Righteous – acting in accord with divine or moral law: free from guilt or sin
We are righteous when we choose Jesus. We are free from guilt and sin. It is finished. But the journey of righteousness continues as we walk with Him. We learn how to act according to our new nature, lining up with the divinity of God. As it says in the word, we become more like him when we are in relationship with Him. 2 Corinthians 3:18, “And we all, with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
One of the key ways we do this is by learning through the Bible, his spoken Word. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16,17
I just tried rolling up tin foil that fell out of its container. Funny it doesn’t quite look the same as before. It is kind of like when we try to become righteous on our own, wrinkled and misshapen and not able to fit in the old container. There are a lot of ways that the bible talks about righteousness.
We are to pursue it: “Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honour.” Proverbs 21:21
We are to put it on: “I put on righteousness as my clothing; justice was my robe and my turban.” Job 29:14
We are to seek it: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33
We are to become it: “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
We are to reap it: “Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” James 3:18
We are to hunger and thirst for it: “Blessed are those who and hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6
I think you get the idea. These are not passive words, they are actions we are to take as we follow after the One who is righteous. The Lord loves righteousness (Psalm 33:5) and He is it (Psalm 145:17).
In my journey toward God, I have tried to force this process by doing right things, thinking that will make up for the wrong in me. Doing right things isn’t wrong but the motive for doing them can be. We are justified in Him, ‘Just as if I’ve never sinned’ that is His lens to see me. I need to pursue, put on, seek, become, reap, hunger and thirst after what will make us most like Him. Join me on the race marked out for us.
What are your motives behind your actions? What kinds of things are you seeking?