“For in it [the gospel] the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘But the righteous man shall live by faith’.” Romans 1:17.
It is absolutely critical to understand what righteousness is, whether our own or God’s. If it is revealed in the gospel – and Paul says it is – then we must strive to understand it. To understand we must first rightly define righteousness, biblically.
This has been the failure of the church for several decades. Instead of rightly seeing the righteousness of God in the gospel, many have concluded that God is ONLY love. This is neither true nor is it conveyed in Scripture.
It has become commonplace to redefine terms or simply ignore them outright. Many “christians” believe the gospel is about social justice, liberating the oppressed of our culture, and making the goal material blessings in this life. This is NOT what Paul is describing in Romans.
A Right Definition
Righteousness has everything to do with the law. More specifically, the law of God. Human righteousness is about conforming to God’s will and His law. you can also define righteousness as meeting the requirements of God’s law. Therefore, by definition, sin is not keeping God’s law or meeting its requirements. In fact, the Apostle John gives this very definition for sin in 1 John 3:4.
Understanding righteousness is a primary component to understanding the gospel of Christ. It also helps us define “the righteousness of God” that is revealed in the gospel. This, we will address next time. In this episode, we explore the meaning of righteousness, how we fail to be righteous, and why this is a problem.