Righteousness means innocence, but in the context of the Sacred Scripture it most often refers to a spiritual state of man that makes him pleased before God. There is a real righteousness, which is based on relationship with God and other kinds of righteousness, invented by people to highlight their personal religiosity. In the famous Sermon on the Mount (Gospel of Matthew 5-7) Lord Jesus presented the truth about true righteousness in contrast to that invented by men. Here are key things every person needs to know if he wants to have a real righteousness.
True righteousness brings true happiness
Lord Jesus said:
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. (Matthew 5:6)(NASB)
True righteousness is neither food nor drink, and it has no relationship with them, but when he spoke so, Lord Jesus sought to show that true righteousness is a man’s vital need, which transcends hunger and thirst put together. There are people who are eager to have a relationship with God, that is true righteousness and put on it a higher price than on food and drink. These people will be satisfied, that means that their desire for righteousness will be satisfied, fulfilled and it really makes them happy.
True happiness attracts persecution
This thing amazes because all of us believe that those who do evil are persecuted and not those who do good. That is why Lord Jesus said:
“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:10-12)(NASB)
Therefore, no wonder, and do not think you are not on the right way since you believe in God wholeheartedly, you signed a covenant with the Lord Jesus and you started being persecuted.
True righteousness is prerequisite to enter the kingdom of heaven
Pharisees were a strict religious party, who have put forward many rules invented by them believing that this would be more pleasing to God and they would enter the kingdom of heaven. But when Lord Jesus was speaking to crowds and his disciples He said:
For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:20)(NASB)
Pharisees and scribes became hypocrites and all their righteousness they practiced before men so that they might be seen and glorified by people. They ignored the following very, very important fact.
True righteousness is practiced before God
Lord Jesus warned the listeners of the Sermon on the Mount and all of us about how true righteousness is practiced when He said:
Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 6:1)(NASB)
What are the facts of your righteousness? How and why do you act this way?
True righteousness is No.1 priority
True righteousness gives us access to God’s kingdom and provides our happiness on this earth. Therefore, God teaches us to make it a priority, and Jesus said:
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33)(NASB)
Where are your efforts directed? What is the place of true righteousness in your priority list? Do not let other things deviate you from the most important thing you need to be happy on this earth and to enter the kingdom of God.
Translated by Felicia Rotaru