We learn the importance of righteousness from the characters of the Old Testament. In Genesis we discover how God saved Noah and his family because He saw he was righteous in his generation; a generation so wicked God could no longer tolerate it. Job also valued his righteousness. He held it firmly because he did not want the condemnation of his heart. When Abraham heard God’s call and believed what He said, God labelled it rightousness. The breastplate of righteousness covers the heart. Like the fathers of our faith, we need to have it on. Righteousness is an act of faith, it is a gift of God, and a protection in evil days.
Righeousness Is An Act of Faith
The writer of Hebrews tells us that when Abraham believed in God, God saw it as righteousness. When Noah built the ark as God instructed, God saw righteousness. Job ascribed righteousness to his maker. When the Psalmist David wrote about righteousness, he wrote about what he could not see, but what he believed to be God’s word to his heart. He saw “righteousness and justice” as the foundations of God’s throne. He declared, “His righteousness endures forever.” Isaiah’s faith spoke into the days of Christ Jesus when he wrote. “Look to me and be saved … For I am God and there is no other. I have sworn to myself, the word has gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that to me every knee shall bow. Every tongue shall take an oath. He shall say, ‘Surely in the Lord I have righteousness and strength.'”
Righteousness Is A Gift of God
The prophet Hosea tells his readers to seek God until “He comes and rains righeousness on you.” In Romans Paul exclaims,”For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and the GIFT of righteousness will reign in life through the One Jesus Christ.” In Philippians Paul further states, “And being found in Him not having my own rightousness which is from the law but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is FROM GOD through faith.”
Righteousness Is Protection In Evil Days
In Romans Paul also speaks of the Jews who tried to establish a righteousness of their own. He writes that they did not submit to the righteousness of God. It was about themselves. Our righteousness is as filthy rags in light of the gift of God through the Lord Jesus. “For God made Him, who knew no sin, to be sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God, in Him.” We falter in our attempts to clean ourselves up and dress in the ripped and dirty clothes of our own doing when He has provided robes of righteousness pure and white. We don’t only stand in the evil day but we reign as we trust in the righteousness we have in Christ Jesus, that righteousness which comes by faith and is a gift from God which protects us and causes us to reign.