Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Right·eous·ness: Definition

Right·eous·ness [AS. rihtwīsnes .], n. 1. acting in accord with divine or moral law : free from guilt or sin; 2. morally right or justifiable

I got this definition from merriam-webster. This is already a concised version of those from the other online dictionary websites I've browsed through. The people possessing this type of personality or characteristic are the only ones who may "dwell in God's sanctuary" (Ps 15:1) or who may enjoy the presence of God (Ps 14:5). Here's a checklist to see if you are "righteous."

He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue,
who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman,
who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the LORD,
who keeps his oath even when it hurts,
who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things will never be shaken.
~ Psalm 15:2-5 ~

I bet, not one of you got all of them checked, or even passed the first line. Sadly, no one in the world can do so. No one is righteous, not even David who wrote this Psalm. "There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God" (Romans 3:11). You may say, 'I try to be good, to show love to people, to be giving..' Well sad to say, "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." No matter what we've done for the world, we are all sinners.

Good thing, God doesn't define "righteousness" as merriam-webster does. He said through the apostle Paul that "no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through law we become conscious of sin." Let me share with you His definition. Feel free to copy or memorize it. I don't own His copyright anyway.


Through faith, there is no boasting, there is no obligation, all things impossible become possible. We, who cannot be righteous with our own might nor power, can become righteous with Jesus Christ. Righteousness then becomes a gift. It is not a merit-based system that can bring us closer to heaven for every good work or draw us to hell for every sin. It is a gift for jews and gentiles, for the murderers, extramarital adulterous partners, slanderers, corrupt officials and for the worst of all sinners. Anyone who repents and receives this gift can enjoy living in God's sanctuary and will not be shaken anymore. For they will receive eternal life.

Romans 4 - hall of fame is a good reading. Abraham, for example, wasn't justified as righteous by works (circumcision) but by faith. Read more to know more. :)

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