Jeremiah 23:5,6 (English Standard Version):
Behold, the days are coming, declares the
Lord, when I will raise up for David a
righteous Branch, and he shall reign as
king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice
and righteousness in the land.
In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel
will dwell securely. And this is the name by
which he will be called ‘The LORD is our
Jeremiah was a prophet during a dark time in the history of Judah and Israel, when they forsook the Lord and refused to walk by His commandments. They worshipped false gods and became entangled in political and religious bondage. Even the priests and prophets were profane and did not stand in the counsel of the Lord and hear and understand His Word. Rather, they preached and prophesied lies and led God’s people astray, weakening and scattering the sheep of His pasture. But God promised to gather His sheep back under His protection and to feed them and give them abundance where nothing was lacking. God promised they would have no fear, nor be dismayed, and that He will raise up a Righteous Branch to bring them salvation and security under His reign of prosperity and justice. His name would be Yahweh-Zidkenu, which means the “Lord our righteousness”.
The problem with the priests, prophets, and children of Israel is that they were going about trying to establish their own righteousness by following religious rules and regulations contrary to the Word of God. They were self-righteous and had set up their own standard to achieve spiritual acceptance in the eyes of God. Many of the children of Israel believed they could be righteous by following Baal or the other false gods of other unbelieving nations. However, they were dead wrong, for only God is Yahweh-Zidkenu, and He alone is OUR righteousness. It is not our own righteous acts or our own right standard, but the Lord is our righteousness. There is righteousness in none other than the Lord and only through Him are we made righteous. There is tremendous freedom and deliverance in knowing that it is the Lord who is our righteousness, not our own works or deeds.
Psalm 4:1 (English Standard Version):
Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be
gracious to me and hear my prayer.
Psalm 71:19 (Amplified):
Your righteousness also, O God, is very high [reaching
unto the heavens], You have done great things; O God,
who is like You, and who is Your equal.
Psalm 89:16 (English Revised Version):
In thy name do they rejoice all the day and in thy
righteousness are they exalted.
Psalm 111:13 (English Standard Version):
Full of splendor and majesty is his work, and his
righteousness endures forever.
Psalm 119:40 (God’s Word to the Nations):
I long for thy guiding principles. Give me a new
life in your righteousness.
Psalm 145:7 (NIV):
They will celebrate your abundant goodness and
joyfully sing of your righteousness.
Isaiah 45:24a (New Living Translation):
The people will declare, “The Lord is the source
of all my righteousness and strength.”
Isaiah 61:10 (Holman Christian Standard Bible):
I greatly rejoice in the Lord, I exult in my God;
for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation
and wrapped me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom wears a turban and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
Romans 10:3 (New English Translation):
For ignoring the righteousness that comes from
God, and seeking instead to establish their own
righteousness, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.
Nothing compares to the righteousness of God. It has no equal in the works of man. God’s righteousness endures forever and is at the center of His abundant goodness. Yahweh-Zidkenu is the God of my righteousness, and He alone is the source of my righteousness. Yahweh-Zidkenu has wrapped me in the glorious robe of His righteousness, which gives me great joy and delight. Yahweh-Zidkenu has given us a new life in His righteousness, free from physical, mental, and spiritual bondage. Israel and Judah’s problem was that they did not submit to God’s righteousness, but sought to establish their own righteousness by religious rules, regulations, and deeds. Self-righteousness is not God’s righteousness. The foundational principle to understand concerning the righteousness of God is that it does originate in my thoughts, words, or deeds but only originates in the Lord. It is not something that can be earned, bought, strived, or worked for. It is the gift of God.
Righteousness is one of the most misunderstood words in the Bible. Righteousness is one of the most fundamental and important sonship rights of the Christian believer, yet it so often neglected in the walk of most Christians. It is only when you understand righteousness and live in it that you can accomplish your calling in this world as a son or daughter of God.
What is the biblical definition of righteousness? Righteousness is the God-given ability to stand in the presence of God without any sense of guilt, condemnation, shame, or unworthiness and to stand in the presence of Satan without any sense of inferiority, weakness, fear, or cowardice. Righteousness is to be legally brought into a right relationship and standing with God that will last forever. Righteousness is part of our salvation in Christ and rests upon God’s act of justification, where he legally declared us free from the penalty of sin and judicially delivered us from everything that stands in the way of us being declared righteous.
“Justification” is a legal term similar to a verdict from a judge, where by a judicial act, God declares that all the demands of the law have been completely satisfied and fulfilled for the believing sinner by the righteous act of Jesus Christ. Justification changes forever the judicial standing of a person before God from being dead in trespasses in sins to being completely righteous in Christ and completely free from the death penalty of sin. You have been judged and found righteous. You have been acquitted, found not guilty, and restored to a right relationship with your heavenly Father. You have been declared legally innocent and pronounced forever righteous because of the blood of Christ. This is a permanent state for the Christian believer, as this declaration of righteousness can never be repealed, overturned, or declared null and void. There is no double jeopardy, where a person would be tried for the same crimes again in a court of the law. The court of heaven, with God as the righteous judge, has forever pronounced a verdict to His entire creation that you have been made the righteousness of God, completely justified, free from the bondage and penalty of sin, and able to boldly stand in His presence without any sense of sin, condemnation, guilt, or unworthiness. This verdict has been sealed in the blood of Christ, and no satanic power can overthrow it.
You can also stand in the presence of the devil and his entire kingdom in absolute victory, knowing that you have been completely delivered from the power of darkness. The devil is under your feet and has no authority anymore over you, because Jesus Christ forever crushed and paralyzed the evil one from hurting, harming, or ruining your new life in Christ. Now that is a verdict worth talking about! It is the foundation of the gospel of Christ that we proclaim to the world. How wonderful is the goodness of God revealed in His name Yahweh-Zidkenu, where He has given us His righteousness to live in and enjoy.
II Corinthians 5:21 (KJV):
For he (God) hath made him(Christ) to be sin for
us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the
righteousness of God in him.
Jesus Christ was our complete substitute for sin and the consequences of sin, and we have been made the righteousness of God in him. The word “made” in the Greek means: to bring into existence, to begin to be, to become, and implies origin through a special agency. It signifies the entrance into a new condition. We now have become a new creation and entered into a new condition of righteousness. God alone has brought into existence our new life of righteousness, and He has given to us His actual righteousness, which becomes just as much a part of us as our leg or arm. We are the righteousness of God! What a liberating truth to know that we are now in full and legal possession of the righteousness of God as a living part of us. We can live, move, and breathe in this glorious righteousness every moment of the day.
Righteousness restores everything Adam lost in the Fall and allows us to enter into an intimate relationship with our Heavenly Father. Righteousness reinstates a person into right standing in the literal presence of God with full rights and privileges, as a child of God. In the Old Testament, only the high priest could enter the literal presence of God (in the Holy of Holies) in the Temple on the Day of Atonement. The children of Israel and Judah could not enter the Holy of Holies into the presence of God. When Jesus Christ cried out, It is finished” on the cross and took his last breath, the veil that separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the temple was completely torn from the top to bottom, signifying that through Jesus Christ all barriers to the presence of God have been removed. Jesus Christ made available a new and living way of righteousness, where a man, woman, or child can have 24 hours a day access to the throne of God and stand in His wonderful presence. Access to God’s throne room is never closed, never blocked, and never limited for the Christian believer.
Ephesians 3:12 (Amplified):
In Whom, because of our faith in Him, we dare
to have the boldness (courage and confidence)
of free access (an unreserved approach to God
with freedom and without fear).
Righteousness gives us an unreserved and unlimited approach to God with boldness and complete confidence. Righteousness restores fellowship with God to a person whereby we can walk and live in deep intimacy and companionship with our Heavenly Father. Adam lost this righteousness and fellowship in the Garden of Eden and immediately ran and hid from the presence of God. Adam was full of fear, uncertainty, and unworthiness in the presence of God. God’s first words to Adam after the Fall were “Where are you? “as God realized the terrible consequences of Adam’s act of disobedience. Adam lost his connection with God; sin broke the benefits of righteousness and took it away from mankind as a legal and inherent right. People could no longer stand in the presence of God without any sense of fear, guilt, shame, or unworthiness and they became subject to and in bondage to the god of this world, the devil. Sin infiltrated the human race and contaminated its standing before God.
It is interesting that the Greek word for “sin” comes from the word which means: a duct or canal by which water flows down to any place. It was understood in ancient dialects to be a collection of mud and muck brought down through the canal by tumultuous waters, causing the waters to be bitter, contaminated, and unfit for human use. In modern times, it would be like raw sewage and toxic waste flowing into a river of pure water and contaminating it. This definition gives great depth to the meaning of sin as the defiling influence and bitter principle of disturbance and separation from God that has flowed down upon His creation. Sin penetrated the bloodstream of mankind and corrupted the thoughts, desires, passions, and life of every living man or woman on Earth. The cry of the human race was for righteousness to be restored, but this could not be accomplished by human hands or works but only by the divine intervention of a Savior and Redeemer who would satisfy the heavenly demands for justice and pay the price for the penalty of this defiling, contaminating sin. It was the great cry of Job in chapter 9 of “how can a mortal man be righteous or just before God?”
God had set forth to Cain and Abel the pattern, or way back, to access with God which was by sacrifice, by the death of a substitute, and by the blood of atonement. It was in the sin offering and the shedding of blood, which was the law of redemption, which culminated in the sacrifice and shedding of blood of God’s only begotten Son on the cross. Abel understood this truth, and that is why his offering to God was declared righteous. God told Cain this same truth, but he chose to ignore it and devise his own way to God by his own sacrifice devised in his heart. This is why God had no respect to the offering of Cain, because it was an offering of disobedience based upon his futile attempt to be righteous outside of God’s standards.
In the Bible, this is called the “way of Cain” which God denounced as evil, but the way of Cain has run rampant in human history. The way of Cain is the foundation of all religions and is man’s attempt to be righteous and just before God. True Christianity is not a religion, but God’s act of reaching out to mankind and offering complete redemption and righteousness through the finished work of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Religion is man’s attempt to reach God through his own works, actions, and deeds. Christianity begins with the word “done” and religion begins with the word “do.”
In Great Cloud of Witnesses in Hebrew Eleven, E.W. Bullinger describes the way of Cain as follows:
The way of Cain consisted of not believing what
God had spoken and inventing a “New” way of
his own…whatever may be the varieties involved
from man’s imagination they are all one in asserting
that man MUST do something…Man must be
something, feel something, experience something,
give something, pay something, produce something..
he must DO something…where they do differ is only
what the “something” is to be. It is this which accounts
for the vast number of different systems of religion
which evolved in the world’s history…However many
may be these differing forms, they are all one in doing,
while in true Christianity they are all one in Christ only…
Christianity is of God; and consists in a Person Christ;
Religion is of man, and is carried on for man, and his
interests. It consists of men’s forms, and rites, and
ceremonies, doctrines, and traditions, churches and
chapels, and synagogues, halls and rooms. Christianity
rests on what Christ has done; religion rests on what
man can do.
The righteousness of God cannot be earned; it cannot be obtained by religious deeds, and it cannot be achieved by a person’s strenuous effort. No religious ceremony, ritual, or creed restores a man or woman to the state of righteousness. Righteousness originates in God, not man, and nothing you can ever do, no matter how religious, can make you righteous.
Romans 3:10 (Phillips):
The scriptures endorse this fact plainly enough.
“There is none righteous, no, not one.
The Bible is emphatic that absolutely no one is righteous by themselves without the Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 3:20-24 (NIV):
Therefore 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. There is no difference.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
And are justified freely by his grace through the
redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:9 (Amplified):
And that I may [actually] be found and known as in Him,
not having any [self-achieved] righteousness that can be
called my own, based on my obedience to the Law’s
demands (ritualistic uprightness and supposed right
standing with God thus acquired), but possessing that
[genuine righteousness] which comes through faith in
Christ (the Anointed One), the [truly] right standing
with God, which comes from God by [saving] faith.
Romans 10:3,4 (KJV):
For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and
going about to establish their own righteousness, have
not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every
one that believeth.
Galatians 2:16, 21 (Amplified):
Yet we know that a man is justified or reckoned righteous
and in right standing with God not by works of the Law,
but [only] through faith and [absolute] reliance on and
adherence to and trust in Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the
Anointed One). [Therefore] even we [ourselves] have
believed on Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith
in Christ and not by works of the Law [for we cannot be
justified by any observance of the ritual of the Law given
by Moses], because by keeping legal rituals and by works
no human being can ever be justified (declared righteous
and put in right standing with God).
[Therefore, I do not treat God’s gracious gift as something
of minor importance and defeat its very purpose]; I do not
set aside and invalidate and frustrate and nullify the grace
(unmerited favor) of God. For if justification (righteousness,
acquittal from guilt) comes through [observing the ritual
of] the Law, then Christ (the Messiah) died groundlessly
and to no purpose and in vain. [His death was then wholly superfluous.]
Galatians 2:21 (New English Translation):
I do not set aside God’s grace, because if righteousness
could come through the law, then Christ died for nothing.
If righteousness could be achieved by legalistic rituals, good works, or religious rules, then God would have never needed to send His only begotten Son into the world. Christ died for nothing if a person could obtain righteousness through his own effort. Self-righteousness is rooted in the way of Cain and can never put someone in right standing with God. God’s righteousness is a gift that is only available to any man or woman by the grace of God. God’s righteousness gives a person a new capacity and ability in life to live and breathe in the freedom of His presence, free from guilt and condemnation. We have a new source of power and life, for we are in Christ and Christ is in us, and we share in his righteousness. God’s righteousness is a vital part of our new nature in Christ, and it enables us to live life in a whole new realm and in an entirely different manner than the ways of the world. We can live dynamically with authority as children of God, without any fear, in a loving, close union with our Heavenly Father.
Romans 5:17: (RSV):
If, because of one man’s (Adam) trespass, death
reigned through that one man, much more will
those who receive the abundance of grace and
the free gift of righteousness reign in life through
the one man Jesus Christ.
The word “trespass” in the Greek means: a falling beside, a deviation from the right path, to go beyond and overstep a limit or boundary and to make a false step so as to lose your footing. The word conveys the idea of crossing a line or challenging God’s boundaries and departing from the path of life defined by God’s will. Adam disobeyed the word of God in the Garden of Eden and took a false step, challenging the boundariesthat God had set and deviated from the wonderful path of life God had so graciously given Him. As a consequence, spiritual death and separation from God, along with physical death, became the universal destiny of the human race. Spiritual and physical death became the ruler of man and woman’s nature and brought with it the fruit of fear, condemnation, sin consciousness, guilt, weakness, defeat, unworthiness, disease, sickness, rebellion, and powerlessness. People became slaves to this sin nature which robbed them of the ability to live life as God intended. Adam was dethroned as the ruler of God’s creation and the ruler of his life in the Garden of Eden, and this birthright of spiritual and physical death and a nature enslaved to sin and its consequences was passed on to every human being born into the world.
This contaminated nature cannot be eradicated by good works, by religious edict, or by scientific breakthroughs. The only deliverance from this death sentence and corrupt nature inherited from Adam is through the one man, Jesus Christ. Men and women need a new nature that is rooted and grounded in righteousness. Men and women need to become a new creation that is not in bondage or under the control of the old sin nature. It is not a reforming, changing, renovating, improving, or beautifying of the old nature, but it is a NEW CREATION: a divine nature imparted with all its spiritual blessings and holy privileges. This is a divine work, not a religious work of a person, and is only available through believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, confessing him as your Lord, and believing in your heart that God raised him from the dead. We are a new creation in Christ by God’s superabundant grace and this transformation is the foundation of all that matters in life.
Galatians 6:15 (Amplified):
For neither is circumcision [now] of any importance,
nor uncircumcision, but [only] a new creation [the
result of a new birth and a new nature in Christ Jesus,
New English Translation:
For neither circumcision or uncircumcision counts for
anything; the only thing that matters is a new creation.
New Living Translation:
It doesn’t matter whether we have been circumcised or
not. What counts is whether we have been transformed
into a new creation.
“Circumcision” here stands for any religious work or ceremony of a person, and these religious practices are of no importance in God’s eyes as they cannot bring deliverance from the Adamic nature, or bring victory in life. What matters in life is whether we are a new creation through the one man, Jesus Christ. We have a new existence and living union with the crucified, risen, exalted, glorified, and coming Lord.
This new creation is the gift of righteousness. The word “gift” in the Greek means: a free gift and emphasizes the gratuitous nature of the gift which is freely given to another without price or compensation. It is a free present that bestows a special privilege or favor. The righteousness of God inherent in the new creation is a free gift because of the super abundance of God’s grace. You have been made the righteousness of God in Christ. You did not pay for it because Jesus Christ did. Righteousness is free to all those who accept the Lord Jesus Christ by believing faith. God gave you the best present you could ever imagine and that is righteousness which breaks the rule and power of the old sin nature inherited from Adam.
Righteousness gives you the ability and power to reign in life through the Lord Jesus Christ. The word “reign” in the Greek means: to rule as a king and exercise kingly power, to exercise the highest influence and control, to have complete authority, and the right to control in an absolute manner.” A king rules with authority and power for he knows who he is, and that he has an absolute legal right to reign over his entire kingdom. A king does not question his authority, but rules with confidence and boldness. You are not defeated; you are not down-trodden; you are not powerless; you have the righteousness of God when you were born again. God’s proclamation is that you are to reign in life just as a king rules over his kingdom. God never intended for you to live a weak, haphazard, and insignificant life upon this earth. God never intended for you to live a life in bondage to fear, condemnation, and inferiority. Righteousness gives us the ability to triumph in all of life’s circumstances; it gives us confidence and boldness to stand firmly in the midst of the pressures and storms in life. Righteousness allows us to live without fear of any device or tactic of the devil and boldly stand and resist our spiritual adversary, no matter how fierce the spiritual battle.
Righteousness restores our standing fellowship, peace, and freedom with God and makes us sons and daughters of God by divine legal birthright. The effect of the one man, Jesus Christ, on the human race is far greater than the effect of Adam’s transgression for through Jesus Christ we have been made righteous and can reign in life as kings from this very moment throughout all eternity. Through Jesus Christ, you have the absolute God-given legal right to exercise complete authority and control over any negative influence, problem, circumstance, crisis, or trouble in your life. You are more than a conqueror; you are victorious; you are triumphant, and you have overcome because you have a vital living union with Christ who is in and with you always. A Christian believer is to reign in life and enjoy the wonderful life God has given us. The word “life” in the Greek means: life in all its manifestations; the absolute fullness of life in every category that belongs and originates in God. God wants us to reign as kings in every category of life, including finances, employment, family and health..
The devil does not want you to know and understand that you are righteous and can reign in life through Jesus Christ. The devil tries to make you feel defeated, unworthy, condemned, fearful, anxious, worrisome, inferior, unloved, and powerless to do anything about it. The devil knows this is a lie but has convinced so many Christians that they are worthless. Nothing could be further from the truth. You are the righteousness of God in Christ: you are a new creation. The old ways of the past no longer can defeat you; you can reign in life, exercise the awesome power of God, break the strongholds of the past and live in complete physical, mental, and spiritual freedom. Make up your mind that you will never live in fear and defeat anymore, but will claim and exercise every God given legal right and privilege given to you by the grace of God. Stand boldly upon the Word of God, and believe what the Word says about you, not what the world says about you. How exciting life can be, and what new adventures and triumphs God has planned for us as we fulfill His will upon the earth. Always remember that God’s standard, God’s purpose, and God’s will is that you reign in life every moment, every day, every week, and every year. We should accept nothing less than this standard of victorious living.
Our knowledge and understanding of this wonderful righteousness of God that we received as part of the new birth is essential in our stand against the wiles and methods of our spiritual adversary, the devil. One of the devil’s key objectives in his spiritual warfare against us is to get us to doubt that we have been made the righteousness of God in Christ. Righteousness gives us the ability to stand in the very presence of Satan and all his devices with absolutely no fear, knowing that the devil and his kingdom have been defeated by Christ and Satan is no longer the controller and master of our lives. The devil is under our feet in authority and power because Jesus Christ triumphed over him, and was completely victorious in breaking his rule and power over the Christian believer. Part of the armor of God that is vital to our spiritual warfare is the breastplate of righteousness.
Ephesians 6:13,14 (English Revised Version):
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you
may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having
done all, to stand firm.
Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth,
and having put on the breastplate of righteousness.
The breastplate of righteousness is a crucial part of the armor of God for the Christian because it protects the heart. Proverbs instructs us on the importance of guarding our heart.
Proverbs 4:23 (God’s Word to the Nations):
Guard your heart more than anything else, because
the source of your life flows from it.
(New Living Translation):
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.
The word “heart” is used figuratively in Scripture. It means “the innermost part of your mind” and is the seat of your personal life. The heart is the center of your knowledge, understanding, and thinking and controls the intellect, emotions, and will. As the seat and center of your passions, desires, purposes, motivations and affections, the heart is the depth of who you are and where the distinctive character of a person manifests itself. Our life flows from our heart, and what is in our heart determines the quality and depth our life. Our thoughts and confessions form the framework of our heart, and this is why it is so important to control our thinking and renew our minds to the Word of God. Our faith in God proceeds from our heart. Doubt, worry, fear, and unbelief also flow from the heart and contaminate the life of a person. This is why God commands us to guard our heart more than anything else for all the issues of our life, are determined by the content of our heart.
Satan’s main objective is to attack the heart and bring it into captivity to his words, plans, and devices. If the devil can control your heart through wrong thinking, fear, doubts, and lies, he can control the quality and content of your life. Satan is called the accuser of the brethren in the book of Revelation, and one of his main devices is to get you to doubt who you are in Christ and accuse you of being worthless and insignificant. When the devil tempted Christ, his first mode of attack was to say “if thou be the Son of God,” as he tried to get Jesus to doubt and question his identity and authority as the only begotten Son of God. The devil is a relentless accuser and slanderer of God’s children before both God and people day and night. He wants you to feel that you have no worth as a human being, that you are a failure, and that you are no good in the eyes of God and people. The devil is the father of lies, and he knows this is not true, but he wants your heart to believe that you are valueless to God. He wants you to doubt your righteousness in Christ and does everything in his power to keep this wonderful truth from your mind and heart.
God has not left us powerless in the protection our heart, but has provided us the breastplate of righteousness to utilize daily as part of the armor of God against these devices of the devil. The righteousness of God acts as a breastplate that guards, protects, and shields the heart. We are responsible as Christians to put on this breastplate of righteousness daily to be fully equipped to protect our heart in the spiritual battle that rages around us. We must confront the accuser with the absolute truth of the Word of God which declares that God, by judicial decree, that can never be changed or broken, that is sealed with the blood of Jesus Christ, has made us forever righteous and placed on us the highest value in the universe. God has given us right standing with Himself, where we can live and abide in his presence without one ounce of condemnation, unworthiness, inadequacy, or fear. We are more precious to God than the most exquisite jewel or the most beautiful mountain. We are more valuable to God than anything in the heavens or earth. God sought you out to be His beloved child and lovingly planned for ages to bring you into his heavenly household as a righteous son or daughter with full rights and privileges in His kingdom.
Do you see now why the breastplate of righteousness is so important in our daily walk with God and our spiritual warfare against the devil? We should begin every day by putting on the breastplate of righteousness in our hearts and minds. In Ephesians 6:14, the words “put on” in the Greek mean: to clothe, to put on a garment and to sink into a garment. We put on the breastplate of righteousness as our spiritual wardrobe, just like we dress in earthly clothes every day when we get up in the morning. You open your self up for an attack by the great accuser and slanderer of God’s children if you do not equip your heart with the great reality and truth of the righteousness of God that we have been made in Christ. No accusation, no lie, and no slander can penetrate the breastplate of righteousness.
I Corinthians 15:34 (KJV):
Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some
do not have the knowledge of God: I speak this
to your shame.
The word “awake” in the Greek means: to awake sober out of a drunken sleep; to come to one’s senses and to arouse oneself out of a stupor” It is in the aorist imperative in the Greek, which means entrance into a new condition, with an emphasis on the urgent need to do it now. It calls for a specific, definitive, and decisive choice to do it now, once and for all, in one quick action. Christians have for too long been in a spiritual stupor and spiritually asleep concerning the fundamental truth of their righteousness in Christ. God wants us to wake up to the knowledge that we have been made the righteousness of God in Christ in the new birth and to an understanding of what this wonderful righteousness means in our daily living for Him. This is a command of God Almighty to the church that if you want to live victoriously and not be in bondage to sin, then you must awaken your soul and mind to all the gems of truth concerning this righteousness that God has given you as a free gift when you were saved.
In this book, we have just touched the surface of this righteousness and what it means to the Christian believer. There is so much depth, riches of knowledge, wisdom, and goodness in this righteousness of God that the Christian believer is to enjoy and utilize every day of their life. Christians have lived in sin-consciousness, condemnation, and fear, because they have not awakened to righteousness. How refreshing, how invigorating, and how exciting is it to know that we have been restored to a right relationship with God and can seek and live in His presence without hindrance and fear. How awesome it is to know that we have been freed from the exercised power of darkness in this world, legally justified from the penalty of sin and given a new nature whereby we live a quality of life above and beyond what the world has to offer.
How wonderfully E. W. Kenyon describes the breathtaking privilege of this righteousness:
By the New Birth, we have become the very righteousness
of God in Christ. He is the Author and Creator of this
righteousness. He made us to be His own righteousness. To
give us confidence and assurance in our daily walk…What
He creates and what He makes is beautiful in His sight. We
are His love poem. ..No one has a better Righteousness than
we have. No one has a better Savior than we have. No one
has better eternal life than we have. No one has a better
standing with the Father than we have. No one has a better
right to use the name of Jesus than we have. No one can get
closer to the heart of the Father than we can. We are what He
says we are. We are in the beloved. We are the Father’s own
Look how special you are to be clothed in His righteousness. Just think how precious you are to God Almighty and how deep His burning love is for you. You have been made the righteousness of God. The heart can hardly fathom the greatness of this truth. This righteousness enables us to live in peace, confidence, and quiet assurance of the strength, power, and protection of our heavenly Father.
Isaiah 32:17 (NIV):
The fruit of righteousness will be peace, the effect
of righteousness will be quietness and confidence
What mighty things can be accomplished in our lives when they abound with the fruit of His righteousness! What a spectacular witness we will be for the Lord Jesus Christ when we are conscious of our righteousness in him and boldly live according to our nature of righteousness. God wants our lives to be like a thriving tree that is overflowing with the fruit of righteousness.
“Quietness” in the Hebrew means: to be undisturbed, to be at rest, to be tranquil, to have unworried ease, to sink down into rest and to be quiet and gaze. I remember from childhood the big bean chairs that when you sat on them, you would sink into great comfort. Righteousness allows us to sink into complete rest and tranquility in the bosom of our Heavenly Father. Righteousness enables us to live with unworried ease, undisturbed by the rumblings of the world. Righteousness gives us great peace and quietness on the inside, where we can be still and gaze into the face of our loving God and boldly come before the throne of His grace in our time of need.
Ephesians says that we are chosen of God, without blame, lovely, and acceptable in His sight. What a marvelous righteousness that we no longer have to feel unaccepted, unworthy, condemned, and full of blame. At Calvary, Jesus Christ obliterated all guilt, all unworthiness, all blame, and all inadequacy for all those who accept Him as their Lord and Savior. Condemnation has ruled the church for too long. Guilt has burdened the souls of God’s children for too many days and nights. Righteousness brings great confidence, trust, and security for we know who we are in Christ. We are not worms, scoundrels, deadbeats, or failures. Yahweh-Zidkenu has made you His righteousness in Christ. What a privilege and what an awesome truth that the body of Christ has been talked out of believing and claiming as a reality in their lives. This is the magnificent goodness of God- that we are righteous by heavenly decree, sealed with the blood of Christ. God’s goodness brings His righteousness. This righteousness always brings peace, rest, inward tranquility, and confidence, which enables us to walk as strong and victorious sons and daughters of God.