Righteousness, Peace and Joy
Sin is the result of believing a lie, righteousness is the result of believing God
We were experiencing revival in our Kingdom Celebration ministry in The Philippines. Kids, youth, and adults were falling in love with Jesus and rejoicing in the presence of God. Many manifestations of the Holy Spirit were evident, all the normal things that seem to accompany revival. Gifts of the Holy Spirit began to be revealed and demonstrated, especially in the youth. Several of the young people began to have dreams and visions. This is what we had been praying for. I thought the people are at a new level of spiritual maturity from now on their focus will be on loving God and living for Him; and that has been true for some of the people.
However, as time went on I began to see that some lives were not changed and some who had wonderful encounters with the Lord turned back to their old way of life. I wondered how someone could be touched by God’s love in a powerful way and later seem to forget about Him. As I began to seek the Lord about this a portion of scripture repeatedly came to my mind. “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne”. It is part of a Bible verse from Psalms chapter 89.
Righteousness is Relationship with God
I thought if righteousness and justice are the foundation of God’s throne then that should be the foundation of our lives also. Could it be that we had overlooked the foundation teaching of righteousness, I wondered? Righteousness is the foundation of the finished work that Jesus accomplished on the cross. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2nd Corinthians 5:20-21 NKJV) Righteousness is received by believing that Jesus took your sins on the cross and gave you His righteousness. You receive righteousness by faith and you continue to walk in righteousness by faith. Sin is the result of believing a lie; righteousness comes from believing God.
A person can have great gifts, great talents and great experiences given by God; however, we must learn to submit to God’s will in all things. When the Lord gives spiritual gifts He does not take them back. We can not assume that even the manifestation of a spiritual gift is God’s approval of a person. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. (Romans 11:29 NKJV) Everything that is good comes from God. The things that God gives to us can be used to do His will or our will. Relationship with God and learning to do the will of the Father is the goal.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7:21-23 NKJ)
Jesus spent the first thirty years of His life on earth developing His relationship with the Father before He began His ministry, which only lasted three years. Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. (Hebrews 5:8 NKJV) We know that Jesus’ life on earth was our model of a perfect life. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:8 NKJV) Jesus’ obedience to the Father was because He knew the Father and loved the Father more than His own life. Jesus trusted the Fathers’ will more than His will; He was willing to give up His will to do the Father’s will. Jesus said that He only did what He saw his Father do and say what He heard the Father say. Jesus used all the authority and power He was given to do the Father’s will.
As we grow in our relationship with the Lord we learn to trust God’s will more than our own. When we offer God the sacrifice of love, obedience; giving up what we think we want to do, to do what we know God wants us to do, we then enter into the joy of the Lord and the many blessings of righteousness. We actually walk right into our destiny and receive the desires of our heart by obeying God’s will. When we trust Him to the point of obedience He leads us to the desires of our heart. When it seems that God is leading us away from our heart desires but we obey we then discover that God had a better way. Since the time of Adam and Eve the choice has always been and continues to be God’s way or my way. When my way looks better than God’s way it is deception. Sin comes from believing a lie, righteousness comes from believing God. God’s way is always the way of love.
Righteousness is all about your relationship with God. The most important thing to God is your relationship with Him. This should be our most important priority also. All the blessings revealed in the Bible are for the righteous. Righteousness means right relationship with God; peace with God, peace is unity. The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever, (Isaiah 32:17 NIV). Therefore, having been justified [made righteous] by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (Romans 5:1 NKJV).
Righteousness is Faith Working by Love
Everything we receive from God is by His grace, through faith, not because we deserve it. We can not be righteous by our own efforts. When we believe the promises of God, to the point of obedience, then we receive the promises of God. Righteousness is given by God to those who believe Him. For what does the Scripture say? “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS ACCOUNTED TO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS”, (Romans 4:3 NKJV). Righteousness is received by grace through faith. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation, (Romans 10:10 NKJV) Sin is the result of believing a lie; righteousness comes from believing God.
Righteousness is putting your trust in God more than you trust yourself. Righteousness is expressed by walking in love, with God, and toward people. Righteousness is a lifestyle of walking in love. Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God, (Ephesians 5:1-2 TNIV). The greater the love the greater the willing sacrifice. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. (John 15:12-14 NKJV)
Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness, (Genesis 15:6 NIV). The word used for righteousness in this verse is the Hebrew word Ts’dakah. In the One New Man Bible, which is a translation that seeks to make the Jewish Roots of Christianity come to life; Ts’dakah is translated “acts of loving kindness”. So, in the One New Man Bible Genesis 15:6 reads, “And he believed in the LORD, and He counted it to him for acts of loving kindness.” (Genesis 15:6 ONMB). Truly, righteousness is walking in love.
The One New Man Bible Glossary explains why they translated righteousness this way. Ts’dakah is placed here in Glossary because of the expression “loving kindness.” Ts’dakah is almost always translated “acts of loving kindness” in this Bible. Most translations have Ts’dakah as “righteousness” but that is really too weak because righteousness means to do what is right, to be just – which God requires. The word Tsedek is a masculine noun meaning righteousness.
Ts’dakah is a feminine noun meaning to do more than is required, such as to do more than just the minimum for someone who is hurting; to truly love your neighbor as yourself. The term is also applied to giving beyond the tithe to charities. Therefore Ts’dakah is translated “acts of loving kindness.” Ts’dakah is to be done in love, cheerfully, with no thought of a reward.
This definition of righteousness also fits the definition of “agape”, the Greek word for love which is used in the New Testament. Agape means actions of compassion. Compassion is the kind of love God is. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. (1st John 4:8-9 NKJV) Righteousness is living in God’s love, becoming like Him, by loving like Him. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. (1st John 4:16-17 NKJV)
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Lovingkindness and truth go before You. How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! O LORD, they walk in the light of Your countenance. In Your name they rejoice all the day, And by Your righteousness they are exalted. (Psalms 89:14-16 NASB) I believe that when your life harmonizes with God a joyful sound is produced which you can feel. It is the sound and feeling of connecting with God in right relationship; the result is joy and peace. For the Kingdom of God is not eating and drinking,
but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, (Romans 14:17 NKJV). The righteous walk in the light and love of God’s presence. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of joy above Your fellows, (Psalms 45:7 NASB).
Jesus says, “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you”, (John 15:9-12 NKJV). The fruit of righteousness is always joy and peace; in the same way the fruit of love is always joy and peace. Righteousness is love in action, believing and doing.
Righteousness is faith working by love. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love. (Galatians 5:6 NKJV) Righteousness is called a breastplate in the armor of God, it guards your heart. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, (Ephesians 6:14 NKJV). The breastplate of righteousness is also called the breastplate of faith and love. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation, (1st Thessalonians 5:8 NKJV).
“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you”, (Matthew 6:31-33 NKJV). Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. (Matthew 5:6 NKJV)
For the LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness; The upright will behold His face. (Psalms 11:7 NASB)
That the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace, (Romans 8:2-6 NKJV).
In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, (1st John 3:10-11 NKJV).
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord, (Ephesians 5:8-10 NKJV).
But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—that, as it is written, “HE WHO GLORIES, LET HIM GLORY IN THE LORD”, (1 Corinthians 1:30-31 NKJV).
The righteous live by faith. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” (Romans 1:16-17 NKJV)