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The Doctrine of Righteousness

(weekly I write a five minute “doctrine talk” based on the doctrine in the passage of scripture we are studying in “People of the Promised Land 1 – Bible Study Fellowship”)

Righteousness is a moral category and it means just what it sounds like: “right-ness” or “upright moral conduct”.  But the difficulty in not in the definition rather it is in the lack of true or perfect righteousness in me, or you.  Romans 3:10 states that “there is no one righteous, not even one”.  But God understands our failure and has provided His own true righteousness, a perfect righteousness, in place of the righteousness we do not have.  This transaction is called justification, meaning we are made right or just before God on behalf of Jesus. 

My issue falls in the realm of “self-righteousness”.  How about you?  When I understand and walk in God’s righteousness I can freely admit my failures, knowing God’s approval is not based on my perfection.  However, when I am “self-righteous” I place crushing expectations and impossible standards on myself or others. 

It may start something like this in my mind… “at least I am not like….” Self-righteous

Or “I would never act/do/say that….” Self-righteous

Or “ They should have more faith/strength/wisdom… self-righteous

When we start keeping score, judging, or placing expectations on others we are making righteousness our standard instead of God’s standard.  “But I use God’s standard as my standard.”  Goodie for you.  But we don’t know the heart of people and all the circumstances.  So that doesn’t hold water.

Let’s take a recent part of scripture we just read this week:  1 Samuel 21:1-5 When David asked for then ate the consecrated bread from the priest.  I was like “what? David really, that wasn’t yours to eat!  God’s law says that’s a no-no.  But in our questions we were challenged to look at what Jesus said about that same scene in Luke 6:1-5.  Jesus was questioned about his work on the Sabbath and called out the self-righteousness of the Pharisees. 

God’s standard is impossible to meet on our own, we need Him to give us His righteousness.  We receive this through faith in Jesus Christ and grow in this as a believer.

Where are you comparing yourself to others?

Where are you beating yourself up for mistakes, failings or shortcomings?

What impossible standard are you holding yourself or others to?

I will confess, this is my biggest struggle.  I have no problem accepting God’s righteousness for me but trusting it for others is another story.

Be encouraged sister if you feel my pain with the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans chapter 7.

So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

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