Have you ever wondered how God determines righteousness? How much right living does it take to be considered righteous? In one verse, it says “Be holy, for I am holy,” (1 Peter 1:15-16, quoting Lev.11:44-45). Whoa! Who can be as holy as God?
In our Community Bible Study this morning, we read that Abraham asked God if he would still destroy Sodom & Gomorrah if there were 50-45-40-30-20-10 righteous people there. God said, “Yes,” but there weren’t that many. Yet God had mercy on Lot’s family and rescued them out of the city. Was it simply mercy? Or did Lot deserve to be rescued? Or was it because Abraham asked God to have mercy?
Who is righteous but God alone? Romans 3:23 says, “…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” King David said, “…no man living is righteous before thee,” (Psalm143:2).
God’s mercy is so amazing! Who of us has not needed to be rescued by his mercy? No, we don’t deserve it. “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law, … the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe,” (Romans 3:21–23.)
In other words, if we believe in Jesus Christ, he gives us righteousness as a gift in exchange for our sins! But we need to admit our sins and give them to him in order for this exchange (forgiveness) to take place. Then he gives us his Holy Spirit to live in us, guide us, and empower us.
Following is a prayer (song lyrics) asking the Holy Spirit to help us live righteously:
Holy Spirit, dwell in me with your gracious love divine.
Cleanse each sinful, prideful thought that afflicts this soul of mine.
Lead me now to know the will of my Savior and my Lord.
May I ever live for Christ, God the Son, whom I’ve adored.
Lord and giver of new life, who proceeds from Father/Son,
I will praise you all my days; you make known the Risen One.
You’re my helper, counselor, comforter in all my strife.
You give strength to overcome, pow’r to live abundant life.
When I leave this troubled earth, I’ll receive what you’ve begun.
You’re the guarantee for me that I’ll win this race Christ won.
Hallellujah, Holy Ghost! Thanks for helping me to pray.
Grow your fruit abundantly, bearing witness to The Way.
Lord, I yield my life to you. Help me worship God aright.
Draw my loved ones to my Lord. Give them health, restore their sight.
Let them see Christ is God’s Word. Quench their thirst, show them the Way.
May your peace, as seen in me, give them faith to never stray.
Conclusion: A righteous one is one in whom the the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ, (the Son of the living God), dwells.
Blog post and song by Judith Vander Wege
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Judith Vander Wege
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