Lesson 2 - A Righteous People

Philippians 1:11
filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

What does it mean to be righteous?  The definition of that word is acting in accord with divine or moral code.  Free from guilt or sin."  The word righteous necessitates there being a divine or moral code.  It requires the acceptance that there is a right and that there is a wrong.  Since the begin of time society has sought to make what is right and what is wrong a matter of individual opinion.  Morality, according to this line of reasoning, should be defined by what society wants instead of morality defining how society should live.  A careful consideration of this reasoning will reveal this mindset is driven by the selfish desire to justify what we want to do.  Of course even those who suggest that right and wrong is relative want limits, they just want the limits where they desire them to be thus they have created their own moral code.

When each person is allowed to create their own moral code there is confusion and imperfection.  After all if there are multiple moral codes, all differing from one another, they cannot all be correct.

In this lesson we will discuss being righteous as it relates to the perfect moral and divine code delivered by God.  We will discuss how we can be "full of right" and how we can best fulfill our place as brush strokes of the Master.

It is so simple!  If we fill our minds with righteous thoughts we will be brighter brush strokes!  Likewise if your attention dwells on wicked things we will be dulled (Romans 2:5).  Since what we think about defines our character it is important to guard our thoughts filling our minds with what is righteousness (Philippians 4:8).

What defines "righteous action."  To some this means coming to every church service.  To another it means caring for the sick and elderly.  Still another thinks about working in the mission filed.  We must be careful that we don't define righteousness by what we do, but rather by the power of The Lord to do it.  Our physical and mental abilities are a gift.  When we use these tools in God's service we are merely returning to Him what was His anyway.  We often think this way when it relates to the contribution but our action fits this mold as well.  When we do what the Lord would have us do we paint the picture for the world to see that represents the gospel in a good way.  This allow us to be sanctified in Him (1 John 3:7).

Often times our actions are limited not by our ability, but by our desire.  1 Peter 3:14 is a verse we often associate with external persecution.  However we often most troubled by our own selves.  This verse tells us not to be afraid.  Take action to be beautiful for Jesus.

Our righteousness is a product of the love and protection of Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21).  Without the grace of the Lord our thoughts, efforts and even our lives are meaningless.  When we decide to give God the preeminent position in our lives and give Him control we can be the best brush strokes.  Controlling our attitudes and exhibiting pure humility all allow God to accomplish His will through us.  Understanding this will teach us that Jesus' sacrifice has allowed us to be His children and part of the artwork of His church and our efforts (Titus 3:5).

Romans 2:5
But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things.

1 John 3:7
7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.

1 Peter 3:14
But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you are blessed. And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.

2 Corinthians 5:21
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Titus 3:5
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,