In The United States of America, the Bill of Rights lists certain Fundamental Rights. They are afforded to everyone who is born into, or to those who become a citizen of the USA. Some of these rights include:
The right to freedom of religion
The right to freedom of speech
The right to freedom of press
The right to freedom of assembly
The right to freedom of petition
The right to due process and a fair trial
The right to keep and bear arms
The right to interstate and intrastate travel & commerce
Did you know that you have rights as a child of God?
These rights include:
- Redemption (I Peter 1:18)
- Justification (Romans 3:24)
- Righteousness (Romans 3:10, 22-26)
- Sanctification (I Corinthians 6:11)
- The Ministry of Reconciliation (II Corinthians 5:18)
In this article we will focus on how God makes us Righteous at the time of salvation.
What does it mean to be Righteous?
The dictionary definition says: “adhering to moral principles”
This definition would lead us to believe that righteousness is something that is earned, or a reward that is dependent on our actions. The world view of righteousness would have us striving to be good enough, or live up to a set of standards so that we can feel good. This concept of earning righteousness by works makes its way into sermons of nearly every Christian Religion but is that what the Bible teaches? Certainly there is immense value in living well and “acting righteously” but as we will see from the scripture, that is not God’s purpose for using the word Righteous in the scripture in most contexts. God views it much differently than we do. The book of Romans offers more insight.
…(for if by one man’s offence [the original Sin of Adam in Genesis] death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one [Adam] judgment came upon all men [upon all people] to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [Jesus Christ] the free gift came upon all men [upon all people] unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience [Adam] many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one [Jesus Christ] shall many be made righteous.-Romans 5:17-19 KJV [with annotations]
Righteousness is a gift. God makes us righteous immediately at the time of salvation. The sin of Adam and Eve in Genesis broke the spiritual connection between God and His people leaving us incomplete. The conception, birth, sinless life, public ministry, willing sacrifice, resurrection, and ascension of Christ — and the subsequent salvation of the Christian restores the spiritual connection that was lost. Biblically speaking, Righteousness is not earned by works, but given as a gift of God.
The biblical definition of righteousness is: “The God-given justification whereby a person stands in the presence of God without any consciousness of sin, guilt, or shortcomings.”
This contrasts sharply with the dictionary definition. Righteousness is something that God has already given to us when we are born again. It is not something that we have to earn or try to live up to. We are all flawed humans and could never fully earn that title no matter how hard we may try. By the life and accomplishments of Jesus Christ, God has made us completely righteous. No work that we could do would ever earn that freedom. It is a gift of God, freely given to us when we become born again. God shows us how to receive eternal life and salvation in the Book of Romans.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.– Romans 10:9-10 KJV
Righteousness and salvation go hand in hand. When a person receives salvation (Redemption) by becoming born again, he or she also receives righteousness, as well as the other Rights of a Christian mentioned earlier.
For he [God] hath made him [Jesus Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. [We are made as righteous as God Himself, by Christ’s accomplishments]II Corinthians 5:21 KJV [with annotations]
Some have erroneously taught that a person can be righteous one minute, and unrighteous the next. This is incorrect. That is like saying that a person is human one moment but an elephant the next. Or that someone can be born again one minute and not born again the next. Once someone is born again, they are saved for all eternity and nothing can change that. All of the Rights of a Christian listed in the Bible become yours as an inheritance of God. Our spiritual standing with the Creator is not based on our actions, but on His free gift of Salvation.
Who will bring an accusation against the elect of God? God is the One justifying.Romans 8:33 Berean Literal Bible
This verse says that it is God that justifies, God who made us Righteous, regardless of what the world may say. We are the elect of God and stand before Him fully Righteous and without shame or guilt for past transgressions or sins. If your Church has taught that you need to do “works” in order to earn back the righteousness of God, then I recommend studying the scripture on the subject to see for yourself if that’s true.
And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:Philippians 3:9 KJV
We are not righteous in and of ourselves, but by the faith of Jesus Christ.
Knowing that we have been legally purchased from the grip of sin and unrighteousness, we can enjoy the freedom that we have been given and the legal rights that God bestowed upon us. It helps us keep our minds renewed to the Word when we understand these principles.
It is very important to note that Righteousness is a state of being and not a feeling. Whether we feel righteous or not, God says that we are and nothing will ever change that. The adversary, Satan wants to convince you that you aren’t good enough, but that is not God’s will for your life.
“The adversary’s great fear is that you will know and believe your sonship rights.”From the book “Life Lines” by Dr. Victor Paul Weirwille
Righteousness is one of the many rights of a child of God. These rights include: Redemption (Gaining Eternal Life through Salvation), Justification (Legally acquitted of all the charges of Sin), Righteousness (The ability to stand before God as righteous without sin consciousness or guilt), Sanctification (Chosen or set apart in this world as God’s children), & The Ministry of Reconciliation (The call to share God’s Word with others and help them become born again also.)
As we remember that we are righteous, we will walk with no fear and trust God completely, knowing that we are beloved in His sight. He has made us worthy. We can stand in His presence without any guilt or shame from past mistakes. We are Righteous.
God Bless You!
From a 2008 Teaching All scriptures from King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted United States Bill of Rights https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/billofrights Life Lines - Dr. Victor Paul Weirwille - American Christian Press