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Sunday, January 21, 2018

What is Righteousness?

God is eternal love and perfect righteousness. Righteousness is one of the chief attributes of God and of His Son, Jesus Messiah. Those baptized and walking in faith display the attribute also. For the righteous ones of God in Christ are humble, compassionate, faithful, truthful, and confident of God's love for them.

Here are some Bible verses that help us to reflect on the nature of righteousness.

The Apostle Paul told Timothy to "pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness." (1 Timothy 6:11)

Paul urged Timothy to forsake the things of this world and to pursue the things of the eternal kingdom. This message is found in Matthew 6:33: "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."

This is expressed also in 2 Corinthians 5:16-19: "So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation."

Psalm 34:15 speaks of God's attentiveness to the righteous. "The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry..."

"For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish." (Psalm 1:6)

Psalm 112:6-8 says, "Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes."

The security of the righteous reflects the fixed and unchanging nature of God and His promises. James speaks of this as the "wisdom from above."

"But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, accommodating, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap the fruit of righteousness." (James 3: 17, 18)

We are blessed when we seek the wisdom from above. God promises to give wisdom to those who seek it. Likewise, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." (Matthew 5:6)

"Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun." (Psalm 37:5, 6)