Righteousness

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WHAT does the Lord love?
“For the righteous Lord loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.” Psalm 11:7

2. Who is righteous?
“Little children, let no man deceive you; he that doeth
righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.” 1 John 3:7

3. Who are not of God?
“In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil; whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth his brother.” 1 John 3:10

4. What is unrighteousness?
“All unrighteousness is sin; and there is a sin not unto death.” 1 John 5:17

5. What is sin?
“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law; for sin is the transgression of the law.” 1 John 3:4

6. Are all the commandments of the law of God righteous?
“My tongue shall speak of thy word; for all thy commandments are righteousness.” Psalm 119:172

7. From where did God first meet with His people to declare His righteous commandments?
“Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments and true laws, good statutes and commandments.” Nehemiah 9:13

8. What other more specific way are the “good” commandments given at Sinai referred to in Scripture?
“And the Lord spake unto you out of the midst of the fire; ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice. And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone.” Deuteronomy 4:12, 13

9. What did Moses say should be the righteousness of the people?
“And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do
all these commandments before the Lord our God, as he hath commanded us.” Deuteronomy 6:25

10. What did Solomon‒the wisest man whoever lived‒declare regarding the standard of righteousness mentioned above?
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13

“To keep God’s commandments, to discharge the various duties which He has appointed—this is the very best use which we can make of life; this is the highest good to which we can attain, amid all the difficulties, disappointments, sorrows, uncertainties, transitoriness and mystery of our present existence. And, in order that our souls may be sustained in living this life of godliness and virtue, we are ever to remember that we are responsible creatures; we are to look forward to a future life and a future judgment. To live in the light of that coming judgment leads us to keep watch even over our secret conduct, and deepens our reverence for all God’s holy laws…. The New Testament fully endorses the idea that the ‘chief good’ for man lies in a life of godliness and virtue. The gospel, it is true, seeks to infuse a spirit of love and trust into our reverence for God; but it does not abolish this reverence. It reveals to us a ‘Father in heaven’ whose ‘name’ is to be ‘hallowed.’ It proclaims, indeed, the forgiving mercy of God, and offers pardon to the ‘chief of sinners’; but it does not lessen the sanctity of God’s law, or relax the demands of that law on our conscience. It points us to our great High Priest who has offered the perfect sacrifice of Himself upon the cross. It gives us a still larger view of the Divine commandments, and seeks to bring us into harmony with their inmost spirit. It does not ‘make void the law through faith’; it ‘establishes the law.’ The Saviour whom it proclaims to us is the King whom we are bound to obey, and who said, ‘Think not that I came to destroy the law or the prophets; I came not to destroy, but to fulfil.’”—The Great Texts of the Bible – James Hastings

11. Did Paul, as did Moses, teach that the righteousness of the law should be fulfilled in Christians?
That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” 1 Romans 8:4

That the righteousness of the law – That we might be conformed to the Law, or be obedient to its requirements, and no longer under the influence of the flesh and its corrupt desires.

Might be fulfilled – That we might be obedient, or comply with its demands.”—Notes on the Bible by Albert Barnes [1834]

12. What do sinners obey?
“But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey
the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and
wrath.”  Romans 2:8

“…who act under the influence of the principle of sin, and not under the influence of the Spirit of God.”—Commentary on the Bible, by Adam Clarke [1831]

13. By what should sinners break off from their sins?
“Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquility” Daniel 4:27

Break off.—The metaphor is taken from a refractory beast casting off the yoke. (Comp. Genesis 27:40, where it is foretold that Esau’s posterity shall “break off” the yoke of Jacob.) In Chaldee the word is used for the most part in the sense of putting on one side. Daniel therefore counsels the king to rebel against his sins, such as pride, harshness, and cruelty towards his captives, and to put all these sins aside. And how can he do this in a better manner than by practising the contrary virtues?”—Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers

14. Is the righteousness of God’s law everlasting?
“Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth. The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting; give me understanding, and I shall live.” Psalm 119:142, 144

15. How long will every one of these righteous judgments endure?
“Thy word is true from the beginning; and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.” Psalm 119:160

16. Will this righteousness ever be abolished?
“Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath; for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner; but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.” Isaiah 51:6

17. What people know righteousness?
“Hearken unto me ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.” Isaiah 51:7

18. Was the law in the heart of Christ?
“Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” Psalm 40:7, 8

19. Is it to be in the hearts of his people?
“But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Jeremiah 31:33

“I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; not the ceremonial law, which was abolished when this covenant was made; but rather the moral law still in force, which is a transcript of the nature and will of God; was inscribed on Adam’s heart in innocence; is greatly obliterated by sin; a contrary disposition to it is in man; this is reinscribed in regeneration; and hence a regard is had to it by regenerate persons, in which lies part of their conformity to Christ.”— Exposition of the Entire Bible by John Gill [1746-63]

20. Was it prophesied of Christ that he should preach righteousness?
I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest.” Psalm 40:9

21. How did he preach it in the congregation?
“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:17-20

22. What tendeth to life?
“As righteousness tendeth to life; so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death.” Proverbs 11:19

“And he said unto him, why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God; but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” Matthew 19:17

“Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” Revelation 22:14

23. What is the Savior of sinners called?
“In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Jeremiah 23:6

“He is righteous himself, and through him all his people are made righteous. Christ shall break the usurped power of Satan. All the spiritual seed of believing Abraham and praying Jacob shall be protected, and shall be saved from the guilt and dominion of sin. In the days of Christ’s government in the soul, the soul dwells at ease. He is here spoken of as the Lord our Righteousness. He is so our Righteousness as no creature could be. His obedience unto death is the justifying righteousness of believers, and their title to heavenly happiness. And their sanctification, as the source of all their personal obedience is the effect of their union with him, and of the supply of this Spirit. By this name every true believer shall call him, and call upon him. We have nothing to plead but this, Christ has died, yea, rather is risen again; and we have taken him for our Lord. This righteousness which he has wrought out to the satisfaction of law and justice, becomes ours; being a free gift given to us, through the Spirit of God, who puts it upon us, clothes us with it, enables us to lay hold upon it, and claim an interest in it. The Lord our Righteousness is a sweet name to a convinced sinner; to one that has felt the guilt of sin in his conscience; seen his need of that righteousness, and the worth of it. This great salvation is far more glorious than all former deliverances of his church. May our souls be gathered to Him, and be found in him.”—Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible by Matthew Henry

24. How can sinners obtain righteousness?
“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” Romans 3:24, 25

25. What are the conditions on which it is to be Attained?
“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:10

For with the heart — Not with the understanding only; man believeth unto righteousness — So as to obtain justification, regeneration, and holiness, in all its branches; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation — So as to obtain eternal salvation. For if we so believe in Christ as to become truly righteous, and manifest that we are so by confessing him to be the Messiah, the Son of God, the Saviour of the world, when such a confession might deprive us of our property, our liberty, and our lives, we must, of course, love him better than any or all of these things; and therefore we willingly part with them for his sake. And being thus crucified to the world, and all visible and temporal things, our affections will be set on things above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God: and consequently, when he shall appear we shall appear with him in glory.”—Joseph Benson’s Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

26. What is this imputed righteousness called?
Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference.” Romans 3:22

27. When freed from sin by faith and obedience, what do we become?
“Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” Romans 6:18

“‘Being then made free from sin.’ That is, as a master. You are not under its dominion; you are no longer its slaves. They were made free, as a servant is who is set at liberty, and who is, therefore, no longer under obligation to obey.

Ye became the servants … – You became voluntarily under the dominion of righteousness; you yielded yourselves to it; and are therefore bound to be holy.”—Notes on the Bible by Albert Barnes [1834]

28. With what will the people be judged?
“He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment.” Psalm 72:2

29. Who shall dwell in the Lord’s holy hill?
“LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.” Psalm 15:1, 2

30. What will dwell in the new earth?
“Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” 2 Peter 3:13

31. Who shall inherit it, and dwell therein forever?
“The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.” Psalm 37:29

32. What New Testament passage clearly and dramatically echoes to the Church the harmonious teachings presented in the three preceding passages?
“Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” Revelation 22:14

“The reading of two of the best MSS. is, ‘Blessed are they that wash their robes.’ If we adopt, as we probably ought, this reading, the line of thought suggested above is helped forward: there is in Him who is the First and the Last, refuge from the power of sin and law against which such solemn warning has been given. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin: the best who have striven and conquered were victors not by their own might, but by the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 12:11).…The special blessing held out to those who wash their robes (or do His commandments) is the right or authority over the tree of life. Blessed are they . . . that they may have (and continue to have) authority over the tree of life, and that they may enter in by the gates into the city.”—Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers

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