This is part of the series on Encountering God by Name
When my husband and I were planning to go abroad for graduate studies, we borrowed money from a friend to help us with the down payment for our tuition. I knew we had to pay the debt, so I came up with a plan to start a poultry business. I used the proceeds from selling chickens to pay off the debt before we left for graduate school.
In case you are wondering what selling chickens has to do with righteousness, let me explain. Everyone is a debtor. We gained this debt at birth as offspring of Adam and Eve who disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). Because of this we are all sinners who fall short of God’s glorious standard (Romans 3:23).
However, because God is holy and perfect, he made a way to forgive our sins and bring us back into right fellowship with him. Several passages in the Old Testament foretell God’s plan to restore us to a right relationship with him. In Jeremiah 23:5-6 God tells the people of Judah that he will send a righteous Branch, from the line of David, who will rule with wisdom and do what is just and right. This righteous Branch will be called, “The Lord is our Righteousness.”
What is Righteousness?
Some definitions of Righteousness include being morally right or justifiable, right standing, goodness, uprightness integrity, honesty, honor, justice, blameless, and morality.
Understanding God’s righteousness is at the core of who He is. Before we can know God by any other name or attributes, we have to embrace his Righteousness. At the Core of God’s Righteousness are justice, truth,
Righteousness and Justice are the foundation of your throne. Unfailing love and truth work before you as attendants. Psalm 89:14, NLT
Acknowledging our sin debt and embracing God’s Righteousness have tremendous benefits.
Benefits of receiving God’s Righteousness
New Status before God
The righteous Branch described in Jeremiah 23:5-6 is Jesus Christ, the son of God who came to the world as a human. He endured mockery, humiliation, floggings, and death on the Cross, to pay the sin debt we owe. His sacrifice is a credit for the punishment due to us in exchange for God’s Righteousness.
You and I have a sin debt we can never pay. No amount of poultry I sell would cover the cost. It does not matter whether we are good, whether we are drug addicts, smokers or drunks, nothing in this world can make us good enough for God’s Holy Standard.
We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Isaiah 64:6, NLT
However, when we come to Jesus, repent and put our faith in Him, we gain a new status. By placing our faith in Jesus, we exchange our sinful and filthy garments of self-righteousness for God’s Righteousness. We become a new creation.
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17, NLT
Jesus’ payment on the Cross gives us a new status before God.
New Power for Living
Placing our faith in Jesus Christ sets us free from sin and clothes us with God’s righteousness. This is true for everyone who believes.
God’s love and mercy
And so dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a holy and living sacrifice—the kind that he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Romans 12:1, NLT,
New Overwhelming Joy
Of course, we will mess up from time to time, repent, and ask God’s forgiveness. When we embrace his new power for living, it will overwhelm us with joy like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding or a bride crowned with jewels.
I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord, my God! For he has dressed me
Knowing Jesus and His Righteousness is the best thing that can ever happen to you and me.
Hey Friend, do you desire a new status and a new power for living a joyful life in Christ?
Jesus is waiting to present you to the Father as Righteous! What do you say?
Scripture: Genesis 3, Psalm 14:2-3, Jeremiah 23:5-6, Romans 3:21-26, 2 Corinthians 5:21
Next week, my friend Tammy will share Kitty’s story to show the power of God’s Righteousness.