I Was Just Thinking About – Righteousness.
When Jesus spoke and shared His heart with His people, part of what he emphasized was Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” He wanted His followers to seek for, hunger and thirst after, Righteousness. One of the reasons is shared in the Book of Psalms. There is a beautiful and helpful statement in Psalm 89:14-15, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you. Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.” If one is to live in the presence of the Lord, one will have to embrace that which is foundational to the throne of God – righteousness and justice. Additionally, one will also find there His love and faithfulness.
When Habakkuk was seeking some resolve for the nation in his day, he was reminded that (2:4), “the righteous person will live by his faithfulness.” Some translations state it: “The just shall live by faith.” When Martin Luther read this in his studies of the Book of Romans, it grabbed hold of him and he could not escape the truth in Romans 1:16-17 that, “The just shall live by his faith.” It would be easy to conclude that it was a vital part of Paul’s thought and heart. He repeated that statement in Galatians 3:11 and Hebrews 10:38.
The aspiration of Paul to be righteous is expressed in Philippians 3:7-9, “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ - the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.” That righteousness is imputed to the child of God on the basis of God’s grace and received by one on the basis of faith alone.
The Reformers were willing to sacrifice their lives in order to make known the Biblical message that the just (those who have been justified by God’s grace) and righteous ones have standing before God by faith and grace alone. It is “not of works lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:9). It is God’s righteousness that is to be seen in us who have been justified by the bl0od of Christ (Romans 3:24). If others looked at you, what would they see? Would they see a person who thinks he is self-sufficient or one who has submitted his life and will to Jesus Christ alone? What one is speaks so loud people cannot hear what one says!
Prayerfully – consider these things with me.