RIGHTEOUSNESS VERSUS RIGHT-LIVING BY PASTOR CHRIS OYAKHILOME.
For he hath made him to be sin for us who knew no sins; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (2 Corinthains 5:21).
One day, I asked a born again gentleman: “Are you righteous?” He paused to think for a while and replied, “I am working on it.” “So, how are you going to know when you are finally righteous” I quizzed him further. At that point, he didn’t know what more to say. Like that gentleman, many chrstians don’t think they are righteous because they equate righteousness with right-living. They look at their actions to rate their righteousness. But there is a difference between the two concepts.
The Bible says “….if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which recieve abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:17). When you received Christ into your hearts, God gave you the righteousness as a gift. It’s not something you worked for. Righteousness is the nature of God that is impacted to your human spirit that produces in you the ability to stand before God without guilt, inferiority or condemnation. Righteousness is that nature of God that produces in you, the rightness of God, and gives you right standing with God. Now, right living on the other hand is doing what is right and required of God as a way of life. They are not the same.
Right living is the product of righteousness. No man could live right until he’s first of all righteous; God can only require a man to live right after that man has been made righteous. This is the reason He imparted righteousnes to you freely. The ability to do the right things can only flow naturally from a righteous person. Now some of your actions may still be imperfect but that doesn’t in any way impact on your righteousness. What you need do is get the Word of God into you and righteousness will find expression through your actions.
When you were born again, you became as righteous as Jesus is, for you were made righteous with His righteousness. You can’t be more righteous than you are right now, for God’s roghteousness is perfect which is what you already have in Chríst–and you can’t improve on perfect. That righteousness is in your spirit, and it produces in you right living—the ability to do right!