It’s a mouthful, but one of the most powerful themes of the BIBLE. Righteousness simply means “being right” with God. Jesus came to the earth to make us right with God. When we learn that we are reconciled to God or made right with him, we are in a position to receive all of the blessings and promises of God. The New Testament says that all of God’s promises are ours in Christ. When we know we are in right standing with God we become aware that we can ask him for anything. We have confidence that he hears us.

Righteousness is…..

  • Sanctification or made holy,
  • Justification,
  • Forgiven,
  • Having the right standing,
  • Salvation,
  • Reconciliation
  • Complete freedom and wholeness.

This righteousness is ours because of Jesus Christ. It is the message of the cross and it’s the gospel of Jesus. Jesus came to save us and make us righteous (right with God). It is ours but so few of us know it. I remember hearing once that when we get to heaven we will be escorted to a room full of blessings we never received. Blessings with our name on them. Blessings that went uncollected because we didn’t believe we deserved them. You don’t deserve them, but the good news is, we don’t get what we deserve.

Colossians 1:22 Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault. But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it.

For our sake, the Bible says, God made Jesus to be sin, even though he never sinned so that we could become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. 2 Corinthians 5:21 For our sake He made Him to be sin who did not know sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Jesus sacrificed Himself on the cross for you to become righteous. He makes you righteous. You are right with God because of Him, not because of anything you have done to deserve it, but because you are “IN CHRIST.” Nothing you do can make you righteous. When you fail and sin there is nothing you can do to make yourself right with God. All you can do is receive his forgiveness and remember who you are. You can’t make it right, but God has already made it right.

Colossians 1:12 …giving thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to share in the inheritance of the holy ones in light.

You are unfit, but Jesus makes you fit. You don’t make yourself fit, God does.

God Made Perfection His Standard

IF you keep all my commandments, God told His people in Deuteronomy 28, – All these promises are yours. God promised blessings, victory, favor, abundance, health, and prosperity to all who obey all of His commandments.

“But if you do not obey the voice of the Lord, your God, carefully observing all his commandments and statutes which I give you today, “all these curses shall come upon you and overwhelm you..” Your grain and bread will be cursed, the fruit of your womb, the produce and herds, sickness, and defeat….Deuteronomy 28:15

We all deserve the curses, but God in his great love for us sent Jesus to become a curse for us that we might receive the blessings of God.

Perfection is impossible. I can’t get right with God without God’s intervention. Jesus didn’t just take away our sins to make us right with God, He made us brand new, a new creation. He gave us a new nature, HIS NATURE.

2 Corinthians 5:17  So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.

Jesus didn’t come to make bad people good but to make dead people alive again. You were dead in your trespasses, the Bible says in Ephesians 2:1 “You were dead in your transgressions and sins in which you once lived following the age of this world.” We were dead before Christ. When Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the forbidden tree, they died, just like God said they would in Genesis Chapter 2 verse 17. God said to Adam, “From that tree, you shall not eat; when you eat from it you shall die.”

They died and we inherited death. Because of Adam or “Original Sin,” the whole human race is born spiritually dead. “Sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned” (Romans 5:12,19). According to the catechism of the Catholic Church (ccc 407), “Original sin entails captivity under the power of him who thenceforth had the power of death, that is, the devil.” Romans 6:23  For the wages of sin is death.

ORIGINAL SIN

Original sin is the transmission of Adam’s nature to us; the sinful nature. In Christ, we receive a new nature, one that is no longer a slave to sin. Jesus cancels, not just the original sin, but the sin nature! You inherited a sinful nature from Adam but you were born again in Christ without it. You are reborn into something so much better.

Joel and Ezekiel the prophets prophesied that one day the Holy Spirit would come and give us a new heart. That is what happens to you when you receive the nature of Jesus. You receive a heart that longs for God. You can’t explain it, you are just different.

Today at Mass during the Eucharistic preface, the priest said, “Just as through your beloved Son, you created the human race, so also through him with great goodness you formed it anew.” We had to be formed anew, because we were dead in our sins. All of us. Jesus came to form the human race into something brand new. The old nature has been replaced. Jesus took it and gave you his. An exchange happened. He became sin and you became righteous (2 Cor 5:21). You are no longer Adams heir. You have a new heritage, a new ancestry, a new family, a new father and a new kingdom.

Romans 5:19 Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.

Romans 5:17 For if, by the transgression of one person, death came to reign through that one, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of justification come to reign in life through the one person Jesus Christ.

Catholics Are Born Again

We as Catholics believe we are born again at Baptism and sanctified and made new  and when we are “of age” accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

Catechism of the Catholic Church- 1214 “This sacrament is called Baptism, after the central rite by which it is carried out: to baptize (Greek baptizein) in) means to “plunge” or “immerse”; the “plunge” into the water symbolizes the catechumen’s burial into Christ’s death, from which he rises up by resurrection with him, as “a new creature.”

Infant baptism claims the faith of the community for the infant, but expects each individual to choose Jesus for himself when he is able to do so (Christ Renews His Parish “crhp” Manual).

John 3: 5-8 Jesus answered, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. 6 What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be amazed that I told you, ‘You must be born from above.’ 8 The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

So How do We get this Righteousness?

We just learned and now believe that righteousness comes from Jesus and he gives it freely to all who believe in Him. Our job is to receive it. It comes to us through faith in Him. You have to receive it by faith. It’s yours to receive and believe and live. Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness.

Abraham trusted God. God was his hope and the center of his life. He believed God’s word to be true. If God said it he believed it. He trusted God was for him and not against him. The Bible says that Abraham was “fully convinced” that God would fulfill His promises. Are you fully convinced that God will give you all that he said he would give you? Be convinced. Faith is credited, not only to Abraham’s account but to all who believe. Righteousness/Justification is credited to your account if you…

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Sacred Scripture

Can you handle this much scripture in one blog? I want you to know that these are God’s words, His ideas, His decision, and His plan for your life.

And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous.  And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God. Romans 4:22-25 NLT

…As it is written, “I have made you father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into being what does not exist.  He believed, hoping against hope, that he would become “the father of many nations,” according to what was said, “Thus shall your descendants be.”  He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body as [already] dead (for he was almost a hundred years old) and the dead womb of Sarah.  He did not doubt God’s promise in unbelief; rather, he was empowered by faith and gave glory to God1 and was fully convinced that what he had promised he was also able to do.  That is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.”  But it was not for him alone that it was written that “it was credited to him”;  it was also for us, to whom it will be credited, who believe in the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead,  who was handed over for our transgressions and was raised for our justification.  ROMANS 4:17-25 NAB

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, though testified to by the law and the prophets,  the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction;  all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God. ROMANS 3:21-23 NAB

Righteousness and Justification

Righteousness and Justification are the same word in the Bible. There is only one word for both in the original Hebrew (Old Testament) and Greek (New Testament). The New Testament was originally written in Greek and there is only one word for Righteousness and Justification and the word is “Dikaios” and it means “To be made right with God” or “Right standing with God.” So every time you see the word righteous/righteousness or justified/justification just substitute “RIGHT WITH GOD.”

Did you know that his righteousness or justification is free. It’s a free gift. You can’t earn it because Jesus earned it for you. He became sin so that we could become righteous. What a trade. He got what we deserve, sin and death and we get what he earned, life and holiness.

Colossians 1:22 Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault. But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it.

The Purpose of the Ten Commandments

So what is the purpose of the Ten Commandments then? I am glad you asked. If we become righteous by faith in God, what role does the law play. The law or commandments are to show us just how sinful we really are and to show us our need for a Savior.

Romans 3:19-20 … for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God.  For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.

If Justification comes through the LAW or by obeying the law then Christ died for nothing. I am backing everything I say up with Sacred Scripture. This is what God says, not what I say. I am not making this up. This is not my opinion but this is the message of the New Testament.

  • Galatians 2:16  “A person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law because by works of the law no one will be justified.”
  • Galatians 2:21 “I do not nullify the grace of God; for if justification comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.”
  • Galatians 3:21-22 For if a law had been given that could bring life, then righteousness would in reality come from the law. But scripture confined all things under the power of sin, that through faith in Jesus Christ the promise might be given to those who believe.

THE LAW WAS NEVER MEANT TO MAKE US HOLY! God did not give the law to us so we could strive to become good. No, it was given to show how futile it was to strive to be good. NOT ONE PERSON can rise up under the law. It’s impossible.

  • Galatians 5:18  But if you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
  • 1 Tim 1:9  With the understanding that law is meant not for a righteous person but for the lawless and unruly, the godless and sinful, the unholy and profane…..
  • Romans 3:20  Since no human being will be justified in his sight by observing the law; for through the law comes consciousness of sin.

Jesus says in Matthew 11, “Come to me all who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest.” Do you know what makes us weary and heavy-laden? Do you know what burdens Jesus is talking about? He is talking about the law and the burden it puts on us. The burden of condemnation, the burden of having to be perfect, the burden of never measuring up, the burden, and having failed. The weight of it is too heavy. Jesus takes the burden and gives us rest. The Catholic Bible commentary says, “Who labor and are burdened: burdened by the law as expounded by the scribes and Pharisees (Mt 23:4).”

ARE YOU A SINNER OR SAINT?

You are no longer a sinner. If you are made righteous and brand new and you are no longer the old you. The “sinner” is gone, along with Adam’s nature. You have a new nature now, a nature that is righteous and wants to do good. You may not always act righteous, but it is who you now are. You are no longer a sinner but a saint. Jesus paid the price to make you a saint.

Hear me out.

We think we are nothing like the saints of old. That is just not true. They were sinners just like we were. They too needed Jesus to save them. They are made saints by the blood of Jesus just like you and me. They are no different from you. They didn’t earn heaven or sainthood by their good works. There is nothing we can do to earn sainthood except to receive the righteousness of God which is found “IN CHRIST.”

Paul writes to the saints (holy ones) in Ephesus, to the saints (holy ones) in his letter to the Colossians. He writes to the saints in Corinth and Philipi. They weren’t all saintly. They weren’t all holy. Why does Paul refer to them as saints?

Listen to what the Catholic Bible Commentary says,

“Paul often refers to Christians as “the holy ones” or “the saints”…..The Christian community regarded its members as sanctified by baptism (Rom 6:22; 15:16; 1 Cor 6:11; Eph 5:26–27). Christians are called to holiness (1 Cor 1:2; 1 Thes 4:7), that is, they are called to make their lives conform to the gift they have already received.”

It is vital that we know this about ourselves. We will never have peace with God without understanding that peace is now ours.

Romans 5:19 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,  through whom we have gained access [by faith] to this grace in which we stand, and we boast in hope of the glory of God.

If you don’t consider yourself a saint, you are missing out on peace and joy. If you still consider yourself a sinner, you are living in condemnation. But for those of us who are “IN CHRIST….”

Romans 8:1 Hence, now there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has freed you from the law of sin and death.

The Catholic Church elevates some to be saints, not because they are better than everyone else but to show us how to live. They have chosen some to be role models. By making certain people “SAINTS” the church puts its stamp of approval on them. It doesn’t mean they are special in God’s eyes. We are all the same in God’s eyes.

We Don’t See Ourselves as Saints

The problem is, we don’t see ourselves as saints. We still see ourselves as sinners. We regard ourselves according to the flesh and not according to the Spirit. We don’t see ourselves as righteous so we don’t believe we are. We don’t feel righteous so we don’t believe we are righteous. We walk by feelings and sight and not by faith.

2 Corinthians 5:7  for we walk by faith, not by sight.

If you think of yourself as a sinner, you are forgetting what Christ did for you. You live a life of barely getting by, still riddled with guilt and shame, and with the impossible task of earning your way out of your present condition or your present circumstances. You still expect to earn your way into heaven by being good enough for God. You expect to earn your way to heaven by obeying the commandments. The commandments never have and never will make you a good person. Only God, living inside of you through the Holy Spirit, can lead you to be a good person. The commandments or the law will never make us righteous or right with God.

Without God’s intervention, we are hopeless and helpless to do anything about our condition.

2 Corinthians 5:21 For our sake He made Him to be sin who did not know sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

He became sin. To say that I am “NOT” righteous is to say that

Jesus did not become sin.
Jesus did not become a sin offering
Jesus did not have to die on the cross

He did not die just to take away our sins, he died to make us brand new.

Start telling yourself,

“I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus”
“I am righteous because of what Jesus did for me”
“I am in right standing before God because of Jesus.”
“Because of Jesus, I am righteous in God’s eyes.”
“Because of Jesus, I am made right with God.”
“Because of Jesus, I am acceptable to Him, sanctified and justified”

2 Corinthians 5:16 Consequently, from now on we regard no one according to the flesh;

From now on you are no longer to regard yourself according to the flesh. You are now the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. Do not regard yourself according to how you act or look or feel. Say it every day until you believe it.

Say, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.”

Declare it by faith, believing Jesus died to make you holy. Now receive it and believe it and bring God much joy. Say, “I am patient. Jesus became a sin offering so I could become patient. I may not act patient, but I walk by faith and not by feeling.”

If you think of yourself as impatient, sinful, lazy, sick, tired, or worthless, you will remain impatient, sinful, lazy, tired, and worthless. If you continue to regard yourself in this way, you are evaluating yourself from a human point of view. Is this the real you? Is this the YOU, God made you to be.

Do not dishonor Christ by declaring anything less than, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Righteousness chart

 

We live our lives believing if we can just do something good, it may cancel out something bad. It doesn’t work that way. If that were the case the law would make us righteous and God wouldn’t have had to send his son to die for us. If you notice, the chart above illustrates just how negative life can be without faith in God’s righteousness. We live life in the negative every day because we see ourselves as sinful and always needing forgiveness. We are forever sin conscious. Jesus forgives our sins so we can live life forgiven. You can live in condemnation or live the life of a saint, by knowing who you are and what Jesus has done for you.

If we don’t receive God’s righteousness we will never expect anything from God; never believing we deserve anything from Him. So every time we hear or see the word “righteous,” know that it’s talking about you. When you read in the bible that the Righteous are healed that means you !!!!!

  • The righteous cry out, the Lord hears and he rescues them from all their afflictions. Psalm 34:17
  • The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. Proverbs 18:10
  • The righteous person is rescued from trouble Proverbs 11:8
  • the prayers of the righteous are effective James 5:16
  • the righteous will inherit the earth Psalm 37:29
  • The Lord loves the righteous; Psalm 146:8
  • Trouble chases sinners, while blessings reward the righteous. Prov 13:21
  • The righteous will inherit the earth and dwell in it forever. Psalm 37:29
  • Many are the troubles of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him from them all. Psalm 34:19
  • Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. Psalm 112:6