Thursday, November 6, 2008

What is Righteousness?

Righteousness happens in us when we become reconciled to God through Christ. We are aligned to His rightness. The evidence of being righteous is living rightly, but living rightly doesn’t make us righteous. We can’t earn it by works, but are freely given it by grace. We gain a new nature in Christ, one that is reconciled to God and is free of the impurity of sin. Evidence of that new nature is a new way of living; living from love, not from fear, or by following rules. We do what is right because we are in God’s love and it overflows from us back to Him and our fellow man. We do what is right not out of a moral obligation or duty, but because His nature flows through us.

Fear is the opposite of love. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” (I John 4:18) Love always trust, always preservers, and always hopes. It is kind. Not self seeking. It is sacrificial. It keeps no record of wrongs. It does not easily anger. It always protects. (I Cor. 13)

When we are reconciled to God’s love we are made righteous and we live lives of love. Love is perfected in us as we mature in our relationship with Him. We grow in love as we grow in Him. We do what is right because we love, not because we fear. We do what is right because we desire to, not because we ought to, because His love motivates us internally.

We drink from his eternal love; a well spring that never runs dry. We don’t depend on ourselves for the strength to “be moral” we depend on Him for a changed nature being made righteous by His sacrifice and living accordingly by His power.


Anonymous said...

Yes, god loves us so much that he will throw us into hell if we don't believe in him. With a "lover" like that, who needs enemies?

Karla said...

Anonymous, I have explained/answered you many times in reference to this. Please address the topic in your comments in the future. I don't recall talking about hell in my post, but the meaning of righteousness.

Anonymous said...

And, your "explanations/answers" aren't actually explanations or answers.

But, righteousness is tied to hell. If you are going to say that god is righteous, then you have to defend his actions as righteous. Therefore, you have to feel that sending us to hell is righteous. You also called him loving, so you must also defend the action as loving. Considering that you wouldn't put a child in the water if you knew the child would drown, I can't see how you can possibly defend god's actions.

Karla said...

I'm not God. So in reality I don't have to defend Him.

He does what is right in all things. He is the essence of rightness/righteousness. That includes justice. You might not like His justice, that doesn't mean it is not good. Good doesn't mean pleasant. Only He who is perfectly good can define good not we who are obviously not perfectly good.

Karla said...

You know it is ironic that I hear atheists bring up "hell" far more often than any Christians I know.

Anonymous said...

"He does what is right in all things. He is the essence of rightness/righteousness."

Is this one of those things you consider an "answer"? Let me explain why it is not. This was your original assertion. I countered it with an objection. You sipmly re-asserted. This is not an answer to the objection, because the objection was originally leveled at exactly what you just wrote. Hopefully you can see now why I say that you don't actually answer questions.

Another example, is the drowning issue. Again, you simply ignore the question as to whether you would let someone go swimming if you had foreknowledge they would drown. Even given the best interpretation of god's actions, he still allows us to go swimming and drown, thus ending up in hell, which is something I don't think that any moral person would allow. Face it, your arguments are terrible. They are full of holes, self-defeating, logical incoherent, based on begging the question and hoped-for blind acceptance of your assertions, etc. If someone came to you and made the same arguments as you but for a different god, you would dismiss those arguments as incredibly weak. Yet, the same exact arguments when you use them for your god are supposedly good? Please.

Anonymous said... the anonymous...GOD is GOD... its not open for debate. there is heaven and hell.. also hell was not made for humanity but some of us will end up there .Repent and believe the gosple and you will not end up in hell. so go seek what GOD,s righteousness is and do what is required of you. heaven is real and so is hell is not a debate.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the concept of God's righteousness can be reduced to an analogy as simple as allowing a child to go into the water to drown. This assumes the child does not know better and has no knowledge of the danger of water. To allow this child to drown would be unjust. However, individuals who go to hell are not in the same state of moral innocence as a child. Their denial of God is a choice and so are the consequences.