The Righteousness Of GOD
The Righteousness of GOD, one of the most prominent attributes of GOD in the Scriptures, is also one of the most elusive. Initially, distinguishing the Righteousness of GOD from HIS Holiness or HIS Goodness seems difficult. In addition, the Righteousness of GOD is virtually synonymous with HIS Justice: While the most common Old Testament word for Just means ‘straight,’ and the New Testament word means ‘Equal,’ in a moral sense they both mean ‘Right.’ When we say that GOD is Just, we are saying that HE always does what is Right, what should be done, and that HE does it consistently, without partiality or prejudice. The word Just and the word righteous are identical in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Sometimes the translators render the original word ‘Just’ and other times ‘Righteous’ with no apparent reason (cf. Nehemiah 9:8 and 9:33 where the same word is used). But whichever word they use, it means essentially the same thing. It has to do with GOD'S actions. They are always Rght and Fair.
GOD'S Righteousness (or Justice) is the natural expression of HIS Holiness. If HE is infinitely pure, then HE must be opposed to all sin, and that opposition to sin must be demonstrated in HIS treatment of HIS creatures. When we read that GOD is Righteous or Just, we are being assured that HIS actions toward us are in perfect agreement with HIS Holy Nature.
These words by Richard Strauss bring us very close to a concise definition of Righteousness. Righteousness, in relation to men, is their conformity to a standard. Unlike men, GOD is not subject to anything outside of HIMSELF. No one states this better than A.W. Tozer:
It is sometimes said, ‘Justice requires GOD to do this,’ referring to some act we know HE will perform. This is an error of thinking as well as of speaking, for it postulates a principle of Justice outside of GOD which compels HIM to act in a certain way. Of course there is no such principle. If there were it would be superior to GOD, for only a superior power can compel obedience. The truth is that there is not and can never be anything outside of the nature of GOD which can move HIM in the least degree. All GOD'S reasons come from within HIS uncreated being. Nothing has entered the being of GOD from eternity, nothing has been removed, and nothing has been changed.
Justice, when used of GOD, is a name we give to the way GOD is, nothing more; and when GOD acts Justly HE is not doing so to conform to an independent criterion, but simply acting like HIMSELF in a given situation. . . GOD is HIS own self-existent principle of moral equity, and when HE sentences evil men or rewards the Righteous, HE simply acts like HIMSELF from within, uninfluenced by anything that is not HIMSELF.” We must then say the Righteousness of GOD is evident in the way HE consistently acts in accord with HIS own character. GOD always acts Righteously; HIS every action is consistent with HIS character. GOD is always consistently “GODLY.” GOD is not defined by the term “Righteous,” as much as the term “Righteous” is defined by GOD. GOD is not measured by the standard of Righteousness; GOD sets the standard of Righteousness. -By Bob Deffinbaugh-
Genesis 18:25- Far be it from YOU to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from YOU! Shall not the JUDGE of all the earth do what is Just?"
Judges 5:11- To the sound of musicians at the watering places, there they repeat the Righteous triumphs of The LORD, the Righteous triumphs of HIS villagers in Israel. "Then down to the gates marched the people of The LORD.
Job 34:10- Therefore, hear me, you men of understanding: far be it from GOD that HE should do wickedness, and from The ALMIGHTY that HE should do wrong.
Job 36:23- Who has prescribed for HIM HIS way, or who can say, 'YOU have done wrong
Psalm 7:9- Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end, and may YOU establish the righteous-- YOU who test the minds and hearts, O Righteous GOD!
Psalm 11:7- For the LORD is Righteous; HE loves Righteous deeds; the upright shall behold HIS Face
Psalm 33:5- HE loves Righteousness and Justice; the earth is full of the steadfast Love of The LORD.
Psalm 36:6- YOUR Righteousness is like the mountains of GOD; YOUR judgments are like the great deep; man and beast YOU save, O LORD.
Psalm 72:1- Of Solomon. Give the king YOUR justice, O GOD, and YOUR Righteousness to the royal son!
Psalm 88:12- Are YOUR wonders known in the darkness, or YOUR Righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?
Psalm 89:16- who exult in YOUR Name all the day and in YOUR Righteousness are exalted.
Psalm 92:15- To declare that the LORD is upright; HE is my rock, and there is no Unrighteousness in HIM.
Psalm 119:40- Behold, I long for YOUR Precepts; in YOUR Righteousness give me life!
Psalm 119:142- YOUR Righteousness is Righteous forever, and YOUR Law is true.
Psalm 143:1- A Psalm of David. Hear my prayer, O LORD; give ear to my pleas for Mercy! In YOUR Faithfulness answer me, in YOUR Righteousness!
Psalm 145:17- The LORD is Righteous in all HIS ways and kind in all HIS works
Hosea 14:9- For the ways of THE LORD are Right and the upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble.
Isaiah 5:16- But the LORD of hosts is exalted in Justice, and the Holy God shows HIMSELF Holy in Righteousness.
Isaiah 41:10- Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am YOUR GOD; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with MY Righteous Right Hand.
Isaiah 45:24- Only in THE LORD is Righteousness and Strength.
Isaiah 45:19- I did not speak in secret, in a land of darkness; I did not say to the offspring of Jacob, 'Seek ME in vain.' I The LORD speak The Truth; I declare what is Right.
Isaiah 56:1- Thus says the LORD: "Keep Justice, and do Righteousness, for soon MY salvation will come, and MY Righteousness be revealed.
Jeremiah 2:5- Thus says the LORD: "What wrong did your fathers find in ME that they went far from ME, and went after worthlessness, and became worthless.
Jeremiah 4:2- and if you swear, 'As the LORD lives,' in truth, in Justice, and in Righteousness, then nations shall bless themselves in HIM, and in HIM shall they Glory."
Jeremiah 9:23,24- Thus says The LORD: "Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows ME, that I AM The LORD who practices steadfast love, Justice, and Righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD."
Micah 7:9- I will bear the indignation of the LORD because I have sinned against him, until he pleads my cause and executes judgment for me. He will bring me out to the light; I shall look upon his vindication.
Acts 17:30,31- The times of ignorance GOD overlooked, but now HE commands all people everywhere to repent, because HE has fixed a day on which HE will judge the world in Righteousness by a MAN whom HE has appointed; and of this HE has given assurance to all by raising HIM from the dead."
-Ascribed By People-
Exodus 9:27- Then Pharaoh sent and called Moses and Aaron and said to them, "This time I have sinned; the LORD is in the right, and I and my people are in the wrong.
Ezra 9:15- O LORD, The GOD of Israel, you are Just, for we are left a remnant that has escaped, as it is today. Behold, we are before YOU in our guilt, for none can stand before YOU because of this."
Job 36:3- I will get my knowledge from afar and ascribe Righteousness to my Maker.
Psalm 5:8- Lead me, O LORD, in YOUR Righteousness because of my enemies; make your way straight before me.
Psalm 48:10- As YOUR name, O GOD, so YOUR praise reaches to the ends of the earth. YOUR Right Hand is filled with Righteousness.
Psalm 71:15,19- My mouth will tell of YOUR Righteous acts, of YOUR deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge. YOUR Righteousness, O GOD, reaches the high heavens. YOU who have done great things, O GOD, who is like YOU?
Psalm 89:14- Righteousness and Justice are the foundation of YOUR Throne; steadfast Love and Faithfulness go before you.
Psalm 97:2- Clouds and thick darkness are all around HIM; Righteousness and Justice are the foundation of HIS Throne.
Psalm 116:5- Gracious is The LORD, and Righteous; our GOD is Merciful.
Psalm 145:7,17- They shall pour forth the fame of YOUR abundant Goodness and shall sing aloud of YOUR Righteousness. The LORD is Righteous in all HIS ways and kind in all HIS works.
Jeremiah 12:1- Righteous are YOU, O LORD, when I complain to YOU; yet I would plead my case before YOU. Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all who are treacherous thrive?
Daniel 9:7,14- To YOU, O LORD, belongs Righteousness, but to us open shame, as at this day, to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, those who are near and those who are far away, in all the lands to which YOU have driven them, because of the treachery that they have committed against YOU. Therefore The LORD has kept ready the calamity and has brought it upon us, for The LORD our GOD is Righteous in all the works that HE has done, and we have not obeyed HIS voice.
2 Timothy 4:8- Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which The LORD, the Righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved HIS appearing.
-Ascribed By JESUS-
John 17:25- O Righteous FATHER, even though the world does not know YOU, I know YOU, and these know that YOU have sent me.
-Ascribed By The Angel-
Revelation 16:5- And I heard the angel in charge of the waters say, "Just are YOU, O Holy ONE, who is and who was, for you brought these judgments.
-Revealed In The Heavens-
Psalm 50:6- The heavens declare HIS Righteousness, for GOD HIMSELF is Judge! Selah
-Revealed In The Gospel-
Romans 1:16,17- For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the Power of GOD for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the
Righteousness of GOD is revealed from faith for faith,as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith.
Romans 3:4-6- By no means! Let GOD be true though every one were a liar, as it is written, "That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged." But if our unrighteousness serves to show the Righteousness of GOD, what shall we say? That GOD is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) By no means! For then how could GOD judge the world?
Romans 3:21-23- But now the Righteousness of GOD has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it, the Righteousness of GOD through faith in JESUS CHRIST for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of GOD.
Romans 10:3-4- For, being ignorant of the Righteousness of GOD, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to GOD’S Righteousness. For CHRIST is the end of the law for Righteousness to everyone who believes.
2 Peter 1:1- Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of JESUS CHRIST, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the Righteousness of our GOD and SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST:
Psalm 119:142,144- YOUR Righteousness is Righteous forever, and YOUR Law is true. YOUR Testimonies are Righteous forever; give me understanding that I may live.
Isaiah 51:8- For the moth will eat them up like a garment, and the worm will eat them like wool; but MY Righteousness will be forever, and MY Salvation to all generations.