Marvin G. Thompson on What Practicing Righteousness Looks Like

I believe the Church is a steward of righteousness and have stated the reasons in a previous post. The Church is made up of people who have been forensically declared to be righteous by God. As such we are called to practice righteousness. But what does that righteousness look like in our everyday life? How do we, as Christians, do righteousness?

John 3:7 tells us “Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.” The practice of righteousness is not an option for Christians “For the Lord is righteous; he loves righteous deeds” (Psalm 11:7). Thus, righteousness is something that we do, and we work diligently to become good at it. In fact, being saved from sin we “have become slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:18), which means we are bound to righteousness and must be recognized by our deeds. This is very important to know and understand, especially with the current religiopolitical state of the Christian community.

According to Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, the regular use of the everyday Greek word for righteousness “fixes the meaning in the sphere of a life in conformity to a known standard or law.” This is in relation to the “covenanted” people of God and infers adherence to honesty and legality, and doing God’s will. This means there is a standard of conduct that Christians, as individuals and as the body of Christ, must abide by in the public discharge of our responsibilities.

Here is what we must understand: we cannot compromise on righteousness. Proverbs 21:3 says, “To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” Over the past two years we have seen Christians sacrifice truth, integrity, biblical values, moral standards and character for what they perceive to be good. Some will object that they did what was necessary and acted according to their conscience, but they do not understand that their actions undermined their righteousness. We are responsible to ensure that our deeds are above reproach, “So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil” (Rom. 14:16).

The practice of righteousness means having the courage to maintain our integrity regardless of the circumstance. In spite of all he had endured, Job declared that the righteous will maintain his ways (17:9). We cannot compromise our righteousness because we fear the outcome of someone else’s actions. “Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked” (Prov. 25:26). We must never be so desperate that we will turn our backs on our values. Our God will supply all that we can ever need (Phil. 4:19), and can deliver us out of all our troubles (Psalm 34:17).

The practice of righteousness means rejecting the fruits of the ungodly. Proverbs 12:12 says, “Whoever is wicked covets the spoil of evildoers, but the root of the righteous bears fruit.” We have been willing to cross morally questionable lines to win. We may not have personally done those things, but we gladly accepted the spoils. The Lord did not accept the spoils of war from Saul because they were the fruits of disobedience. Yes, the bounty were of high quality – the best of the spoils – but they were not fruits of righteousness. A thing may be intrinsically good, but the means of obtaining it can make it unacceptable.

Click here to read more.
Source: Christian Post