What is Righteousness? According to Webster’s New International Dictionary of the English Language …… Righteousness is:
* Holiness, purity, uprightness, rectitude
* A righteous act or righteous quality
* The act or conduct of one who is righteous
* The state of being right with God; justification, the work of Christ, which is the ground of justification
Now that we know what righteousness is --- is it possible to be righteous apart from God? According to a Prophet named Isaiah who wrote the book bearing his name, “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away” (Isa.64:6).
Isaiah was saying, even in our best attempts to do good things, in light of the perfection and glory of God, we are nothing and no matter what we do, it will always fall short of the glory of God. However, because God desires to have relationship with us ---- He extends His mercy to us, a sinful people and accepts us as we are. Because of our faith in His finished work upon the cross and His saving cleansing power, we are made righteous in his sight. It’s like he strips us of those filthy rags and gives us new garments to wear and invites us to sit at the King’s table. Yahooo!
In the book of Romans, the author Paul said that there was no one who was righteous -not even one. He said that we all have turned away and that there is no one who does good. No one will be declared righteous by observing the law, or by doing right things according to Paul. Does this mean we shouldn’t do right things? Absolutely not! We should do right things, but we should be aware that those “right things” we do --- do not make us RIGHTEOUS apart from God. We must realize that everything we do is only righteous because we are now in and one with Christ since we have made Him Lord of our life.
“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags..." Isaiah 64:6