"Righteousness - By Faith"
Nothing more characterizes personal relationship than faith. We must know someone well to consistently trust them, believing in their integrity and reliability as based upon communication and experience. Thus, from our conception and forever thereafter, God works by creation, His Spirit, His Word, His church, and His personal involvement in our existence to reveal the trustworthiness of His character, nature, and way. This constitutes righteousness as defined by the being of God, and His accounting of believers as righteous through the Lord Jesus Christ because we relate to Him by faith.
"But without faith it is impossible to please Him. For he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6).
When we trust the Lord Jesus as Savior, and thereafter as our very life itself, we relate to God in the most personal terms. He works in our hearts, our hearts respond, and deeply within, spiritual fellowship takes place in a manner far more profoundly personal than we may realize. He knows us, we know Him, and while we presently "see through a glass darkly," we do in fact see with the eyes of our hearts eternally ancient glories of the Person and being of God (I Corinthians 13:12). As Job professed after his trial, "I have heard of Thee with the hearing of mine ear, but now mine eye seeth Thee" (Job 42:5). Job did not reference his physical vision, but rather the sight of the spirit whereby a man who once knew about God now knew God. Job discovered the trustworthiness of the Lord through the sufferings he endured, and through the Lord's gracious and faithful deliverance from trial to triumph. Where once Job knew the Lord's hand, he came to know His heart. God became vitally personal to Job, as He does to all who find His faithfulness in a manner that leads to trust.
In human relations, we do nothing more personal than trusting one another. Every good relationship in our lives depends upon such confidence given and received. This proceeds from relationship with God. He commits himself to us, we respond in faith, and a fellowship of grace and trust begins and proceeds forevermore. This is righteousness, the righteousness of relationship that leads to a corresponding life of faithfulness and "the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:11).
"Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."
Weekly Memory Verse
Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren."
(I John 3:16)