“but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises loving-kindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD
Jesus Is Righteous
In last week’s devotion we discussed the justice of Jesus. Jesus is Judge of the living and the dead. God’s will is action oriented and He delights to love, to do justice and to do righteousness. Today we are going to focus on the righteousness of God.
How do we know what is the right thing to do? What is right? If left to our own sinful virtues we would have no clue other than what we think is right. We would be left to determine what is right based on our own feelings, thoughts and actions. As a Christian I now understand that not having a standard to follow can be a scary thing. Christ is our standard, He is God and He is what is right.
The definition of righteousness encompasses things like integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking, feeling and acting. We have been thinking about the righteousness of God when we think about His holiness, love and justice. Everything God enjoys doing is righteous. He never makes a mistake in His thoughts, words and deeds. Whatever He thinks, says and does is always right. Righteousness is everything that He is.
Knowing this about God should cause us to rejoice in Him. Currently we live in a sinful world. There are wars, rumors of wars, greed, envy, strife, dissensions, murders and a host of other struggles that can make anyone anxious. The crazy thing is that these struggles not only take place in the world but they take place in our own hearts. Why should we rejoice? Because God planned every bit of it and because God planned it we can rest in Christ knowing that these circumstances are right. He planned it all so that He could display the righteousness of Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ. All things were created through Him and for Him!
What do we see in Christ? Colossians 2:9 reads, “For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form.” I can see this verse as saying Jesus encompasses all that God is. In His first coming we see His love for sinners. We see how He mingled with them and wasn’t ashamed to be numbered with them both in His life and death. He lived a life of sinless perfection and died on the cross a sinners death. His actions were 100% for the benefits of others and this was the right thing to do because His actions are who He is. God extends mercy and grace to us who are lost and this is the right thing to do. Those who do not repent and follow Christ will live in eternal torment and this is also the right thing to do. He never does anything wrong! Jesus is righteous.
We can rest in this as Christians as it His righteousness that is given to us when we repent and follow Christ. Jesus Christ’s position is our righteousness. He is our good standing before God and we receive all that Christ is as a child of God. In addition, as we grow in obedience to Christ through His word we practice His righteousness. When we obey His commands in thought, word and deed, it is Christ living through us. Hopefully this thought puts another nail in the legalism coffin. These works are not ours.
What a thought that everything that we experience is right and comes from the hands of an awesome God who does nothing wrong! The righteousness that gets credited to us upon salvation is the righteousness of Christ! The righteousness we perform when obey Christ is not ours but Christ’s. How does this change your outlook on your circumstances and your obedience? The God whose pleasure it is to love, do justice and righteous is in control of every moment of your life. What a thought! May this fuel your worship!