Weekly Devotional 9-21-20 Made Righteous
Webster’s Dictionary defines righteousness as “acting in accord with divine or moral law: free from guilt or sin.” The writers of Harpers Bible Dictionary proffer that, “righteousness is the state or quality of being righteous.” Given these definitions the question that should immediately come to your mind or to my mind is, are we righteous?
We weren’t always righteous and if we are now righteous, we were made so at some point in days gone by. We are told by Paul the apostle that, “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and earlier in the letter he wrote “10As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Romans 3:10-12).
In right perspective, the purpose of Paul’s letter was to mend grievances between Jewish and Gentile believers. They were finding it difficult to overcome religious attitudes engendered by their ethnicity. The Jews considered themselves as being superior because to them were given the oracles of God and the Gentiles felt privileged because they had been grafted in. Paul reminded them that persons of either race were in them-selves not righteous. So should our understanding in ourselves we are not righteous. If we are now righteous it is because we have been made righteous.
The question then is, if we are righteous how did we become so? The answer is through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the acceptance of that sacrifice by God, His father. The writer of the New Testament book, Hebrews was convinced of this when he wrote, “1For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. 2For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. 3But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. 4For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. 5Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: 6In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. 7Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. 8Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; 9Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. 10By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified” (Hebrews 10:1-14).
The writer, a Hebrew himself, had been brought up under the law and most likely lived as best he could by it. Inwardly though, he knew that he was not perfected by it. Another writer (maybe the same one) in another letter wrote, “1Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. 2For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. 3For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. 4For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth. 5For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. 6But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) 7Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) 8But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed” (Romans 10:1-11).
Our righteousness, yours, and mine, is found in this same person, Jesus Christ (the anointed of God). “He is the pro-pitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world” (1st John 2:2)
Ascribed to by:
Lian Muan Kim
Koinonia Baptist Seminary – Yangon, Myanmar