DOCTRINE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
Eph.6:14 "Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH,
and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS."
The principal Hebrew noun is qyDIc;,
The principal Greek word is dikaiosu,nh, dikaiosune:
Righteousness is a divine attribute.
As declared in Ps.11:7 "For the Lord is righteous; He loves righteousness;
The upright will behold His face."
His righteousness is forever, Ps.111:3 "Splendid and majestic is His
work; And His righteousness endures forever"; Ps.119:142 "Your righteousness
is an everlasting righteousness"; Ps.71:19 "For Your righteousness
reaches to the heavens, You who has done great things; O God, who is like
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of God's throne, Ps.89:14
"Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Lovingkindness
and truth go before You"; Ps.97:2.
He loves righteousness and justice, Ps.33:5 "He loves righteousness
and justice; The earth is full of His lovingkindness"; Ps.146:8 "The
LORD loves the righteous"; Ps.45:7 "You have loved righteousness,
and hated wickedness."
All His ways are righteous, Ps.145:17 "The LORD is righteous in all
His ways, And kind in all His deeds"; Rev.15:3,4.
All His judgments are righteous, Rev.19:2 "BECAUSE HIS JUDGMENTS ARE
TRUE AND RIGHTEOUS"; Act.17:31 "because He (God) has fixed
a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom
He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from
All His commandments are righteous, Ps.119:172 "Let my tongue sing of
Your word, For all Your commandments are righteousness"; Ps.119:7,62,75,106,123,144,160,164
As compared to God, no man is righteous, Ps.143:2 "For in Your sight
no man living is righteous (God is +R and man is -R. See Rom.3:10)."
Jesus Christ is declared to be righteous, 1Jn.2:1 "My little children,
I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins,
we have an Advocate (attorney) with the Father, Jesus Christ the
righteous"; Mal.4:2; Rev.16:5.
God is the source of the believer's righteousness, Ps.4:1 "Answer me
when I call, O God of my righteousness!"
God exercises righteousness on the earth, Jer.9:24 "'I am the LORD who
exercises lovingkindness, justice, and righteousness on earth; for I delight
in these things,' declares the LORD."
Salvation righteousness is imputed at the point of faith in Christ. Rom.3:21,22
"But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested,
being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of
God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there
is no distinction."
Abraham is the pattern of this imputation to believers, Rom.4:12 "and
the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision,
but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which
he had while uncircumcised."
This salvation righteousness does not come by works, Rom.9:30-32 "What
shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained
righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; but Israel, pursuing
a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. Why? Because they did
not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over
the stumbling stone"; Rom.4; Gal.2:16,21; 3:69,21,22; Phil.3:9; Ti.3:5.
The work of Christ on the Cross makes it possible for God to bestow eternal
life on all who believe, 2Cor.5:21 "He (God) made Him (Christ)
who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness
(+R imputed) of God in Him."
This saving righteousness is as close as saving faith in the Word of God
The Cross constitutes an act of righteousness that makes this grace righteousness
available to all, Rom.5:18 "So then as through one transgression there
resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness
there resulted justification of life to all men."
Justification is the term used to describe the result of the imputation
of God's righteousness (+R).
Where the +R of God is, the blessing of eternal life follows (immediately),
Gal.3:21 (God follows the imputation of +R with eternal life).
Sometimes the designation "righteous" is used in Scripture of those who
possess +R, as in Ps.112:6 "For he will never be shaken; The righteous
will be remembered forever"; of those who are moral, Act.10:22; and
of believers who live by the righteousness of the WOG, Prov.10:32.
No one will see eternal life unless they possess +R, Mt.5:20 "For I
say unto you, that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes
and Pharisees, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven."
The Holy Spirit convicts man of his need for +R, Jn.16:8,10.
Experiential (or Phase 2) righteousness is based on faith plus application.
The plan of grace instructs us to live according to God's righteousness,
Ti.2:11,12 "For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to
all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to
live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age"; Rom.14:17
"for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness
and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."
Bible Doctrine informs us with respect to the particulars of God's righteousness,
God loves the believer who pursues His righteousness, Prov.15:9 "The
way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, But He loves him who pursues
God leads positive volition in the paths of righteousness, Ps.23:3 "He
restores my soul; He guides me in the path of righteousness For His name
Those who pursue righteousness come under certain promises, Mt.6:33 "But
seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall
be added to you."
God brings divine discipline into our lives so that we might be righteous
like Him, Heb.12:11 "All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful,
but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it
yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness"; Ps.118:15-21.
We are to isolate the STA/OSN (sinful trend of Adam/old sin nature) and
employ our bodily parts as instruments of righteousness in the Angelic
We will be persecuted for righteousness, Mt.5:10 "Blessed are those
who have been persecuted for righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of
heaven"; 1Pet.3:14 "But even if you should suffer for the sake of
righteousness, you are blessed."
SG3 (eternal reward, i.e. surpassing grace blessings
in Phase 3) is the "harvest" of personal righteousness, 2Cor.9:9,10.
A "crown of righteousness" (ultimate in Phase 3 distinction) is for those
who finish their course, 2Tim.4:8.
Experiential righteousness is an evidence of salvation, 1Jn.2:29; 3:7,10.
Some things that can be said about the righteous (positional and/or experiential).
The Lord approves of the way of the righteous, Ps.1:6 "For the LORD
knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked will perish";
He is with the righteous, Ps.14:5 "For God is with the righteous generation";
and watches over them, Ps.34:15 "The eyes of the LORD are toward the
righteous, And His ears are open to their cry."
Their path grows brighter and brighter, Prov.4:18 "But the path of the
righteous is like the light of dawn, That shines brighter and brighter
until the full day."
They have a refuge in death, Prov.14:32 "The wicked is thrust down by
his wrongdoing, But the righteous has a refuge when he dies"; Ps.10:25
"When the whirlwind passes, the wicked is no more. But the righteous
has an everlasting foundation."
God hears their prayer, Prov.15:29 "The LORD is far from the wicked,
But He hears the prayer of the righteous"; Jam.5:16.
God loves the righteous, Ps.146:8 "The LORD loves the righteous."
God delivers the righteous, Ps.31:1 "In You, O LORD, I have taken refuge;
Let me never be ashamed; In Your righteousness deliver me"; Ps.37:39
"But the salvation (deliverance) of the righteous is from the
LORD; He is their strength in time of trouble"; Prov.11:8,9; 12:13;
God provides the righteous with basic living grace, Prov.13:25 "The
righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite, But the stomach of the wicked
is in want"; Prov.10:3 "The LORD will not allow the righteous to
hunger, But he will thrust aside the craving of the wicked"; cp. Ps.37:16
"Better is the little of the righteous Than the abundance of the wicked."
God rewards and blesses the righteous according to their righteousness,
Ps.18:20 "The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness; According
to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me."
God blesses the righteous with: various blessings, Prov.10:6; life, Prov.10:16;
wealth, Prov.15:6; reward in time, Prov.11:31; desire granted, Prov.10:24;
home life, Prov.3:33; Ps.118:15; memory blessed Prov.10:7.
Some things that are characteristic of the righteous: expresses divine
viewpoint, Ps.37:30; Prov.10:21,31,32; gives thanks, Ps.140:13; ponders
how to answer, Prov.15:28; is a guide to others, Prov.12:26; his thoughts
are just, Prov.12:5; hates falsehood, Prov.13:5; is concerned for the rights
of the poor, Prov.29:7; he rejoices when justice is done, Prov.21:15; gives,
Prov.21:26; Ps.37:21; becomes wiser and wiser, Prov.9:9; displays courage,
Prov.28:1; has regard for the wellbeing of his beast, Prov.12:10; his way
is smooth, Isa.26:7; lives by faith, Heb.10:38.
The afflictions of the righteous are many, Ps.34:19 "Many are the afflictions
of the righteous; But the LORD delivers him out of them all"; but the
Lord sustains the righteous, Ps.37:17; Prov.11:5.
The wicked (Heb. [v'r',
rasha) persecute the righteous by: maligning them, Ps.31:18; plotting against
them, Ps.37:12; spying on them Ps.37:32; murdering them, Mt.23:35; Jam.5:6.
It is not good to abuse the righteous in judgment, Prov.17:26; 18:5.
God tests the hearts of the righteous, Ps.7:9; 11:4,5; Jer.11:20
Noah is an outstanding example of what a righteous person is, Gen.6:9 "Noah
was a righteous man, blameless in his time: Noah walked with God";
7:1 "Then the LORD said to Noah, 'Enter the ark, you and all your household;
for you alone I have seen to be righteous before Me in this time'";
2Pet.2:5 "herald of righteousness."
There is a false form of righteousness displayed by false teachers, Mt.23:28
"Even so you too outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you
are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness"; 2Cor.11:15 "Therefore it
is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants
of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their deeds."
Righteousness and the coming of Christ.
The Lord will judge the world in righteousness, Ps.9:8 "And He will
judge the world in righteousness; He will execute judgment for the peoples
with equity"; 96:13 "Before the LORD, for He is coming; For He is
coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, And
the peoples in His faithfulness."
Christ will wage war in righteousness, Rev.19:11 "And I saw heaven opened;
and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and
True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war."
His coming will usher in a kingdom of everlasting righteousness, Dan.9:24
"to bring in everlasting righteousness."
The righteous long for this day, Mt.5:6 "Blessed are those who hunger
and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be satisfied."
All the judgments of the tribulation are righteous, Rev.16:7 "And I
heard the altar saying, 'Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous
are Your judgments.'"
At this time, the wicked (unbelievers) will be separated from the righteous,
Then the righteous will experience great personal glory, Mt.13:43 "Then
THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN in the kingdom of their Father.
He who has ears, let him hear."
Then they will receive their reward, Lk.14:14 "and you will be blessed,
since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at
the resurrection of the righteous."
Jerusalem will be called the city of righteousness, Isa.1:26,27; 33:5,15;
Christ will be called "the LORD our righteousness", Jer.23:6.
Righteousness will characterize the new heavens and earth, 2Pet.3:13 "But
according to His promise we are looking for a new heavens and a new earth,
in which righteousness dwells."
Righteousness exalts a nation, Prov.14:34 "Righteousness exalts a nation,
But sin is a disgrace to any people"; 16:12; 20:28; 25:5.
We are to declare God's righteousness, Ps.35:28 "And my tongue shall
declare Your righteousness and Your praise all day long"; Ps.40:9,10
"I have proclaimed glad tidings of righteousness in the grea congregation;
Behold, I will not restrain my lips. I have not hidden Your righteousness
within my heart; I have spoken of Your faithfulness and Your salvation;
I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great
congregation"; Ps.51:14 "Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
Thou God of my salvation; then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness";
Rom.14:17 "for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but
righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."
© Copyright 1999, Maranatha Church, Inc.