Read His Words Before Ours!
“In the most frequent and most important Biblical usage, righteousness is conceived as judged by the standard of God’s holy law, which is derived from His holy character…”
*Zondervan’s Pictorial Bible Dictionary, pg 723
The Life Application Study Bible defines righteous as:
acting in accordance with divine or moral law;
free from guilt or sin; morally right or justifiable.
The Ten Commandments line out for us what right living looks like. (Exodus 20:1-17)
But, as Romans 3:10 states,
no one is righteous.
What exactly does that boil down to in our everyday life?
As a small sample: when we lie, when we take God’s name in vain, when we hurt others in our anger, when we choose anything else over loving God first, or when we lust in our hearts or with our bodies, we are altogether unrighteous. Not just a little bit messed up, or having colored outside the lines in a few strokes, but altogether sinful and utterly unrighteous.
James succinctly states that “anyone who is guilty of breaking the Law at just one point is guilty of breaking it all.” Check out this Journey Study to help unpack what that means: Law & Inheritance: Digging Deeper.
No one on earth has been able to live their life without breaking God’s commandments as given to Moses.
We have no righteousness in ourselves.
God spoke through the prophet Isaiah about what we try to call our righteousness.
Maybe you call it “good works”.
Maybe you think of your actions or thoughts as being “not as bad” as someone else.
But here’s what Isaiah recorded:
“All of us have become like something unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like a polluted garment...”
Okay, Ladies, ready to know what those “polluted garments” were referencing?
Blood stained and worthless.
Our “goodness” and every attempt at becoming like God, or being declared “good enough” for Heaven is worthless in the eye of the Holy One.
God, on the other hand, is completely other and wholly righteous.
God does not sin and He does not tempt anyone to sin. (James 1:13)
Humans have a sin-nature about them ever since Adam and Eve wanted so desperately to be like God that they disobeyed Him (sinned).
We know right from wrong.
It’s just that we often choose to do what’s wrong because it seems like fun.
A momentary thrill, a self-seeking response, and we are separated from God.
And because of His righteousness,
He cannot be in relationship with sinful, unrighteous people.
That’s why Jesus came!
In his death on the cross, Jesus exchanged his complete righteousness (because He is God the Son) for the sin of all mankind.
Think of it like this:
He gave us His clean, new coat to wear
and took our old ratty coat for Himself.
It’s a humbling thought that the God of the universe would willingly take our place.
The question now, of course, is this:
Have you experienced God’s righteousness in your own life?
It is so easy, in our society, to say we’re a Christian yet live just like everyone else,
follower of Jesus or not.
I often find myself behaving no differently than my old, un-redeemed self.
It usually happens when I put my own wants and desires ahead of anyone else’s.
I become very selfish and self-serving.
But, the more that we grow in our knowledge of who our Righteous Redeemer is,
and the more we are disciplined in spending time with Him,
the more He grows righteousness in us!
What does it mean to experience God’s righteousness?
Is it just a stronger conviction of right vs. wrong?
Or is it something that transforms your world?
Something altogether new?
Once we are given this gift at salvation, we are entirely new creations.
We are reborn and given the opportunity to walk in righteousness with a new heart and a new Spirit living inside of us!
As we learn to walk with the Righteous One,
enjoying community and intimacy with the Lord of creation and lover of our soul,
He will be faithful to re-shape you,
freeing you to walk in the newness of life as partakers of His Righteousness!
Looking again at the definition of righteous from Life Application Study Bible,
let’s focus, sweet sisters, on one phrase:
free from guilt or sin.
Have you accepted Jesus’ gift of freedom from sin and a covering of righteousness?
If so, I pray that you will live a righteous life,
in close fellowship with the Lord,
as He fuels you to be holy, just as He is holy!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!