Monday, March 20, 2017

Righteousness 101

Righteousness (Biblical word) = opposite of sin

Definition:  the state, quality, or condition of being right.

- often used of God - Psm. 145:17, 89:14
- sometimes used of man - WHEN he is in tune, right where should be
             - aligned with what's right
             - in God's will
             - living in accordance with God's Law(s)

Then man is considered Right - in a state of Right-ness or Righteousness

Contrast:  Sin = violation of God's Law(s) - rejection, refusal, disobedience
                     = a state of WRONG-NESS - UN - Right - ness 

Question:  Can a man be Right/Righteous before God??
Example:  Job.   Bildad - Job. 8:20 - "'fess up, Job"
                         Job - Job 9:1-2 - not arguing with Bildad, just asking How???

So, regarding the question - Can I be Right (Righteous) before God?
(ie:  according to His standard, by His definition)

Answer = "Yes.... BUT..."  - there are some qualifications - requires some definition and explanation.

"Righteousness" is found in two forms in Scripture

Positional Righteousness = proper standing, position, relationship with God
illustration - Adam and Eve - before they sinned, were in right standing with God.  After sin, no longer standing in a position of righteousness.

Practical Righteousness = proper actions, behavior - illustration - path of God's will, path of right-ness.
Psm. 23:3, 32:8 - the way
Early Christians were know as Followers of the Way before actually called Christian.

On one hand, these should overlap, stand together, not be separated
However, we need to distinguish to understand

So?  How do I obtain Practical Righteousness?
Answer:  DO RIGHT!!!  (stay in the path)  Deut.6:25, 1 John 3:7
              (by God's eternal definition)

How do I obtain Positional Righteousness?
Answer:  place yourself in the proper relationship with God  (cross the gulf)

PROBLEM!!!   1)  I don't always walk in the Path
                           2)  I can't get across the Gulf

BAD NEWS = for me to be Right with God is beyond my ability!!
GOOD NEWS = for me to be Right with God is NOT beyond His Ability nor beyond His Desire!!!

Rom. 3:19-24

So:  Right Standing is available - (1) from God   (2)  by faith
We can become righteous by choosing
Example:  Abraham - not always practically Righteous.
However, Rom. 4:1-3 - Abraham believed God - was on good terms even if not always acting properly.

Application to us?  Rom. 4:23-24, 5:1-2

To what are we called?  Practical?  or Positional?
Answer = BOTH - while they can be distinguished, they shouldn't be separated!!
Result should be a change in lifestyle, actions, etc.

Where should I begin?
Answer:  Let the Spirit lead you, because,
1)  the path of righteousness leads go God
2)  God will direct you to the path of righteousness.

If have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, are right before God.  May not always act it, but are!  Right standing is not based first and foremost on what we do.

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