Thursday, April 12, 2007

Righteousness: Why Christ Died, Why You Live

Righteousness = ?????

During this Easter Season the remembrance of the resurrection of Christ brings to mind the deliverance from death we as Christians have in death. But I wonder do we truly understand the impact of the resurrection and how the resurrection has moved Christians to change the world.

This commentary today is about Righteousness.

You may ask, why righteousness?

Why not something more relevant like salvation, or heaven?

Why righteousness?

Righteousness is the most important pivotal point in Scripture, aside that of Christ Himself. Righteousness is the central theme of why Christ came.

In fact Christ came to secure righteousness. That means he came to make sure righteousness would continue and would abound in the earth.

That really begs the question:

What is Righteousness?

To answer that question we need to dig into how the Bible treats righteousness.

The predominant word for Righteousness in the Bible is (Strongs #H6666 ) צדקה
(tsed-aw-kaw') In a simplistic sense it means “rightness.” That by definition means that there is a system of “Rightness.”

For example, there is a proper and an improper way to live.

Thou shalt not kill, means that it is not “right” to kill your neighbor. The inverse would mean, that the “right” thing to do is make your neighbor live better. Do all in your power to help your neighbor, to get him to live more, or better.

We would say this is right. If we would sum up all the ten commandments we would say that these ten commandments represent a system of “right living.”

It is interesting to note that the Hebrew Letter Tzaddi represents the righteous ones or pursuers of justice. In fact the Psalm 119 section underneath the Tzaddi has as its predominant theme “Righteousness.”

Psa 119:137 Righteous art thou, O LORD, and upright are thy judgments.
Psa 119:138 Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful.
Psa 119:139 My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words.
Psa 119:140 Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.
Psa 119:141 I am small and despised: yet do not I forget thy precepts.
Psa 119:142 Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.
Psa 119:143 Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet thy commandments are my delights.
Psa 119:144 The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live.

The Psalmist denotes that “Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness” and that “the righteousness of they testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live”

The Psalmists life is characterized by understanding righteousness. When he understands righteousness, his life is fruitful.

This is key. Righteousness defines a correct way of living.

All of God’s Laws work in concert together to frame a system called Righteousness. Hence the Psalmist saying “Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful.”

Christ has an interesting way of putting righteousness in John 16 when he is talking about the Holy Spirit.

First Christ says “It is necessary that I go away…none of you asks why?”

Then Christ says “I will send you a comforter.” We know that the comforter is the Holy Spirit.

This comforter, however, will convict the world of three things:


If you notice, the world is going to be convicted, that means made very aware of that a change is needed in these three areas.

Righteousness, is second on the list.

Christ is going through a tally list of the three things that are needed for change both in an individual and a culture.

For a culture to change, it needs preaching. The foolishness of preaching ( I Corinthians) is the power of God (See the discussion of Power for more commentary). The preaching will convict, (or should convict because preaching is to do that), of SIN.

Sin, as the Westminster Shorter Catechism states:

“Sin is any want of conformity unto or transgression of the Law of God.”

The Law of God must be preached with power to convict of sin. There is no neutral ground.
- Sin is sin.

- Abortion is murder.

- Stealing is murder on the installment plan.

- Sex outside of marriage is sin. It wrecks families and people.

- Homosexuality is sin. It destroys your soul and questions God’s upright and clean sys
tem of the family.

- Taking God’s Name in vain assumes God’s System of Righteousness is ridiculous and worthy or ridicule. God will judge.

Righteousness then “Is a way of living so precious, so beautiful, so wise, so wonderful” that Christ came and Died to pay to have this system restored. (John 3:16)

The Holy Spirit is thus sent to convict the world of the missing: righteousness.

The world must be convicted that they are NOT living righteousness, they are living idolatry, or wickedness.

Judgment (See the section of judgment for a clearer understanding of judgment) is the implementation of Righteousness in the earth.

So to recap what the Holy Spirit is doing in the earth is the following:

-The Holy Spirit is sent to the world to convict the world of Sin.
-The Holy Spirit is sent to convict of righteousness.
-The Holy Spirit is sent to convict of Judgement: prince of this world is judged.

The question of the hour is HOW?

How does the spirit convict?

- Through the two swords: preaching and good works (Culture Carriers and Economic Endeavor).

This discussion however is righteousness….


What is it?

What does it mean when Christ says to John the Baptist:

Mat 3:14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
Mat 3:15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.

What is the Psalmist contending below?

Psa 119:142 Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.


Psa 119:144 The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live.

- Righteousness Exhalteth a Nation, Proverbs 14:34, but sin is a reproach to any people.

- Righteousness establishes thrones: Proverbs 16:12

- Righteousness is a very important word in the Bible. In fact Paul makes the fact that Christ died that Righteousness may be fulfilled and we are to reign here on earth in righteousness representing the will of Christ Jesus in the earth.

Rom 5:17 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.

Righteousness is a word that represents the Comprehensive System of God applied to a culture. Or a Civilization that Follows Christ’s Just, Equitable, and Wise Commands, Laws and Statutes.

When Christ was saying to John the Baptist “He must needs be baptized to fulfill (mature) all righteousness”: then Christ is confirming, and establishing the need for Himself to go to the Cross.

He must needs take on the burden of the “Redeemer”, the “Christ”, so that the System of Righteousness may be matured, or brought to maturation.

This really begs the question again.

Why did Christ come?

Why did Christ die?

Why was Christ Baptized?

All sorts of questions pop out of this issue with righteousness. It is just essential at this time (we shall discuss in further details in the months ahead, Baptisms, Redemption etc..,) but today it is essential we understand Righteousness.

Righteousness is a Civilization. An upright, God Loving, God’s Law’s Loving, civilization, where neighbors love neighbors, and no one learns war anymore.

Instead of killing your neighbor, you love your neighbor, as Christ says” Love your neighbor as yourself.”

The end all be all of life is Righteousness. The Goal of Life is establishing Righteousness.

If you get up in the morning and ask the question “Why am I here?” The answer is Righteousness. I am here to establish righteousness.

As a Father, I am here to train my Children in Righteousness, and have them train their children in righteousness.

We are to understand that it is more than just mere rules. More than just being saved in Christ. Our salvation has a purpose.

Righteousness is a Civilization that must be erected in the Earth in the “Presence of my enemies (Psalm 23)”

Justice is at the heart of this Civilization, that is why Righteousness and Justice are mentioned so many times in the Psalms and throughout scripture.

Christ Rose again from the dead to show the world that He has the rightful thrown and has EARNED the right to judge the nations in righteousness. As the Song Joy to the World says “He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove, the glories of His Righteousness, and wonders of His love.”

As Christ said “All power is given unto me: Go ye therefore and Baptise ALL nations..”

And finally Paul states in Romans

Rom 1:5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name.

Righteousness is the Goal. All else is Idolitry.


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