritual righteousness and morality? What is morality? What is spiritual righteousness?
20. The difference between real spiritual righteousness and morality is that the former lies deep in the character of man, as a part of his divine nature, while morality has to do with the conduct of man, with what he does rather than with what he is spiritually.
The dictionary says of morality; "particular moral principles or rules of conduct: conformity to ideals of right human conduct." An individual can only carry out "right human conduct" according to his particular stage of soul unfoldment, thus he will be influenced by customs of environment, country, race, religion. Sometimes morality is thought of as refraining from doing certain things because of the adverse opinions of others or because it is not the custom or fashion to do them. The moral influence is more from without and often motivated by fear of consequences rather than by love and understanding. The Western world tends to take the human standard of morality as set by the Ten Commandments given through Moses and called the Mosaic Law. Nearly all these commandments place a limit on man's conduct and prohibit him from causing injury to others.
Spiritual righteousness on the other hand is the grace and Truth that comes through Jesus Christ. Jesus expressed and manifested in the flesh all the divine ideas or Godlike qualities. Spiritual righteousness ("right use") is God's standard wisely expressed in soul, body, and affairs as a result of the guidance that comes through prayer. No man can be truly righteous unless he is growing nearer in his consciousness to God and daily manifesting more of the God qualities in his life.
It is possible to be outwardly moral without being spiritually righteous. However, it is not possible to be spiritually righteous without morality ("right human conduct"). A righteous man has the power to turn others to God. This power of awakening God in himself and others is possible only in one who lives in conscious union with God. Morality from a purely human standpoint may have no such power and often, unwarned by divine love, can have a chilling effect on others. We have seen this occur in the case of those who follow only the "letter" of the Scriptures and omit the "spirit [that] giveth life" (II Cor. 3:6).