Righteousness: What is it? A state of being, doing or both?
Righteousness: What is it? A state of being, doing or both? So what is righteousness? When believers today are asked this question many don't know or they say "doing what is right?". Yet when asked what scriptures show this they are not sure. When it comes to righteousness is there is a difference between being righteous and doing it? This question draws many blank stares from believers today. So let us check the scriptures for answers. We know without God we are lost, dead in our sins and there is nothing we can do (works, deeds, etc) to justify us to God. Before salvation we are not righteous no matter how many good works we do. To simplify this consider this analogy... You can dress in a baseball uniform, hit some baseballs, play catch and run around the bases but that does not mean you a professional baseball player. You cannot be accepted on the team unless the owner of the team presents you with a contract, and the terms of the contract are followed. We cannot even approach God, the team owner, and that is why we need a mediator, the Messiah, who did all the work so we could 'get on the team'. Now back to the righteousness that is given to us by the Messiah. "For if by one man's offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ." Romans 5:17 Here we see that when we become a believer we are given a gift of righteousness. Where we are made righteous from a state of being sinful and unclean to being made righteous by what Jesus did on the cross. Now the question is, do we see any scriptures showing something besides a one time state of being righteous, but a behavior (daily obedience) that is also considered Righteous? Let us go to the scriptures... “Therefore you shall love the Lord your God, and keep His charge, His statutes, His judgments, and His commandments always." Deuteronomy 11:1 "My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness." Psalm 119:172 So in the Old Testament we do see that keeping God's law, commandments & instructions is indeed righteousness. Now many believers will say "But the Old Testament law was done away with, we are free from the law..." Ok let us search the New Testament to test this claim... "All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" 2 Timothy 3:16 If God's instruction, His law and commandments, have been done away with and we are made righteous (a state of being) then why does 2 Timothy 3:16 say we need instruction in righteousness? Consider the next scripture... "That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Romans 8:4 This verse from Paul shows that once we are made righteous (state of being) and that after we become believers, we are not to walk after the flesh, sinning against the commandments of God as that is lawlessness (1 John 3:4). Let us look at more scriptures... "Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness." Romans 6:18 "If you know that he is righteous, you know that every one that does righteousness is born of him." 1 John 2:29 These and similar verses show that we are to walk in righteousness; doing what is right in God's eyes in our daily lives. This is accomplished by not sinning against God's law, commandments and instructions. This includes God's Sabbaths and the Feasts of The Lord. This should cause us to rethink what we believe, if we say the law and commandments of God have been done away with; that the sabbath and feasts of God were only for the Jews and those in the Old Testament. The problem with this is that God stated that these things are to be done FOREVER... "Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant." Exodus 31:16 "And you shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall you observe this day in your generations by an ordinance forever." Exodus 12:17 We even see God's Sabbaths and Feast of The Lord in the New Millennium in Ezekiel 44-46. So for those who claim the law, sabbath and feasts of God have been done away with, you better think again. Choose this day whom you shall serve. Shalom