I have on occasion taken time to explain righteousness to you. The generally acceptable working definition of righteousness is right standing with God, but it is an incomplete definition. It is only focused on the demand side of the equation of righteousness. It does not cover the supply side. When you take time to study righteousness in the Bible you will discover there are two perspectives.
There is the perspective of righteousness as per man, and there is the perspective of righteousness regarding God. Righteousness as a right standing equation is the human angle. But apropos of God righteousness is all encompassing, ambient, operational and existential.
The Psalmist spoke of the existential righteousness of God: “Righteous art thou, O Lord, and upright are thy judgments.” (Psalms 119:137) We were imbued with existential righteousness through Christ: We ARE the righteousness of God in Christ. 2Corinthians 5:21: For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. You can’t separate righteousness from God. He IS a righteous God. Righteousness defines him. All the rights of God as Sovereign Executive, his judicial rights as Righteous Judge his legislative function as the Law Giver, his powers and capacities as well as his technical attributes, all are boxed up in that one omnibus phrase – “Righteousness”. (His technical attributes include holiness).
Our rights and privileges in Christ are derived from his sovereignty. As sovereign, God is a law unto himself. No one can question him. “But who are you, a mere man, to criticise and contradict and answer back to God?” (Romans 9:20 AMP) “Do you question who or what I’m making? Are you telling me what I can or cannot do?” (Isaiah 45:11 MSG) It is in exercise of the sovereign rights of a Sovereign God that we who were dead in sin were made righteous in Christ. It is not based on the works of our hands, it is not based on our goodness, or anything we can possibly do. “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NLT) .
And God didn’t stop there. He made us sit in the heavenly places in Christ. “For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:6 NLT) We are united with Christ. We are the body of Christ and that’s not a figure of speech. “In this union and communion with Him love is brought to completion and attains perfection with us that we may have confidence for the Day of Judgment with assurance and boldness to face Him because as He is, so are we in this world.” (1 John 4:17 AMP) All his rights are ours. We are one with him. We can exercise the rights of Christ. It is these rights that give us governmental authority over demons. We have a right to use the name of Jesus. It is why we can lay hands on the sick and they will recover. (Mark 16:18) There is devolution of rights, powers, privileges, responsibilities and property in Christ.
Now, let me show you another dimension of righteousness. Righteousness is huge! The Book of Isaiah contains a most unusual angle on righteousness. This dimension of righteousness goes to the very centre of our dreams and visions. In Isaiah 45, we come across prophecies concerning King Cyrus – his conquests and mission. This is the historical Cyrus the Great, King of Persia (c. 576 BC – 529 BC). His father was Cambyses God promised to prosper him and give him great conquests for the sake of his people Israel. In the context of this prophecy God began to vaunt and exalt himself and his capacities. Divine magniloquence. Isaiah 45:5-7: “I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you (Cyrus), though you do not know me, that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west that there is none besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things”. Then comes the divine decrees – commands to creation. They must obey Him. As it is written: “My hand has laid the foundation of the earth, and My right hand has spread out the heavens; when I call to them (heaven and earth), they stand forth together to execute My decrees. (Isaiah 48:13 AMP) And so we come across decrees of power in Isaiah 45:8 (AMP): “Let fall in showers, you heavens, from above, and let the skies rain down righteousness.”
But what is this righteousness? The Amplified Bible enlightens us: It is “the pure, spiritual, heaven-born possibilities that have their foundation in the holy being of God”. There are thus the possibilities of righteousness. You can pray down those possibilities. You can call those things which be not as though they were. Possibilities! On the pedestal of righteousness your dream can become attainable, your projects made viable, your business feasible, your concepts doable, your plans achievable, your goals realisable. Such is the power of righteousness! In other words ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE with God! (Matthew 10:27) Stand on your righteousness in Christ Jesus and make demands on Heaven. All things are possible! And they are possible because the principle of possibilities emanates from the holy being of God. For nothing shall be impossible with God. (Mark 9:23).
Now you see that righteousness is bigger than spiritual vindication – being in right standing with God. Being in right standing with God is a judicial dimension of righteousness – an aftermath of salvation. But it is not the be-all and end-all of righteousness. There’s more. Possibility is a dimension of righteousness. If it looks impossible remember – righteousness is a big gift box. All things are possible to him who believes!
Believe in possibilities!