Grace · Righteousness

thoughts… on righteousness…

Do not present your members to sin 
as instruments of unrighteousness,
but present yourselves to God
as those who have been brought from death to life,
and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.
Romans 6:13 ESV
This verse… has formed the basis of a daily prayer… over the last couple of weeks…
Lord… I present the members of my body… to You today…
as instruments of righteousness… 
From head to toe… use me for Your purpose…

I’ve been thinking about righteousness… asking… What is it…? as I go about my days… Am I fulfilling it…?
I assume… bearing the fruit of the Spirit… is an expression of righteousness…
…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;
against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23 ESV
See…? Against such things there is no law… fruit of the Spirit… righteous…
This evening… I looked up the definition…

RIGHTEOUSNESS The establishment of a right relationship — primarily between God and people, secondarily between people themselves. Righteousness is the fulfillment of just expectations in any relationship, whether with God or other people. It is applicable at all levels of society and is relevant in every area of life. Therefore, righteousness denotes the fulfilled expectations in relationships between man and wife, parents and children, fellow citizens, and God and people. Depending on the fulfillment of one’s expectations, an individual could be called righteous and his or her acts and speech could be designated as righteous. The opposite of righteous is “evil,” “wicked,” or “wrong”.

—Tyndale Bible Dictionary

I’m surprised…

I sort of expected the definition to be more about following rules… not be centered on relationships…

But thinking about it… even for a moment… I see how relationships… right relationships… are at the center of all God’s commands…

“You shall love the Lord your God
with all your heart and with all your soul
and with all your strength and with all your mind,
and your neighbor as yourself.”
Luke 10:27 ESV
There you have it… the law… summed up… Love God… Love others…

“…All the Law and the Prophets
hang on these two commandments.” —Jesus
Matthew 22:40
This is the law we are to follow to be righteous… love God… love others…
So what does it look like… when I fail others… fail Him…? Can this somehow… be used for righteousness?

How do I make dinner… serve my family… work at the shop… and be His instrument of righteousness…?
I see in the definition… Righteousness is the fulfillment of just expectations… in any relationship…

Through Jesus alone… am I just… and only through Him… can I expect justice…
The foundation of His justice… love… and… grace
Righteousness begins… when I begin to see who I am before Him… when I rely on His love for me… when I understand my need… for His grace
Righteousness… the fulfillment… of just expectations…

Grace… a key to righteousness…

By His grace… we receive justice…
and in turn… offer grace to others…
In Him…
the only… just expectation… 
in our relationship with others…
is the giving of grace…
So when I fail… I lean on His grace…
seek forgiveness… repent…

Righteousness…

When serving my family… customers… friends… strangers…
I need to err on the side of grace
Righteousness…
Now the law came to increase the trespass,
but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,
so that, as sin reigned in death,
grace also might reign through righteousness
leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 5:20-21 ESV
Lord… grow me as an instrument of righteousness…
grow me in grace…

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