2 Corinthians 5:19–21 (NLT)
For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them… For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
Good morning Zebras,
Today’s attribute is “righteous.”
When I pulled it out of the box my immediate thought was “Yup, God is holy and righteous.” And although it is true God is both the attributes are not quite the same.
Holiness is a chief attribute of God and a quality to be developed in His people. “Holiness” and the adjective “holy” occur more than 900 times in the Bible. The primary OT word for holiness means “to cut” or “to separate.” Fundamentally, holiness is a cutting off or separation from what is unclean, and consecration to what is pure.
Righteous is the conformity to a certain set of expectations, which vary from role to role. It is the fulfillment of the 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.
Not only is God righteous, revealing his righteousness in His mighty acts, but He also expects righteousness of others, who are to reflect the nature of their Creator. The expected response to God’s rule is in the form of righteousness, that is, conformity to His rule and will. In this basic sense, Noah is called “righteous” because he walked with God and showed integrity in comparison to his contemporaries. Abraham was righteous because he ordered his life by the revealed will of God.
And that is where my problem lies. I have a tendency to start thinking about what God expects rather than what He has done and I try to earn what is already mine. And, I have found, trying to earn God’s favor is a surefire recipe for disaster, because I always fail.
I can never be holy. I can never be righteous. I can never be perfect before a Holy God. But Jesus was all of those things and because of my faith in Him so am I. And when I focus on that, suddenly the pressure is off and joy, accompanied by the desire and ability to obey, returns.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Your Son, and doing for us what we could never do for ourselves. Thank you for making us holy and righteous in Your eyes, not because of what we do, but because of what Christ did.