What is RIGHTEOUSNESS?

There are some words in Christianity that we tend to throw around a lot, but most people don’t have any understanding of what they mean.

I will give you an example, how many times do you use the word “Amen”? Millions say amen after praying or when the preacher says something good, but do you know what the word “Amen” actually means?

Why does it even matter?

Even though you may not know that “amen” means “it is true”, this does not seem to have huge theological implications. But there is one word in particular that does. That word is righteousness.

I was in a prison ministry talking to a group of men telling them the importance of God’s law.  I told them that everyone… EVERYONE, will be judged according to the 10 commandments.  After the meeting, I was approached by one of the volunteers, an older lady who has been doing bible study at that prison for a long while, and she asked why I insisted that all people are going to be judged by God’s law.  I told her that the Bible tells us that God is coming to judge the world in righteousness. (Acts 17:31)

But if you don’t know what righteous means, you will miss the reason God gave us His law in the first place.  The dictionary says that righteousness is moral perfection. So God is coming back to judge us based on His standard of moral perfection.  Well, God’s moral standard is found in the 10 commandments. Everyone will be found either righteous or guilty on judgment day.  Everyone will be judged.

That is why Jesus was born Jewish. That is why He lived as long as He did under the law. He became a man and kept the law that we could not. A perfect sacrifice. That is why the Bible says that His righteousness is given to us when we repent and put our faith in Him alone. That is why the law is so important.

God is a God of absolute justice. But He is also a God of mercy and forgiveness, but there IS a price. God MUST punish sin. Either you will pay for your own crimes by spending an eternity in a lake of fire, or, by our faith, God’s wrath was poured out on Jesus Christ, and the debt was paid. The point is that everything points back to the law.

The commandments are not just good ideas, they are the very nature of God himself. That is why He is known as a God of RIGHTEOUSNESS. And that is why Christians should love His law. While we don’t look to the law for our justification, we should study it and obey it out of love and gratitude. His law should be the forefront of our preaching and our worship. The very cross that we hang in our sanctuaries should be a reminder of the law we have violated and wrath that Jesus endured to satisfy it.

I don’t know many people who can remember the 10 commandments. The Bible also tells us that sin IS transgression of the law (1Jn3:4) So here is an interesting question: God wants us to depart from sin, He wants us to grow in righteousness, but if you don’t know God’s law, how can you do that?

–Danny

Advertisements
Published in: on February 22, 2009 at 12:46 am  Leave a Comment  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://speakupalittle.wordpress.com/2009/02/22/what-is-righteousness/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: