Righteousness is defined as the quality of being morally right or justifiable. One of the most fascinating things to me is looking at how one became righteousness in the Old Testament vs. New Testament. The overarching story of the Bible has something unique to say about righteousness. It is one of the clearest depictions of what access the old covenant gave us to God vs. the access we have now under the new covenant.

Righteousness, or right standing, in the old testament, was primarily found through cleaning yourself, rituals (specifically purification), and following a bunch of rules to keep yourself clean and pleasing before God. It was about man trying to take their sin away or at least cleanse themselves long enough to get in the presence of God. Keep in mind that even in this there was only a specific group of people that could have access to God. The even crazier part is that there were only certain people that could enter the holiest of holy places in the temple, where the presence of God was. Imagine that. Only the high priest could go into the presence of God. The best way I can define this part of our history is that it was mankind searching for God in the best way they knew how to.

 There were a few men in the Old Testament that had a unique relationship with God. The ones I am thinking of are Abraham and Elijah. They had a friendship with God that allowed them to move on behalf of the people of Israel, a friendship that allowed them to meet face to face with the one true God. They had right standing with God, and it showed in the way that God moved on behalf of their prayers. They weren’t much different than any other person, aside from their belief. They believed God was who he said he was, they believed he was the one true God.

“Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.”-Genesis 15:6

 This is one of my favorite verses because of its simplicity. In the works-based mentalities a lot of us have, we could lean on this verse a lot more. We have done nothing to deserve right standing with God except believe. Just think about that for a second. God, himself, is positioning us to have right standing before him because he could not bear to spend eternity away from his kids. God changed the course of history by essentially saying, “You cannot do anything to make yourself right before me, so I will send my son to cover every sin you have. Therefore, the only thing you have to do is believe in me, and it will be counted as righteousness.” That is literally the best news in the world.

 Jesus changed the story. God came down, searching for man, and the world was never the same. Jesu came for relationship. He came down and made us right before God when we could do nothing for him. Now, the access that a few men in the Old Testament had is available to anyone who puts their faith in God. The reason you get to have right standing before God is God.
 You can trust God for your righteousness, because he’s the one who decided it. You did not have any say in this other than simply believing. This concept may never seem like you did enough and that’s the point. We were alone in our sorrow. and Jesus gave us a more hopeful alternative. There is nothing so good that we can do to earn God’s favor, and there’s nothing so bad that we can do to take away God’s favor. Our righteousness doesn’t depend on us, it depends on him, and that is how we can be sure that it is sealed. God knew we could never earn any righteousness on our own merit, so he made us righteous on his own merit. God is sustaining our place before him. God literally sees us covered in Jesus’ blood and calls us good.

 Author | Cristina Rosiles





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