Verses for Today
Exodus 20:5b visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,
Exodus 20:6 Yet showing lovingkindness to thousands of generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments.
Psalm 89:14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; / Lovingkindness and truth go before Your face.
1 Peter 2:23 Who being reviled did not revile in return; suffering, He did not threaten but kept committing all to Him who judges righteously;
Isaiah 56:1 Thus says Jehovah, / Preserve justice and do righteousness, / For My salvation is about to come / And My righteousness is about to be revealed.
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes, both to Jew first and to Greek.
Romans 1:17a For the righteousness of God is revealed in it
The Ten Commandments also reveal that our God is righteous. Because He is righteous, He will visit those who hate Him for three or four generations. If He failed to do this, He would not be a righteous God. He must act in this way in order to indicate that He is righteous. If you hate Him, He will deal with you according to His righteousness. At the same time, however, He is merciful and loving. (Life Study of Exodus, p. 599)
When God says He will do something, He is bound by His righteousness to carry it out. This should encourage all of us. No matter what is happening around us, God is righteous. He will reward the loving seekers and He will judge the evil. The Apostle Peter said of the Lord Jesus: “Who being reviled did not revile in return; suffering, He did not threaten but kept committing all to Him who judges righteously” (1 Peter 2:23). Because God is righteous we can be like the Lord Jesus and commit all things to Him.
God is just. He judges fairly. It is therefore quite reasonable that we also come to fear God for His righteousness. This is a healthy fear of God.
God is righteous. Although He loves us, when we do something that is not right in God’s eyes, there are consequences. We should heed God’s word and be mindful that there are consequences if we do not obey His word (Church in Irvine, Lessons, God is Righteous).
With this understanding of God’s righteousness, that it is an encouragement to us in the midst of the suffering in the world, and that it is something to be feared, we want to see another awesome application of God’s righteousness. It is because God is righteous, that we are ultimately saved.
According to John 3:16, salvation is out of God’s love, and according to Ephesians 2:5 and 8, salvation is by God’s grace. But in Romans 1:17 Paul says that salvation comes by the righteousness of God. Neither love nor grace is related to the law. No law forces us to love or to give grace. Whether we love or not we are still lawful, and whether we extend grace or not we are still legal. In a sense, God is not bound to love us. Furthermore, He is not legally bound to show us grace. Righteousness, on the contrary, is very much related to the law.
Because Christ has fulfilled all the righteous requirements of God’s law, God is bound to save us. If you say, “Lord Jesus, You are my Savior,” you can turn to God and say, “God, You must forgive me, whether You like it or not. You are righteous if You forgive me, but You are unrighteous if You do not forgive me.” We can say this to God because Christ has fulfilled all the righteous requirements of the law, and, as a result, God is bound by His righteousness to save us. Righteousness, therefore, is a mighty bond God cannot escape—He must save us because He is righteous. (The Conclusion of the New Testament, (Msgs. 001-020), Chapter 9, by Witness Lee)
Even if we don’t understand the depths of God’s salvation, we should all at least see this: We are saved because of God’s righteousness. 1 John 1:9 says: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” If you want to study this application of God’s righteousness a little more, we invite you to read more on this topic.