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Seeking Righteousness
Often in our path to seek what is right in the world we go out on our own in our own beliefs and understanding to achieve justice.
However, the path to justice is often paved with misunderstanding, ill intention, and not having all the details necessary to make an accurate judgement.
One of my favorite books is The Green Mile where John Coffey is awaiting his walk down to his final destination.
Throughout the book, it is realized this man who is sitting on death row is wrongfully convicted and has a blessing to heal those around him.
This does not overturn his conviction though and he still walks The Green Mile.
The reader is compelled to witness an injustice in the system.
Much like Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.
In my life there have been plentiful reminders there should be justice, righteousness, and the order that God desires for His creation.
Seeking Vengeance
Some of us are on the other side of righteousness where we believe because everyone is a sinful person they must be punished for their wrongdoing.
But to first understand the path forward, we must understand that not all vengeance is carried out when we want it carried out.
Look in the world today and notice the injustice of the bombings that are carried out on pediatric hospitals.
Mosques that have been the target of Russian bombs where innocent people have gathered for protection.
If your heart desires for the retribution that should come for those who have been injured, then we must pause first and discover what that means.
We often misunderstand the notion of taking dominion over the world the way Adam was given charge to do.
From the beginning the world was created good and no sin was in the world which means there was no need for justice and righteousness to be restored because it was already fully in existence.
Jesus proclaimed another blessing for those who sought righteousness.
There were many reasons for Jesus to proclaim the need for people to seek justice.
Israel was an occupied territory of the Roman empire during this time.
Many uprisings had occurred to seek justice for those who had been wrongfully murdered, crucified, and imprisoned.
Even after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, this did not change.
10 of the 12 disciples who followed Christ were murdered for their seeking justice and righteousness.
In 70 AD the temple was destroyed and the Jews were dispersed again into the world.
But seeking justice often comes with the connotation of war and fighting back from a physical means.
To hunger and thirst for righteousness is to know the pain of hunger and the parched mouth that has wandered in the desert longing for life giving water.
How do we achieve the justice and restoration of peace in our lives?
Only the living water of creation is able to quench the thirst for righteousness that we seek.
In John, Jesus testifies of this longing and how it is quenched.
Jesus is the eternal fountain that we draw life from.
It is only through Him that we are able to understand righteousness and justice that is deserved for those who seek it.
In the meeting with the woman at the well, Jesus is crossing over boundaries which had been at war with one another for hundreds of years.
The people of Samaria were split from the original kingdom of Isreal that existed under King David and King Solomon.
However injustice in the eyes of God lead to the downfall of the earthly kingdom.
Those who clung to the Scriptures understood there would be a messiah come to bring restoration, justice, and place Israel once again at the forefront of the world’s kingdoms.
Where do you find the truth about Righteousness and Justice?
Many of you have lived your lives believing the laws of the land are established on righteousness and justice.
You may have learned to blindly follow the leaders of the world in your belief they have the best intentions for you.
Critical thinking about these things begs the question about where truth really lies.
At the bottom of every trial, injustice, wrongdoing, there is a verdict of truth which sheds light on the situation.
The full truth is only recognized through the light of the world which is also Jesus Christ.
Once we search the Scriptures to discover exactly who He is, we find a compassionate father, a loving brother, a just king, a provider, and many other characteristics beyond our pale understanding from only one angle.
Like a perfectly cut diamond with no flaws, the many facets of Christ’s character perfectly reflect the nature of God.
You must study each one to see how perfectly Jesus Christ is the living water to all who would drink from Him.
Satisfaction is only found in Jesus
Unless we drink from the well of living water, Jesus warns that we will always be thirsty.
If you want to thirst no longer and be satisfied righteousness is restored you must look to Jesus.
In the face of adversity, our enemies will continue their onslaught.
They have no conviction to turn towards peace because they do not understand who Jesus Christ is as well as others who would seek to use Christ’s establishment as sovereign king to overtake by force all those who seek to destroy.
This is one of the most difficult decisions there is for those who seek righteousness.
Lexham Theological Wordbook (δικαιοσύνη)
δικαιοσύνη (dikaiosynē).
n. fem.
justice, righteousness.
The quality of being in accordance with God’s law.The Greek noun δικαιοσύνη (dikaiosynē) refers both to moral righteousness and legal justice.
Although δικαιοσύνη (dikaiosynē) most commonly implies living in accordance with God’s moral law, the focus of this section will be on its relationship to justice and justification.
The noun dikaiosynē may refer to one’s ability to follow the law (Matt 5:20; Phil 3:6).
To judge in dikaiosynē is to judge equitably or mercifully (Acts 17:31; Rom 3:25).
Paul asserts that dikaiosynē is the basis of justification, though it can be obtained by faith when there is an ignorance of the law (Rom 4:3–13, 22).
To be convicted concerning dikaiosynē is to have one’s ability to act in accordance with God’s law evaluated in a legal proceeding (John 16:8).
In several cases, “lawlessness” (ἀνομία, anomia) is used as an antonym to dikaiosynē (Rom 6:19; 2 Cor 6:14; Heb 1:9).δίκαιος
just, correct, righteous, innocent.
The characteristic of following God’s law.The Greek adjective δίκαιος (dikaios), occurring 78 times in the NT, comes from the noun δικαιοσύνη (dikaiosynē).
For something to be dikaios is to be in accordance with God’s law (Luke 1:6; Rom 2:13; Eph 6:1).
To judge what is dikaios is to determine how the law applies to a specific situation (Luke 12:57).
To be dikaios of a crime is to be innocent of it (Luke 23:47; Rom 5:7; Jas 5:6).
To have a just dikaios is to have an equitable judgment in accordance with God’s will (John 5:30; 2 Thess 1:5–6; Rev 16:7).δικαιόω
vb. to pronounce righteous, to justify.
To make or declare someone or something righteous.In the NT, the verb δικαιόω (dikaioō) means to pronounce or declare a person “righteous.”
In the face of accusations, the wise are justified by their actions (Matt 11:19; Luke 18:14).
To attempt to justify oneself is to find an excuse for not acting justly (Luke 10:29; 16:15).
One may be either justified or condemned, based on testimony (Matt 12:37; Rom 3:4).
For Paul, faith in Christ is the basis for all justification, the result of which is righteous living (Rom 2:13; Gal 2:16–17).δίκη
n. fem.
justice, righteous punishment.
Connotes the “just rewards” one receives for wrongdoing.This noun only occurs three times in the NT.
Acts 28:4 uses the term as a reference to “Justice” (δίκη), the daughter of the mythological god Zeus and goddess Themis.
In the other two instances, dikē refers to the eternal punishment one receives for wrongdoing (2 Thess 1:9; Jude 7).
We are incapable of declaring ourselves righteous.
We are incapable of fulfilling all of God’s law to the fullest.
We are incapable of enacting the righteousness the world seeks.
We are only capable of placing our faith in Christ and continually seeking Him.
Justice is achieved through Christ
Who is good?
The church must declare that Christ is the good, righteous messiah.
We must declare that only through Christ is the world restored.
Only through Christ is Justice discovered.
Only through Christ is the truth revealed.
Anything other than Christ is a falsehood that blinds the world and allows it to continue into a path of destruction.
Let us not be leaders who allow the straying of our flock into the desert.
Let us be the caretakers of those who seek justice by giving them the water they need to survive, the water they need for hope, the living water, Jesus Christ who is the definition of Justice, who is the definition of righteousness and then we will be satisfied.
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