"Just and Righteous"
Just? - Justified!
When the Bible speaks of a human being as being just or righteous, the person has actually been justified or accounted righteous through the grace of God.
"He (Abram) believed in the LORD; and He counted it to him for righteousness" (Genesis 15:6).
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1).
Recall our working definition of righteousness, that something is what it should be according to God and His standard of rightness. Remember also that nothing can be just apart from the Lord because all created things depend upon Him for existence and for being what they should be. "All things were made by Him… By Him all things consist… "Quicken me in Thy righteousness" (John 1:3; Colossians 1:17; Psalm 119:40). This is particularly true of human beings, who despite our fallen sinfulness, are counted as redeemable in God's sight through the atoning grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, we can become righteous, being justified when we trust in the Lord Jesus, and being "made the righteousness of God in Him" (II Corinthians 5:21). No independent or achieved righteousness is possible, but rather a God-provided and received state of rightness through Christ. "David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works" (Romans 4:6).
When we believe in the Lord Jesus, our Heavenly Father spiritually enrobes us in Christ's righteousness. Just as our sins were imputed to Him on the cross, so His righteousness is imputed to us in the cradle of our new birth. We become just and right in God's sight because the Holy Spirit unites with us the Lord Jesus, the bond for which God made the human race. "Ye are builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit" (Ephesian 2:22). Until Christ inhabits us, we are wrong in our being, or in the terms of our current consideration, we exist as unrighteous and unjust. The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit changes everything as God births a "new man, created in righteousness and true holiness" (Ephesians 4:24). Thereafter, our Heavenly Father accounts us righteous and justified as He sees us in Christ, and Christ in us.
Justification and righteousness first involve a state of being, namely, God grants to us this spiritual constitution of rightness as a free gift provided in the salvation of the Lord Jesus. By Him, through Him, and in Him, we are just and righteous. We may or may not live accordingly, but nothing changes the grace provided being and standing of our justifying union with Christ. "He hath made us accepted in the Beloved" (Ephesians 1:6). Discovering and growing in this blessed truth of our Savior makes it far more likely that we will walk in accordance with who He is, and with who we are in Him. Just? Justified! Righteous? Made righteous! In Christ!
"To him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."
"Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of One the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous."
Next: The fruits of righteousness
Weekly Memory Verse
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.