God’s righteousness is the pure and justified way that God is in everything that He is. God’s way of being in the lives of the believer is rooted and completed in righteousness. The root word “right,” is the way believers strive to live out their lives in Christ. Right in God is perfection, however, in the believer, it is the striving towards perfection by faith. The Bible says, “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written: The just shall live by faith”. An understanding of this scripture is that as believers grow in faith, they also grow in righteousness.
When believers live righteously, it is different from the unbeliever who may live kindly. Righteousness is centered in the belief that God is the Most Holy God and is Perfect in all His Ways. This very belief system is foreign to the unbeliever. The Bible further teaches us that to please God we must believe that He is God. Unbelievers do not believe there is a God, but this does not mean that they are violent or devil worshippers. They may not believe in any deity or may have a “form of godliness but deny the power thereof.” Kindness is a preferred state, but it falls short of righteousness. When believers live in righteousness or “rightness,” it is out of obedience and faith in God. Being nice is right, but it is not “righteous” according to the Word of God. Believers lead by example and share God’s righteousness with those around them who want to learn about righteous living.
Righteousness versus Rightness:
Righteousness is obedience to God by faith.
• Rightness follows man’s laws, not God’s law.
• Righteous people live by faith in God through Christ.
• Right people believe if they treat people right; that’s most important.
Righteousness is defined as, “acting in accord with divine or moral law: free from guilt or sin” by Merriam-Webster. Believers understand that they are not “free from guilt” or “without sin.” That is the state of holiness that they strive to live in according to their faith. The sacrifice of Christ on the Cross is what believers must justify their righteousness. Living a Godly life in accordance with the Bible, believers follow the example of Christ in their daily living. Believers know when they are out of line with their faith. In turn, they will repent their shortcomings to restore right standing with God. Believers take comfort in knowing that God will not shun them for bad behavior. They have a bonafide path to repentance in Christ; who died for their sins.
The divine component of righteousness is what makes it confusing for the unbeliever. Unbelievers tend to think that living holy is an impossible feat. Therefore, it is unreasonable. The law of the nation governs murder, robbery, assault as punishable criminal acts. The laws of God are the same, however, when it comes to the moral compass, there the two concepts divide. If people don’t believe in God, then they are more tolerable of immoralities. Sins do not affect them in the way that they affect the believer.