In the sermon on the mount Christ exhorts His listeners to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. So what is the righteousness of God, and why is it so important that we are to seek it on an equal level of priority as His kingdom?
James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
Romans 7:7 ¶ What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.
9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.
11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.
12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
Righteousness is holiness; likeness to God, and God is love. (1 John 4:16) It is conformity to the law of God, for “all Thy commandments are righteousness” Psalm 119:72, and “love is the fulfilling of the law”. Rom 13:10
Righteousness is love, and love is the true light and life of God. The righteousness of God is embodied in Christ, and we receive righteousness by receiving Him.
Jesus speaking….“But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness”.…(Matt 6:33)
Yes, it is only faith, but to what purpose? Just so we can get to heaven and that’s it? We have this wonderful gift of faith and exercise it for just our benefit, for our own selfish eternal ends? Jesus said we must seek the kingdom of God yes, and we ought always be grateful for the salvation/redemption through the shed blood that makes that possible, but Jesus said that we , in equal importance to the kingdom, seek also God’s righteousness.
I think we ought to know what precisely God’s righteousness is.
1 Cor 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
Rom.5:17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.
It is evident that the righteousness which comes to us as a free gift by faith is the righteousness of God….so again, what is the righteousness of God?
Psalm 119:172 ¶ My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.
The commandments of God are righteousness…not just in the abstract, but they are the righteousness of God.
Isa 51:6 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.
7 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 reviling.
They who know righteousness are those in whose heart is God’s law, thus the law of God is the righteousness of God. We can prove this another way….
All unrighteousness is sin….1 John 5:17 and whosoever commits sin transgresseth also the law, for sin is the transgression of the law 1 John 3:4
Sin is the transgression of the law, and it is also unrighteousness, therefore sin and unrighteousness are the same. So if unrighteousness is transgression against the law, surely righteousness must be obedience to the law. Now we need to know “what law”?
It is the law which says “thou shalt not covet”. because Paul tells us that is was that law which convinced him of sin. (Romans 7:7.) The law of ten commandments then, is the measure of the righteousness of God. Since it is the law of God, and is righteousness, it must be the righteousness of God. In fact, there really is no other righteousness. It is a written manifestation of the character and nature of God. God is also love, and Paul tells us that love is the fulfilling of the law. Thus if we are to seek God’s righteousness, then we are to seek obedience, through faith, to God’s law, by love. Thus rather than doing away with the law, (how can it be possible to do away with God’s righteousness?) through love we establish the law. All by faith. Not our righteousness, but God’s.
So Solomon was perfectly correct and agreed with the text of Matt 6:33 when he said:
“Let us hear the conclusion to the whole matter: fear God and keep His commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether they be good, or whether they be evil.” Eccl 12:13, 14.
- Define Righteousness… (kswpgoodfriends.wordpress.com)
- No Righteousness of My Own: The Active Obedience of Christ (reformedreader.wordpress.com)
- Clothed in Christ Righteousness (bummyla.wordpress.com)
- Alien Righteousness (deathandlifefaith.wordpress.com)