spiritwarfare

Submission and Obedience

RIGHTEOUSNESS

Righteousness is an attribute of God. An attribute is a quality or feature regarded as a characteristic or inherent part of someone or something. Therefore, righteousness is an inherent quality of God's character.

It is easy to repeat "God is righteous," but what does He mean when He declares that of Himself? What does the word 'righteous' really mean?

According to BibleStudyTools.com, 'just', 'justice', 'justify', and 'right' describe what 'righteous' means. God is absolutely just and right in all He does because He is just in His Person. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are just; they are righteous, they are correct in all they do because that is what they ARE. Righteousness is their essence.

People question: If God is righteous, why does He let sin be rampant in the world? Why did He create the world and people anyway, if He knew they would sin and many would go to hell? Therefore, we must consider that element when we look at God's righteousness.

The Bible says that Jesus died for us before the foundation of the world. It says God planned our salvation before He ever made anything outside of Himself. God would give Himself as a sacricie for sin in the person of His son. That's extremity in its greatest dimension.

The Bible also says God has a purpose for everything. So what is His purpose for creation and why is it righteous?

God says of Himself that He is holy. Holiness means to be perfectly, absolutely pure and undefiled. Everything God says and does emanates from His holiness. His justice is an expression of His holiness.

We can never comprehend Him, but we can love and worship God for who He is. To do that we must also be made holy in our character. Holy not because of anything we do or perform, but because He imparts holiness within us in the Person of His Holy Spirit promised by Jesus and sent to us by God the Father when we put our faith and trust in Him for our salvation.

But we're getting ahead of ourselves. When God purposed to create the universe, even the angels, He wanted personalities outside of Himself with whom He could fellowship and on whom He could bestow unmeasured outpouring of goodness and love. He wanted creatures that could appreciate His glory and power and love, and would reciprocate voluntarily and, by their own volition, love Him for Himself alone.

God first created the angels who shared heaven and all its splendor with Him. For them He staged a banquet at which He displayed the magnificence of His creative magnitude. It was that banquet that the devil, the most glorious of all the angels, refused to attend because he was enjoying the adoration of fellow angels at their own gala fete, probably on earth. Satan, then Lucifer, rebelled against God on that fateful occasion and took a third of the angelic host with him. The pollution of their pride would have contaminated heaven's holiness, so God thrust them out.

Then, God created the earth and its wonderful ecosystem. When all was complete, He formed a man He called Adam from the dust of the ground and put him in charge of the Garden of Eden. God shaped Eve to be a helpmate for Adam by using a rib taken from his side. It was in the Garden that satan came as an angel of light and deceived Eve into eating the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and her encouraging Adam to eat, too. So, man fell from perfect innocence and became a sinner, and his progeny have inherited a fallen sin nature ever since.

God in His foreknowledge knew that it would happen. Why did He let it be so? Because He wanted a people to love Him who would choose to love Him without coercion, but from their own choice.

He created Adam and Eve with the ability to make independent decisions. Theologians call that free will. To test them God gave the couple a single command. Eat of all the trees in the Garden except one: eat of it and you will die.

Many people go their own way and hate God. They are doomed to spend eternity in hell, suffering in the lake of fire. How is that fair and just? How was that a righteous decision on God's part?

As stated earlier, Jesus was determined by the Father to be the One who would come to rescue lost and fallen human beings. Even from the moment Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden, God provided a way of escape and a means of salvation that was just and correct and that pointed to the time Jesus would come.

God killed animals Himself, shedding their blood in order to make the pair garments of skins to cover their nakedness. To cover the loss of their innocence and purity, they had to be covered through the death of another living creature. Ultimately, that would be Jesus, God's own Son.

So, is that righteous? God wants to bestow an Eternity unimaginable in its glory on a Bride composed of souls who seek to love and obey Him faithfully to the very end of their lives. Essentially, she will inherit all that heaven is forever. Beyond description! So, is that righteous of God to do that?

Unequivocally, the answer is a resounding "YES!" Before God created time, He purposed to create mankind with a free will that can choose God if people want to, but with an equal ability to reject Him and His overtures.

The apostle John in his Gospel says that Jesus is the Light that lights every man who comes into the world. In ways only God's Holy Spirit knows, He brings knowledge of God by way of conscience to every human born. He allows circumstances to come to bear on people's lives so that they can reckon there is a God who is personable. In those crises and moments when God gives a taste of Himself to a person's heart, He can either be received or rejected.

Time after time God woos hearts; He brings them face-to-face with their lostness apart from Him; He gives them glimpses of how great and wonderful He is. He lets them feel their impending doom in hell, too. But, what people do in and with those revelations in their souls is up to them. God never forces Himself on them. John 3 says that men do not come to the Light because their deeds are evil. They love their sin and don't want it exposed. They do not care about God and turn their backs on Him.

In those moments, God says further in John 3 that Jesus did not come into the world to condemn it. God justly saw that men and women are born with a sin nature they had no decision in receiving. They had no choice. It's theirs from Adam's in the Garden.

However, God still gives every soul born into this world a choice: Will you follow Me or not? Will you take My Son as the slain blood-shedder for your covering? If you do, I will change you within, so you are not a slave to the sin nature you had no part in obtaining.

You can change, so that My Son, the Second Adam (pure and innocent) will give you a new pure nature that will clothe you with My Son's righteousness. But the choice is yours. God has made that choice possible because of Jesus and His death on the cross as our substitute for the penalty of sin. Otherwise, we are in the state of being totally unholy so that we cannot and may not enter heaven.

Yes, truly God IS righteous in all He does. He demonstrates that in His entire plan of salvation from sin. It is we who must decide whether or not we will follow His way.

Guaranteed! If you decide (repent) to obey and follow God and His commandments, you will experience the most profound life-changing turn-around imaginable. Jesus said to count the cost. It will cost you everything, but to make your decision a possibility, Jesus gave up everything, too. That is righteousness demonstrated!

To not decide to believe and follow God is the most rash choice you can ever make. Jesus asked, "What is a man profited if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?" The only unique thing you possess is your soul. It is the only thing you will take with you from earth into eternity. You must decide where that will be. God is righteous!

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Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®
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