THE PURPOSE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
The Breastplate of Righteousness produces peace, rest, confidence, security, boldness, no fear, no terror, no oppression.
Romans 8:30 (LOVETT) God called those whom He fore-ordained. He also justified them, making them as righteous as Jesus.
Easton’s Bible Dictionary—Justification: “The judicial act of God, by which he pardons all the sins of those who believe in Christ, and accounts, accepts, and treats them as righteous . . . . In addition to the pardon of sin, justification declares that all the claims of the law are satisfied in respect of the justified . . . . The law is not relaxed or set aside, but is declared to be fulfilled in the strictest sense; and so the person justified is declared to be entitled to all the advantages and rewards arising from perfect obedience to the law (Romans 5:1-10).”
God gave you the gift of righteousness so you could partake in all the blessings and promises of God. The purpose of righteousness is to put us in a relationship with God that:
- Inspires confidence.
- Removes fear.
- Makes available all God’s blessings and promises.
Hebrews 4:16 (AMP) Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favor] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment].
There is a difference between being declared righteous and doing works of righteousness, but we’ve lumped it all together! We are called to live righteously, but that is separate from the gift of righteousness.
- The gift of righteousness is so God can work in your life.
- Righteous works are so God can work in the life of another.
Romans 3:20-22 (NIV) No one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.
- Works righteousness: “Clean yourself up and I’ll work in your life.”
- Faith righteousness: “I’ll work in your life, then you’ll be clean.”
Anything you feel you need to do to earn God’s blessings and promises is works righteousness. Faith righteousness is when you feel qualified for God’s blessings and promises because of Jesus Christ.
Romans 9:30-33 (NIV) What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the “stumbling stone.” As it is written: “See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”
People stumble over the fact that Jesus gives us right standing with God, not our works. Sin is not alright to do. It has many negative consequences. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Yet, right standing with God is the result of our relationship with Jesus.
Hebrews 5:13-14 (NIV) Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
The faith walk, of every believer, is believing God still loves me and I am still righteous even though I’ve sinned or failed.