When we look around us, we see the pain, tragedy, and brokenness happening in our midst. Climate change has brought flooding on the west coast and raging wildfires on the other side. Homes are washed away by floodwaters, while others are burned to ashes.
Globally, around 9 million people are dying of hunger each year. In the United States, people are grappling with an inflation rate of 9% as the rich are getting richer and the specter of poverty increases. War, mass shootings, racial strife, and calamities inundate and scare the whole of humanity.
We question: Where is God? Why is He allowing these bad things to happen? Is God righteous? These nagging questions engulf our reasoning and challenge the goodness, justice, and righteousness of God.
- 1 What Does Righteousness Of God Mean?
- 2 4 Aspects Of Divine Righteousness
- 3 Why Do People Miss That God Is Righteous?
- 4 25 Bible Verses That Prove The Righteousness Of God
- 5 Conclusion
What Does Righteousness Of God Mean?
The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does. — Psalm 145:17
At the beginning of creation, everything was perfect. Our first parents had the ideal dwelling place in the Garden, with all the provisions and environment to support them. Perfection existed, and true righteousness prevailed before God and man.
But sin and the Fall of Mankind resulted in death, pain, and unrighteousness in our lives. Sin and disobedience have marred the perfection of rectitude. Today, we inherit these flaws and imperfections in our lives.
This godly trait is important, and the words righteousness and righteous are mentioned 558 times in the Bible. Albert Einstein once said: “True religion is real living: living with all one’s soul, with all one’s goodness and righteousness.”
Righteousness on earth is frail and distorted, as manifested by the unholy flaws of our own character. But God remains perfect and righteous. He sent His one and only begotten Son to take away the sins of the world and restore true uprightness. But heaven awaits faithful followers of our Lord Jesus, where perfect righteousness beckons.
Meaning Of Righteousness
Righteousness means having the character of being virtuous, respectable, or morally right. In the New Testament, the Greek word for righteous is dikaios, meaning righteous or just. Righteousness is a characteristic that inherently belongs to God. This trait is revealed and manifested in the law and in the teachings of Jesus Christ. God’s intention is to transmit this wonderful trait for humankind to emulate.
Righteousness Of God
The righteousness of God is perfect, infallible, and good. This divine attribute is revealed because He demands reciprocal righteousness from His people. God leads us to a victorious Christian life because inherent righteousness belongs to Him.
He abhors injustice, reprimands or punishes the wicked, and rewards the victims of unrighteousness. Finally, God is always ready to forgive us for our sins and unrighteous acts if we sincerely repent.
One of the best examples of God’s righteousness is displayed in the Israelites’ desert experience in the Book of Exodus. God delivered them from the yoke of slavery in Egypt and promised them their freedom in the Land of Canaan. But God also taught them a lesson on true faith and contentment on the journey. They had to suffer pain, hunger, and deprivation as evidence of God’s righteousness.
Righteousness Of Man
Our heavenly Father has set the moral sense and standards for our own righteousness. We find these precepts in the law of the Old Testament and in the teachings of Jesus Christ. God’s Word is filled with ordinances, rules, and character traits that we must develop and inculcate to be considered upright Christians.
The pursuit of faith is an overriding endeavor that validates the mark of a righteous person. Abraham, the Father of All Nations, was exemplary in his faith in that he followed and obeyed God in whatever circumstance. Genesis 15:6 reads: Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
Because of our fallen and imperfect nature, the challenge of complying with these standards of morality and virtuousness to achieve righteousness has always been a challenge. In our earthly lives, righteousness is manifested when we pay our taxes, wait in line at the grocery checkout, or give food to the hungry.
Fulfillment Of The Righteousness Of God
In the New Testament, full righteousness is fulfilled through the death and resurrection of Christ. When He died on the cross for our sins, rose again, and ascended into heaven, total righteousness was restored between God and man. God’s wrath is removed, and the heavens declare that we are righteous.
The purpose of the law in the Old Testament was fulfilled, and as a result, everyone who believes in Christ as our Savior is made right with God. According to Romans 3:22, this righteousness is given to all who believe through faith in Jesus Christ. There is no difference between a Jew and a Gentile.
Righteousness, Justification, And Sanctification
We often confuse righteousness with justification and sanctification. All three disciplines are essential aspects that we must embody as Christians. Justification is the legal acquittal of our guilt for sin.
When we have sought repentance and God has given His forgiveness, we become justified. It does not necessarily imply that we have been declared absolutely righteous and are free to sin as we please. Righteousness is defined as a sincere attitude and effort to avoid sin and remain within God’s standards of what is right.
On the other hand, sanctification is evidence of justification and righteousness. It is a continuing and life-long process of becoming holy through the work of the Holy Spirit.
4 Aspects Of Divine Righteousness
The righteousness of God is composed of four components. In an essay, The Righteousness of God, Fred Zaspel outlined the four aspects as follows:
This first aspect of God’s righteousness demands reciprocal righteousness from human beings. As the perfect God, governor, and ruler of man, God requires that we have a good and godly character. As the ultimate righteous judge of all mankind, He imparts justice to the wicked and anoints the just.
The second aspect of God’s righteousness is that He imposes punishment for sins committed by men. Divine justice was first displayed in the Bible when Adam and Eve were banished from Paradise because of their disobedience. The Israelites, the chosen people of God, were also the subject of much retribution meted out by God to discipline them and experience God’s righteous wrath.
The third aspect of God’s righteousness reveals God’s overriding love for us. Despite our sinful nature, God is always willing to embrace us when we express sincere repentance. God knows our frailty and the unceasing work of the Enemy in bringing us to the dark realms. The atoning blood of Jesus Christ has broken our condemnation from sin, and we are able to gain reconciliation and redemption. Christians are declared righteous.
The fourth aspect of God’s righteousness deals with rewards given by Him on earth and His eternal kingdom in heaven. If we sincerely remain faithful to Him and characterize righteousness in our lives, He will not forsake us. Our life on Earth is temporary. As Christians, we earn the right to become God’s children, and our true rewards await us in heaven.
Why Do People Miss That God Is Righteous?
Sin blocks our holy nature and relationship with God. We cannot get God’s favor or righteousness if we are living against His commands and parameters of life. Repentance from our iniquities is the key to unlocking the righteousness of God in our lives.
Lack Of Faith
God is inherently righteous. But our shallow and anemic faith prevents us from having a deeper understanding of God and His goodness. With blind faith, we are unable to appreciate God’s love for us and the virtues in our lives. Knowing about the perfect righteousness of God teaches us to live not by sight but by faith.
Lack Of Trust
Our lack of faith consequently leads us not to trust God in our daily affairs. We tend to think that bad things will happen to us at work or at home. The work of the enemy prevails, whispering to us that God will not help us during bad times or moments of need.
Thinking That God Is Not Just
Because of the pain and brokenness we experience and the turmoil and injustice happening on Earth, we sometimes conclude that God is unfair and not just. We then arrive at the fallacious conclusion that God judges erroneously and is not righteous.
25 Bible Verses That Prove The Righteousness Of God
Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens; you have accomplished great things; who is like you, O God? — Psalm 71:19
The Almighty—we cannot find Him; He is exalted in power, and He will not do violence to justice and abundant righteousness. — Job 37:23
But the Lord of Hosts will be exalted in judgment, and the holy God will show Himself holy in righteousness. — Isaiah 5:16
Therefore the Lord has kept the calamity in store and brought it on us; for the Lord, our God, is righteous with respect to all His deeds that He has done, but we have not obeyed His voice. — Daniel 9:14
The Lord is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His deeds. — Psalm 145:17
I bring near My righteousness; it is not far off, and My salvation will not delay. And I will grant salvation in Zion, And My glory for Israel. Isaiah 46:13
Righteous are You, O Lord, that I would plead my case with You; Indeed I would discuss matters of justice with You: Why has the way of the wicked prospered? Why are all those who deal in treachery so at ease? — Jeremiah 12:1
And He will judge the world in righteousness; He will execute judgment for the peoples with equity. — Psalm 9:8
Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. — Isaiah 41:10
O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You, and these have known that You sent Me. — John 17:25
At the sound of those who divide flocks among the watering places, There they shall recount the righteous deeds of the Lord, The righteous deeds for His peasantry in Israel. Then the people of the Lord went down to the gates. — Judges 5:11
So now, take your stand, that I may plead with you before the Lord concerning all the righteous acts of the Lord which He did for you and your fathers. — 1 Samuel 12:7
But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is He? (I am speaking in human terms.) — Romans 3:5
O Lord God of Israel, You are righteous, for we have been left as an escaped remnant, as it is this day; behold, we are before You in our guilt, for no one can stand before You because of this. — Ezra 9:15
The Lord is righteous because I disobeyed His command; hear now, all you people, and see my anguish; my virgins and my young men have been taken captive. — Lamentations 1:18
I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the level; then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters will overflow the secret place. — Isaiah 28:17
For the choir director, on stringed instruments. A Psalm of David. Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me of my distress; be gracious to me and hear my prayer. — Psalm 4:1
In the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me but also to all who have loved His appearing. — 2 Timothy 4:8
And I will bring them back and they will live in the midst of Jerusalem, and they shall be My people, and I will be their God in truth and righteousness. — Zechariah 8:8
Judge me, O Lord my God, according to Your righteousness, And do not let them rejoice over me. — Psalm 35:24
The Lord is righteous within her; He will do no injustice. Every morning He brings His justice to light; He does not fail. But the unjust knows no shame. — Zephaniah 3:5
But, O Lord of hosts, who judges righteously, who tries the feelings and the heart, let me see Your vengeance on them, for to You have I committed my cause. — Jeremiah 11:20
Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly? — Genesis 18:25
The righteous one considers the house of the wicked, turning the wicked to ruin. — Proverbs 21:12
But even if you suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled. — 1 Peter 3:14
We believe in the perfection of God and His precepts and aim for uprightness in all aspects of our lives. But we also inquire about how we measure the perfect standards of morality set by God and the correct virtuous parameters set by other people. Instead, we should focus on our continuing pursuit of sanctification, which makes us right with God.
Despite all the pain, injustice, and unrighteousness we experience in our earthly existence, our God remains faultless and righteous. God will imminently judge the earth and the whole of humanity with perfect justice. Heaven awaits God’s elect, and the time will arrive when we will gain eternal life where the righteousness of God prevails.