What is Righteousness According to the Bible?

For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law.  For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God.

Romans 10:3-4(NLT)

God’s righteousness is His proclamation of a person, thing, or matter; His own approval; or what He approves.

This is why He is the only one who can pronounce you guilty or not guilty and declare you right before Him by His own standards.

When Jesus was raised from the dead, you were pronounced righteous, so Jesus is God’s standard (Romans 4:25, John 14:6).

So when you place your faith in Jesus Christ, you are made righteous or right with God.

You have aligned with God’s standard for righteousness.

Righteousness is a gift that you can never work for or pay for. (Romans 5:17)

Do you work or pay for a gift?

Someone paid for it and gave it to you freely.

All an unbeliever needs to do to become righteous is to believe in Jesus Christ, who is God’s standard.

Cornelius was a “good” man, doing everything right with men, but he still hadn’t attained the righteousness of God because good works can’t save a man.

What saves a man is faith in Christ Jesus.

Peter had to be sent to preach the gospel to him because God’s righteousness is revealed in the gospel (Romans 1:16–17).

After you have received this gift of righteousness, you shouldn’t have the mindset of trying to please God or “maintain your righteousness” through your works. 

That is like trying to pay for a gift that you have already received.

The righteousness you received was by faith, meaning you believed in the finished works of Christ to receive it. 

From faith to faith means you need to continue to believe that you are right before God even when you don’t feel like it.

Remember, when you received Christ, you accepted Him as your sin-bearer, which is like laying your hands on Him, and in turn, you received His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21).

And this sacrifice is eternal.

Your responsibility is to retain the consciousness of your right standing with God, because this is what produces godly character in you.

Live free for God like a man who received a gift by no other standard but Christ.

(Romans 3:22–28 (NLT). Hebrews 10:10-14. Romans 8:1-2)

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