GRACE 107: RIGHTEOUSNESS


 Goody two shoes. This is one of those fancy sounding idiomatic expressions devised by the English language. When we say that an individual is a goody two shoes, it means that he or she is a person who toes the line, always does what he is told, dots his i’s and crosses his t’s. This is what most people think of when we talk of a righteous person. However this is not a righteous person. Sure, said individual may be a  good person or morally upright or honourable... just not righteous.

So what is RIGHTEOUSNESS? 

Righteousness is your right standing with God. In Greek, righteousness is translated as dikaiosune [dik-ah-yos-u-nay] which basically means justification. Now, justification is the removal of the guilt and penalty of death from the sinner by God. When this happens we stand right before God and are therefore declared righteous

It is interesting to note that in all this we do not see man doing anything in order to achieve righteousness. In the time before our Lord died, our right standing with God was attained by following His Law and we can see from Isaiah 64:6 how well that turned out. 

Isaiah 64:6  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.

So God decided to step in because as we discovered from our previous studies, the first covenant was not without fault. By His grace, we are now the righteousness of God. When God looks at us, He does not see our miserable attempts to follow the Law but He sees the fulfilled Law in us and as such we are declared righteous.

2 Corinthians  5:21  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.

Does this mean that we can live our lives anyhow? Because we are already righteous. No. No you cannot. The truth of the matter is when we fully accept that we are the righteousness of God, we are empowered to live holy lives unto God. Paul has a very poetic way of putting this. 

1 Corinthians  15:34  Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

Receiving Christ’s righteousness gives us the power to walk away from sin. Now we do not obey God to be called righteous but rather we obey God because we are righteous. Hallelujah!
Another thing that accepting Christ’s righteousness does is that we become more like Christ. 

2 Corinthians 3:9  For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.

God’s eternal plan is to make man like Christ (Ephesians 4:13) so He introduced the Law (ministry of condemnation) which worked on the outward appearance of man. This raised mankind up to a certain level of glory but did nothing to change him within. Yet there was a higher level of glory which is obtained in Christ Jesus and His righteousness. Hallelujah!!
Shalom
George Jr

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