Summary: Ninth in a series on the attributes of God focusing on the possibility of obtaining His righteousness through Christ.
Knowing God Series #9
“Embracing a New Identity”
Most everyone would agree that this world is a mess. I have news for you. It has always been a mess. At times worse than others. In the days of Noah the Bible tells us that…
Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Genesis 6:5
The sin condition has plagued the heart of man since the time of Adam. Those who God created to display His glorious character decided to separate from God and try to live life on their own.
Look how that turned out. There are those who try to blame God for all the evil in our world.
If He were truly an all-powerful loving God He would do something about all the evil.
First, the evil in our world comes from millennia of rebellious choices to defy God and promote man’s selfish agenda.
Second, in order to change that, God would of necessity have to eliminate the ability to freely choose.
How can the absolutely righteous God enter into relationship with completely unrighteous men?
I. The nature of God
II. The Attributes of God
A. God is infinitely GREAT in His ability / capacity
B. God is infinitely PURE in His morality
1. God is HOLY
He is infinitely separated from all that is contrary to His own moral character and law.
2. God is RIGHTEOUS / JUST
God implants an internal desire to live right in every person. Mankind works hard at trying to be right even if he has to adjust the standard of measure. Every group and society develops a standard of behavior. Even gangs demand adherence to a code. The only group that society condemns for holding people to a code of behavior is Christians. The root word for Righteousness means to “cut straight”, to conform to a standard. The translators usually translate the terms into one of two English words: “Righteous” and “Just”.
God perfectly conforms to His own standard. God infinitely avoids everything that does not conform to His own moral standard. He is both holy and righteous. He absolutely conforms to His own moral and ethical standard. He IS the standard of what is right. He declares it. He lives it. He cannot do otherwise. It is who He is.
The LORD is righteous in everything he does; he is filled with kindness. Psalm 145:17
The Biblical standard of righteousness
What is the standard by which righteousness can be measured? God communicates the standard in His law. God IS the standard and He communicates that standard in the Word of God.
Personal Implications of serving an absolutely Righteous God
1. It helps me deal with things I don’t understand.
There are two things to remember.
1. Whatever God does is right.
2. If it seems wrong, then refer to principle #1
2. It exposes my own unrighteousness and need for justification
There are TWO ways to relationship with God. Live a perfect life. Appeal to God for mercy.
Just as God made a way for the unholy to become holy, so He has made a way for the unrighteous become righteous.
"For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:20
What Jesus did was to challenge the people to think of the most righteous people they could think of. In that day it was the Pharisees who from the outside looked perfect. They didn’t just tithe income they tithed EVERYTHING even their spices. Basically He taught that without God’s intervention, no one could scrape up enough righteousness to live in God’s holy and righteous presence.
His justice or righteous character could not ignore violation of His standard.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Romans 1:18-21
It is like being $100 million in debt with no job, no assets, and no resources. Even if the debt was forgiven or we could declare bankruptcy, without a job, we would soon be back in the same spot. We are a chronic debtor. We need to eliminate debt and generate positive cash flow. It is like having a huge criminal record with irrefutable evidence against us without the capacity to make right choices. We are a chronic lawbreaker. We need to not only be declared right but enabled to DO right. We need to not only be forgiven our impossible debt but to be fully funded. Since we have no resources; God has to do something without violating His own righteousness.