Jesus V. Sison, CRFV Deputy National Director
Righteousness is an indispensable attribute of our Almighty God. It is of “being” (not just becoming) that literally means “One who is right. Possessing righteousness consequently is “right standing before God.” It is the only living standard that is suitable for us to stand before the Father. For “in the way of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death”. It is believing and living according to God’s design for our lives, thus doing away with sin.
When we talk about living in righteousness, some people think that it had more to do with behavioral modification than heart transformation. To produce righteousness, one has to practice outward appearances of acts of goodness, kindness and holiness. These things mattered more to some people rather than Spirit-filled change. While those are good works and are commendable, rediscovering what God says about righteousness will let us realize that we fell short of understanding. Righteousness actually produces those works, not the other way around. The prophet Isaiah says that “we are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind.” Our attempts to produce righteousness on our own are repulsive in the eyes of God. We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like polluted garments.
Even when our good deeds seem to be performed from the purest of motives, unless that motivation is to glorify the name of Jesus and the centrality of what we are doing is He, those deeds are completely self-righteous and sinful. As Saint Paul expressed that “the righteousness of God has been clearly and completely revealed apart from the Law and traditions, though it is actually confirmed by the Law and the writings of the Prophets; this righteousness of God comes through faith in Jesus Christ for all those those who believe, trust in Him and acknowledge that He is the Son of God. There is no distinction, since all have sinned and continually fall short of the glory of God.” If we are to modify our behavior, the motivation is to please God above all, coming from the conviction of the Holy Spirit and not simply to appear, even without comparison, that we are more holy than others.
With these thoughts, we start to ponder and realize that we needed to repent and lay all of this at the feet of Jesus. We are completely incapable of changing our own hearts and have righteousness. Only God can do that. When we stop trying to produce our own righteousness and begin to simply trust in the Holy Spirit to change our hearts, He will make us righteous. First, we confess our sins, then He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Only the perfection of Christ and His finished work on the cross could accomplish and complete righteousness in us. Only Jesus, who lived as a Man on the face of the earth with a perfect, obedient, and sinless life can satisfy the requirements of God’s righteousness that must be seen in us.
The scriptures are firm and clear that we have to seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness and pursue it; and yet we have fallen short and unable to produce it. So where do we get it? Again, our righteousness is imputed from Jesus through the atoning work that He accomplished on the cross. We can’t produce it, Christ produced and lived it for us. So, as we “learn to recognize and treasure what is excellent in identifying the best and distinguishing moral differences; we start to acknowledge and believe Christ that we may be pure and blameless until the day we actually see Him manifesting and living in us that lead and inspire others away from sin; being filled with the fruit of righteousness which also comes through Him, to the glory and praise of the Almighty God so that His glory may be both revealed and recognized.”
Pursuing righteousness is pursuing God’s character. We turn away from sinful desires and yield to Jesus Christ. As we allow Him to live and work in us, we are changed from glory to glory, and our new nature will become more according to His image and likeness. Thus, when God looks at us, He doesn’t see our sin or filthy garments. Instead, He sees us clothed in the righteousness of Christ. He sees us instantly and completely justified through that righteousness. As it was declared, “I will rejoice greatly in the Lord, my soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has covered me with a robe of righteousness,” We are transformed from within possessing His nature. And through obedience, it will be considered righteousness for us, that is, again, right standing with God, as we are careful to observe all His commandments. It follows that the land is also blessed. God outlined so many rewards because of righteousness that affects the entirety of the nation. From fullness of life to fruitfulness, safety and security- oh, the Nation is blessed.
We can rest in the fact that God sovereignly works everything for the good of His people, including restoring us through the righteousness of His Son. Our righteousness began in Christ and is completed in Christ. Follow Him and pursue it daily.
The conclusion of the matter, as righteousness restores a person, so is a nation. For righteousness exalts a nation. As we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, we are proclaiming that His government shall be established within the system of ours because righteousness is the foundation of His throne. Therefore, where His throne is, His sovereignty resides and His Lordship manifests.
CRFV Winning Team
A company of men and women who have committed their lives to the cause of national transformation.