SCHOOL: Foundation


The American Heritage Dictionary defines righteousness as "meeting the standards of what is right and just; morally right; guiltless".  Beloved, we are now the righteous, the guiltless in the eyes of God, Jesus having meet the standards of justice, bearing the penalty of our sin for us.  We who are cleansed by His blood are now the righteousness of God, thru faith in Christ Jesus:

                I John     1:9
                If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just
                to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from
                all unrighteousness.

                II Cor     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.

                I Cor      1:30
                But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is
                made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and
                sanctification, and redemption:

                I Peter    2:24
                Who his own self bare our sins in his own body
                on the tree, that we, being dead to sins,     should
                live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

Another definition for righteous is that "we are in right standing with God".  This definition still reflects the fact of the standards of moral justice for our sin having been met in the high court of heaven by the blood of Jesus.  It also reflects our relationship with our heavenly Father has been restored, with no enmity between Him and us.  This righteous relationship allows intimate fellowship and friendship with God.

                II Cor     5:17
                Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:
                old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

                Eph        4:24
                And that ye put on the new man, which after
                God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

                Eph        1:4
                According as he hath chosen us in him before
                the foundation of the world, that we should be holy
                and without blame before him in love:

In a marriage relationship, a woman becomes part of a covenant which entitles her to call on the man to meet her needs and desires.  This relationship, and the rights stemming from it, did not previously exist between the two, though they were both alive.  This is symbolic of Jesus and the Church.  Though we were alive in the world, yet we were as dead to Christ in that we did not know Him in an intimate way and had not covenant rights to call upon. 

After the relationship is sealed, any transgression which occurs does not break the relationship.  That is, it does not make void the marriage covenant.  But the transgression does affect the fellowship.  When you have stumbled over into some sin, don't remain there, being separated from the intimate fellowship of Christ, but have confidence to enter in and ask for forgiveness.  He is gracious and just to forgive you, for He loves you.
Hebrews   10:19-23
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the vail,
that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God;
Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts
sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering;
(for he is faithful that promised;)

By Faith, Not Works

In the old testament, righteousness was dependent on the standards of justice in the Mosaic covenant.  That is, men were considered righteous if they meet the requirements of the law.  These were based on works and could never make a man clean or justified of themselves, but merely atoned or covered sin until the Redeemer came (Heb 9-10).
New testament righteousness is based on faith in Christ Jesus, and not by works:
Romans     9:30-32
What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness,
have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. 
But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to
the law of righteousness.  Wherefore?  Because they sought it not by faith,
but as it were by the works of the law.  For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;

Romans    10:6,9-10
But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise... 
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus,
and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead,
thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness;
and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Even before the law and circumcision, righteousness was imputed to Abraham because of his faith (Romans 4:9-13).  And truly, all those under the Mosaic covenant who attained unto life in Christ Jesus, the judges and prophets being among them, did not by the works alone, but by faith also in God and in what He had promised.
James      2:20-26
But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?  Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works,  and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?  For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Unto Righteous Works

While we are righteous in this present age, thru faith and not of works, yet we are called to do good works.  Our works show not only our faith, which must be active to be alive, but also shows the world the love of God in us.  Jesus commanded us to let our light shine, that men might see our good works, and glorify our Father in heaven.  Thru these, men will see the love of God manifested in us, and all men will know you are Jesus' disciples because of this love.

Our works are called righteous because they come from the new standard, which is to apply mercy and justice thru love:

                I John     3:7,10
                Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth
                righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous... 
                In this the children of God are manifest, and the children
                of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not
                of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
                Matthew   12:7
                But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy,
                and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.

                Luke       6:35-36
                But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend,
                hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great,
                and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind
                unto the unthankful and to the evil.  Be ye therefore merciful,
                as your Father also is merciful.

                James      2:13
                For he shall have judgment without mercy,
                that hath shewed no mercy;
                and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

                Eph        2:8-10
                For by grace are ye saved through faith;
                and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
                Not of works, lest any man should boast. 
                For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus
                unto good works, which God hath before ordained
                that we should walk in them.
All things must be done thru faith in God.  Anything not done in faith is sin:

                Romans    14:23
                And he that doubteth is damned... for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

                Hebrews   11:6
                But without faith it is impossible to please him:
                for he that cometh to God must believe that he is,
                and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
                I John     5:1
                All unrighteousness is sin....

Praise God

                I John     1:9
                If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins,
                and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

We are the righteous in our heavenly Father's eyes.  He loves us with an everlasting love.  He will never leave us nor forsake us.  He has a yearning to bless us, to commune with us, to fellowship with us.

He made Adam so as to have fellowship with him, so as to walk with him in the cool of the evening.  After Adam fell, God keep searching for a man to walk with Him, to fellowship with Him.  God searched for seven generations, until He found a man, the 7th from Adam, Enoch.  And it is written "Enoch walked with God" for three hundred years, "and he was not; for God took him" (Gen 5:21-24, Heb 11:5).  God loves us just as much as He loved Enoch.  God seeks to walk with us every minute of the day.  Let Him walk with you today.  He is coming back for you, to take you with Him, just like Enoch, on that day when Jesus comes for His bride, because He loves you with an everlasting love (1 Thes 4:13-5:5, Rev 4:1, Rev 11:12).  Praise God forevermore!  Amen!