Vol. 16 No. 7 – February 12, 2017
Vs. 9, (continued).
Eph 5:9, “(For the fruit of the light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth).”
Next, we have, “Righteousness,” DIKAIOSUNE, δικαιοσύνη that means, “righteousness, equity, or justice.” The concept of DIKAIOSUNE involves two basic meanings: First, “righteousness” is seen from a legal/political standpoint. Second, it is viewed from the religious/ethical/moral perspective. As such, it has the powerful connotation of virtue. It basically means to do that which is right. As such, the light of God should cause believers to treat other people fairly or with justice. This righteousness stems from our union with the light, being “in Christ,” and has a practical sense of everyday living and conduct.
In regard to God’s righteousness, righteousness is the principle of Divine integrity, while justice is the function of Divine integrity. Therefore, what the righteousness of God demands His justice satisfies. God’s righteousness is the guardian of God’s justice. Justice guards the rest of the essence of God including His holiness. Therefore, God’s holiness is absolutely maintained by His righteousness in all that He thinks and does; as it should for us too. When His righteousness combines with His love, it results in grace. When God makes a decision, says something, or performs an act, it is harmonized with His righteousness and justice and therefore is absolutely holy in character and nature.
In the application of righteousness in the believer’s life, we too must function with integrity where God’s righteousness demands that we avoid sin and walk in love, light, and wisdom, being gracious towards others, and treating people fairly and with justice. When we do, it also guards our souls as we walk in holiness.
In addition, the righteousness of God is defined as perfect goodness, sinless in character and person; therefore, to produce Divine righteousness, we need to walk absent of sin and apply AGAPE Love towards are fellow man.
The righteousness of God is available to anyone who believes in Christ, Rom 3:22. It is imputed to believers at the moment of salvation; it is a Divine judicial imputation. Therefore, positionally we stand in God’s righteousness daily.
Rom 3:22, “Even the righteous-ness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe; for there is no distinction, (between Jew and Gentile),”
Positionally, righteousness is not attainable through man’s efforts; it is a gift of God. It is solely experienced because of God’s sovereign act, His judicial imputation, His gracious, and His decisive intervention for man in Christ, 1 Cor 1:30.
1 Cor 1:30, “But by His (God the Father’s) doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.”
Likewise, our experiential righteousness is not attainable through human power and efforts, but only through the power of God, (the Light), working inside of us through faith. As such, experiential righteousness is expressed by our actions as we confirm our relationship with God through them, Rom 6:13, 16ff.; 2 Cor 6:7; 9:10; Phil 1:11; 2 Tim 3:16; cf. James 2:19-20.
Rom 6:12-13, “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts, 13and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.”
2 Cor 9:10, “Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food, will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.”
James 2:19-20, “You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. 20But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless/dead?”
Therefore, both our positional and experiential righteousness comes only through faith in God and by the power of God working in and through us, Rom 1:17; 3:22, 26; 4:3f.; 9:30; 10:4, 6, 10; Phil 3:9.
Phil 3:9, “And may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.”
The imputation of God’s righteousness at salvation is our positional sanctification, while living in the righteous of God is our experiential sanctification. From our imputed righteousness, we can experience righteousness in the production of Divine Good, “the fruit of the light.” We also see this in the phrase “practices righteousness” in 1 John 3:7.
1 John 3:7, “Little children, let no one deceive you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, (experientially), just as He is righteous, (positionally).”
It is the Word of God that trains the believer to live in the righteousness of God, since it is the mind and thinking of Jesus Christ Himself, 2 Tim 3:16-17; Eph 2:8-10; cf. John 1:1.
2 Tim 3:16-17, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”
Eph 2:8-10, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
The product of Divine wisdom is righteousness. Righteousness is the crop which is reaped as a result of walking in the Light of Jesus Christ, 2 Cor 9:10; Phil 1:11; James 3:18.
James 3:17-18, “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. 18And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
Phil 1:11, “Having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”
In a real sense, God is working in believers to make them more and more like the Lord Jesus Christ. When a person becomes a Christian and chooses to follow Jesus, that person accepts the righteousness of Christ as the only righteousness sufficient to satisfy and please God, Eph 5:10. It is the Holy Spirit who imparts the righteousness of Christ to the believer through GAP throughout his entire lifetime. In addition, the regenerate Human Spirit of the New Man provides the believer the means by which the Holy Spirit can reproduce the righteousness of God experientially in the soul and body of the believer who is obedient to the Word of righteousness, 1 Cor 2:12-14; cf. Gal 5:22-23.
Our new Christ like nature provides us with the capacity to practice the righteousness of God, which is manifested by obeying the Lord Jesus Christ’s command to love one another as He has loved the believer, 1 John 3:11, 16, 18.
With that said, righteousness is not passive; it is to be pursued by the believer in the appropriation of God’s grace towards us, cf. 1 Tim 6:11; 2 Tim 2:22.
1 Tim 6:11, “But flee from these things, you man of God; and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.”
2 Tim 2:22, “Now flee from youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”
Righteousness is the mark of the believer, and without active “pursuing” there is no real relationship, (i.e., righteousness), with God, 1 John 2:29; 3:7, 10; cf. James 2:17.
1 John 2:29, “If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him.”
1 John 3:10, “By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.
Therefore, if we are living the life that God has given to us, we will avoid sin within our lives. We have the perfect righteousness of God inside of our new perfect nature. With that, plus the righteousness from the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit, and the righteousness of the Mind of Christ, (Bible Doctrine), in our souls, we should be living unto God, abiding in Christ, living in the righteousness of God, and daily producing the “fruit of the Light.”
When we do, we also have the Happiness of God, +H, in our soul. God’s +H is derived from His perfect attributes that make up His sensibility including His righteousness. True happiness cannot be separated from true integrity; the righteousness and justice of God. In the happiness of God, the principle of integrity is the issue. God’s perfect happiness includes the following characteristics that the believer can also enjoy.
- Tranquility in every circumstance of life, Rom 8:28.
- Contentment in every circumstance of life, Phil 4:13.
- Capacity for life, love, and happiness, giving life meaning, purpose, and definition.
Finally, we have the third categorization of Divine Good Production, “Truth,” ALETHEIA, ἀλήθεια that means, “truth, dependability, freedom from error, or integrity.” It normally is defined as “that which conforms to reality, that which is true and correct, that which is certain and on which one can depend, that which is pure and genuine.” BDAG defines it, especially for our verse as, “the quality of being in accord with what is true, truthfulness, dependability, and uprightness.” So, we see the tie in with righteousness.
In Greek philosophy, the word often carried the sense of that which really exists, “the reality behind all apparent reality.” Of course, the problem is determining what is reality. The Bible makes it clear that Christ is the personification of truth, John 1:17; 14:6; Rev 6:10, 19:11, and the Bible is the written expression of that truth, John 17:17. Therefore, God and His Word are absolute truth, the reality behind all apparent reality, Psa 31:5; Isa 65:16, Gal 2:5; 5:7.
In general, truth stands for the consistency of God’s nature and guarantees His full response in all the relations of a universe of which He is the Maker, Preserver, and End. This is also what we call “the veracity of God,” which is one of His Divine attributes, Deut 32:4; Isa 65:16; John 14:6.
Deut 32:4, (NKJ) “He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He.”
John 14:6, “Jesus said* to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me”.”
The Hebrew’s took the concept of truth, EMETH, even further, and point to that which is sure and reliable as the “truth.” It means stability, certainty, and trustworthiness. It means that which produces faithfulness, stability and security; therefore, truth is firmness, security and integrity of mind, which too is what God and the Bible are. In both the Greek and Hebrew, the word decisively expressed truth as over against falsehood and deceit.
The N. T. further presents “truth” as the Divine will of God and as the proper response of humanity in fellowship with God. Thus, truth and ethics become inseparable. As such, it is through God’s Word, (the Gospel), that we are able to come to salvation; and it is through the rest of God’s Word that we are able to produce Divine Good, which is the context of our verse.
Most important in the N.T. is that ALETHEIA expresses the revelation of the truth of God in Jesus Christ. Through the Incarnation, the truth of God became flesh; in the “good news” of Jesus Christ this truth is now proclaimed to the world, 2 Cor 4:2. Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, John 1:17, who is Himself the Way, the Truth, and the Life, John 14:6. As such salvation is tantamount to coming to the knowledge of the truth, 1 Tim 2:4.
Truth also means, Bible Doctrine or God’s Word, as the setting forth of God’s truth is in the Bible. It, being the Word of God, is true in all its parts. There is a vast array of truth, themes, and subjects about which man could not know by himself. The Bible supplies this dependable information, Psa 12:6.
Psa 12:6, “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times.”
Psa 119:160, “The sum of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting.”
2 Tim 2:15, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.”
Col 1:5, “Because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel.”
James 1:18, “In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we might be, as it were, the first fruits among His creatures.”
Eph 1:13 (NKJV), “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.”
If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson #’s:
17-015 & 17-016
A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore our sins will never be held against us. Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life.
To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life.
So right now you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!