What is God’s Righteousness?
God could not overlook sin but had to be faithful to humanity because of His nature. Jesus was God’s expression of righteousness. He's the solution to the Sin.
Kingdom Principle: Righteousness; Part V
Locate in Scripture: Romans 3:21-26
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).
The Vine’s Dictionary defines righteousness in this way, ‘Righteousness is the character or quality of being right or just”. The righteousness of God is essentially the same as His faithfulness and truthfulness, and it is consistent with His nature and promises.In essence, the entire character of God depends on His ability to always do the right thing.
For humanity, God’s righteousness, ‘the character or quality of being right or just’, was demonstrated in Jesus. Since He created mankind with a choice (Genesis 2:16-17), knowing beforehand that they would sin, God’s righteousness was validated when He sent Jesus into the world to redeem it. In other words, He did not leave the consequences of that choice on the shoulders of humanity. Rather, God’s actions proved consistent with His righteous nature because God will always be faithful to mankind, Jesus demonstrated this.
The Just and the Justifier
Because God’s nature is right and just (righteous), He could not overlook sin. But because He is right and just, He also had to be faithful and consistent with His nature and promises toward humanity. These two appear to be at odds with each other so the solution was to justify mankind. Justification is God’s expression of righteousness. Being justified is the act of being declared not guilty; of being acquitted. However, because of sin and the fall, mankind was guilty, this is why He sent Jesus as the means to justify or acquit us from that guilt proving His righteousness.
Here’s the breakdown of how this works...
"God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished — He did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus" (Romans 3:25-26).
To illustrate this, imagine a courtroom. A judge’s job is to judge according to the law because they are called to be just. If they overlook the reason why the person is on trial, then they are not acting justly. God, because He is just could not overlook sin He had to judge it accordingly. His acts had to be consistent with His just nature, which is why the judgment for sin was death (Romans 6:23).
However, according to God’s nature of righteousness He also needed to be faithful to mankind. Being just, He judged sin and pronounced the sentence but because of His justice he also took the penalty for sin from us and placed it on himself. This would be like the judge in our example pronouncing judgment (being just according to the law) and then coming down off the bench to take the sentence. By this judgment and substitution, the restitution was made for sin in a very legal sense. Being both just and the justifier fulfilled all characteristics of His righteousness, which is extraordinary!
The result is that we are declared as not guilty and acquitted, but sin was judged accordingly. We are now justified through faith in Jesus which is a present continuous condition of being free from accusation of sin.
Seek First His Kingdom and His Righteousness
This is why it is imperative as believers to trust in God and His righteousness alone because this is the only means to be justified. The only work required of you is “to believe in the one he has sent” (John 6:29). If you make it a priority in life to seek His kingdom and trust in His righteousness then that faith will bring you into the vital union with God and produce His righteousness in and through you.
Join me for Part VI; 'Jesus’ Role in Making Us Righteousness