Live In Righteousness

In my Greek class, we did a word study, where we study the meaning of a word in the original language. I decided to study the word “righteousness.” Righteousness is a word that we hear a lot in the Bible, but it seems to have a pretty ambiguous meaning. We hear the word and maybe some of us know what it means, but have a difficult time explaining it to others. In the English language, righteousness is the state of being just or righteous. However, righteousness is essentially a relational term and to be righteous is to be characterized by solid morality and integrity in relationships.

            In Hebrew, the words “tzedakah” or “tsedek” have the connotation of legal justice. Righteousness was attributed to people for just behavior in the Old Testament. Just behavior meant conformity to the Jewish Law and will of God. What we do not realize is that the law given to Israel was a set of expectations that God had for His people in their relationship with Him. When Jesus came, He explained that legal righteousness was not an end in itself, but to help the people have faith and walk with God in the footsteps of Jesus and in communion with the Holy Spirit.

            Righteousness changes based on the relationship and expectations. The expectations I have for a relationship with my friends are different than the expectations I have for a relationship with a wife. In any of those relationships, righteousness would be living up to the expectations that is yielded by the relationship. When the Bible talks about being righteous, it is for those who live up to the expectations that God has set for His people. These are found in the Law and then is given to us through relationship with Jesus.

            Jesus blood covers us and makes us righteous in his sight. We are put in right relationship with God. We must continue on the path of sanctification and continue to live in right relationship with God. This is done through spiritual disciplines such as daily devotionals and prayer. I encourage you to stay righteous and to develop your relationship with God. Listen to His voice and follow His will.