Attributes of God - Righteousness

Righteous - The quality, state, and characteristic of being in the right.
God IS righteous (by definition and/or standard), so righteousness is our conforming to or obeying the standard or obligation that God sets the standard for and is normally understood to be morally good, such that the expectations and requirements of relationship toward God and neighbor are satisfied.
So righteousness is the quality, state, and characteristic of being in the right according to the standard of God.
All sin, therefore, being against the law of God - unrighteous - and the wisdom and holy behavior required of God is denied in every act of disobedience.
The bible uses the concept of righteousness in varying contexts to describe God’s character and how He expects us to conform to His likeness. He gave the law to set forth a legal concept that fulfills expectations and requirements for humans to have a right relationship with God.
What this requires though, is total adherence to the law, which we cannot do. So, in practicality the law points out our sins and the inability to be righteous. If that is the case, then, HOW do we ever achieve righteousness? You see WE will never be righteous…but we can be COUNTED as righteous through faith. We find an example in Abram.


Genesis 15:6 ESV
6 And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.
By hearing and believing God’s Word, God counted Abram as righteous. Abram had been promised offspring, to the point that his family would be as innumerable as the stars in the sky. His nephew, Lot, had chosen to follow the world instead of God and Abram knew God could not bless him. He and Sara were reaching an age where they would not be able to have their own children and if Abram died without a son… then all he had would pass along to someone else who was not family, and all he had been promised by God would not be fulfilled.
The promise God made to Him would not be fulfilled. How could God be righteous if He did not fulfill His promise? So, it is not IF God will complete what He promised but WHEN.
It’s hard when we have to be patient and wait on God. As we know Abram wasn’t patient either. He questioned God, and God would remind him of what He had done for him in the past. You see, it was not Abrams doubt, fears, or questions God focused on but instead it was his faith.
Abram knew only the human side of his situation. He knew that physically, what God had promised would likely not come true. He questioned God - not whether He would fulfill the promise, but WHEN. It was weighing heavy on him, yet he still trusted God.
Many times, we will be faced with similar issues in our walk with the Lord. Our relationships may crumble, there will be trying times in our lives, uncertainty, temptation, all of the things life can throw at us…at times it seems like it does - and all at once. But like Abram, we can have the faith to stand tall during these difficult times and may have to question God just like Abram did. Maybe God wants to reveal something to us, so He can deepen our relationship with Him. Maybe we NEED that experience before we can ever truly and deeply sense His presence and be reassured by His Word. Hear His promises through His Word:
Exodus 33:14 ESV
14 And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Psalm 28:7 ESV
7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.
Deuteronomy 31:8 ESV
8 It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
Isaiah 41:10 ESV
10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
God promises to look after our every need when we truly believe in Him by faith and we are then seen as righteous by God.

No Shame

Romans 1:16–17 ESV
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
Have you ever been around somebody that acts like a goober so long that you are embarrassed? I mean, they really make a complete buffoon of themselves and seem to have no remorse? Paul could and would, at times, seem loony to the people around him. Yet it was for a great purpose - He was not ashamed of the gospel and wanted everyone He came in contact with to know the good news, the gospel of Jesus!
While others did not understand why Paul was so radical, so emphatic, so defensive…it was because He was tending to serious business! He, and no one else, should ever be ashamed of anything concerning the Gospel.
Taking a step back into history, as Paul was writing, the time…the day and age in which he is writing, was a day of moral degeneracy. During the time of Nero, Rome was “a moral sewer” as one commentary puts it. It was standing in complete opposition to God, righteousness, and the Gospel. Because of the depravity, Paul’s presentation of the Gospel was often rejected. His message was considered foolishness to the intellectuals (the Greeks) and a stumbling block to his own people (the Jews). But it was this gospel that Paul preached, taught, and lived…by faith…and God counted Him as righteous also.
You see, Paul could have been ashamed of the gospel. It was the gospel that had brought him ridicule, rejection, and even fear for his life. Yet Paul states “I am not ashamed of the gospel”. How could he stand and proclaim Jesus when he faced such trials and persecutions? Because he knew EVERYONE needed salvation! “For it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes”. There is power in the name of Jesus. There is power in the message He proclaimed. There is hope in His salvation to the believer.
Too often, we don’t recognize nor do we exercise that power! We should all understand we have the same power to do the same miracles as the New Testament apostles - all it takes is faith the size of a mustard seed! Yet, this might be where we are in trouble…do we even have that much faith?
You see, too often we are afraid of being seen as a bible thumper, as a radical, as less than intellectual than scientists or scholars - simply because we believe, by faith, the gospel message of Jesus Christ. But plainly put, we are told we cannot serve two masters - we either serve God, or we serve the world.
1 Corinthians 1:25 ESV
25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
So… I will hedge my bets and lean on God. You see, even Jesus was ridiculed, mocked, rejected, ignored, abused, and killed… What makes us think our lives will be any different?
The use of the word POWER points to God choosing to use His power THROUGH His love, by sending Jesus and mankind to tell other the “good news”, the gospel of salvation. How can others know of the righteousness of God if we are not faithful to tell them? Honestly, God could have wiped us off the face of the earth, but instead chose to love us and give us the gospel message of salvation instead. And here is the most awesome part…God saves everyone who has the faith to believe in Him. You see belief, through faith, is the ONLY condition for salvation. Even today, God saves the one who believes in Him and counts them as righteous by their faith.

Needs Supplied

Philippians 4:19 ESV
19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
God never failed those who have believed in Him…if He had, then He would not be righteous. You see, he supplies our every need.
Has there ever been anything we could EVER want knowing we have eternal salvation? Could we ever do or give enough to equal what God has given to us? A vengeful God would have given us all what we deserved…a sinner’s death but a righteous God gives an opportunity for salvation. You see, He supplies our needs…even when we don’t deserve them - if we put our faith in Him then He will never fail you.

By Faith

Hebrews 11:1 ESV
1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
You see, Abram had faith. He believed God’s Word, His promises, and God counted HIM as righteous the same way WE are counted righteous when we place our faith in Jesus Christ. WE become right with GOD by faith, and faith alone. Not by works, not by deeds, lest any man should boast. When a person believes God—truly believes—God takes that person’s faith and counts it as righteousness. This was true of Abram and the believers of old, and it is true of us today.
But preacher, how can WE be sure today? In Hebrews, the author writes “Faith is the assurance”. This is the only place where faith is defined. It is an assurance - a CERTAINTY. What can we be certain of? “Things hoped for”. Hope - a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. “the conviction” - a firmly held belief or opinion. “of things not seen”.
Ouch - this one can sometimes be a little harsh. Faith is an assurance of the firmly held belief we expect and desire to happen, but have not yet seen. What does this describe for the believer? Eternity with our Father and our Lord and Savior in heaven. Oh, but here is the neat thing, even though we may not have seen it, we have had a small taste of the experiences. Our heart and mind believe something and we have assurance and conviction that it is true based on our experiences with God. But how EASY is it to believe in something you have not seen? Again, we have an example in scripture from an apostle, the one described as “doubting” Thomas. He tells the other apostles who had seen the resurrected Christ that he would not believe unless he was able to see and feel the wounds in Jesus hands and side.
How is it Jesus responds to Thomas at His second appearance? Here Thomas, look, see, feel. But Thomas recognizes and calls Jesus “My Lord and My God”. He saw, and THEN he believed. But these verses say faith comes by believing the things we cannot see… So Jesus responds to Thomas’s lack of faith in this way:
John 20:29 ESV
29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”


Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. If we truly believe THROUGH FAITH God will count it as righteous! This is a promise God has made to each and every one of us as believers. Even if we cannot see or feel Jesus, even though we cannot see or experience heaven yet…it is the anticipation of what is to come through faith that makes it all worth it. And we have ASSURANCE of that through God’s Word. God didn’t fail Abraham, He didn’t fail Moses, He didn’t fail David, He didn’t fail His disciples, and let me give you some peace today...He won’t ever fail you either.
Do you have this peace? Do you have that assurance? Have you believed by faith? If not...
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